6 WAYS TO RELIEVE AND REDUCE JOINT PAIN
By: Juliana Meeker, DPT
Joints are where two or more bones meet to allow movement. Some joints have a lot of movement, while other joints have very small amounts of movement. Though our joints can cope with different types of internal and external stress, over time they suffer from wear and tear, which can result in joint pain.
There are a number of ways that can help in reducing joint pain and allowing you to do more functional activities. Learn about the most commonly utilized techniques of alleviating joint pain to get you back to your daily activities!
Cryotherapy (Cold Compression)
Cold/Ice Pack: Good to reduce any kind of tissue swelling on the joints. Best to use with fresh injury, surgery, swelling or even if you just prefer cold. A 15-20 minute ice pack application on the affected area at regular intervals daily helps reduce the pain over time (no more than once an hour). Do not place the ice directly on the skin, instead apply it by wrapping it in a towel.
Hydrotherapy (Warm Water Therapy)/ Hot Pack/ Heating Pad
Heat helps in relaxation and increased blood flow to joints and muscles. For hydrotherapy It is advised to immerse the affected area in the warm water and keep massaging the area to stimulate blood flow. Using a heating pad 15-20 minutes at regular intervals (no more than once an hour) can help reduce pain over time.
Joint mobilization is a technique used by Physical Therapists to move the joint with small repetitive motions in a safe range which helps in relieving joint pain.
When choosing an exercise regime, it is best to consult with a physical therapist to choose which exercises are best for you. Exercises that allow you to move within the limits of your pain and does not worsen the pain further are best to start with. As your pain subsides, your therapist will help progress your routine slowly and gradually to increase the intensity of your regime. Exercise helps increase muscle strength and flexibility of joints and is known to reduce joint pain.
Rest and relaxation help in alleviating joint pain. It restores energy and allows your body to naturally repair itself. It is advised, resting in between exercises allows your body to cope with joint stress, and which can prevent the potential joint pain.
Physical Therapy is a specialized field where each practitioner is trained to evaluate and treat your unique pains, especially in your joints. They will assess your specific needs and utilize modalities (listed below), manual therapy techniques and movement/exercise to improve your joint pain, allowing you to return to your functional activities. They will even educate you on how to manage your pain going forward in the long run. Correct exercise choices have been shown to reduce joint pain especially due to arthritis.
If you are suffering from joint pain, it is absolutely vital that you schedule an appointment with an Elite Physical Therapist. At Elite, we have the expertise to assess the pain areas in your body and formulate a customized treatment plan to help alleviate your joint pain.
Elite Physical Therapy is comprised of 10 rehabilitation specialists with over 100+ years of physical and occupational therapy experience. Elite is the ONLY clinic in Cenla with not only one but now TWO Board Certified Orthopedic Physical Therapists (OCS).
We are proud to be a local-owned, therapist-owned outpatient clinic for 30+ years that is meeting the needs of the people of Central Louisiana through ELITE one-on-one care. Let us help you with your joint pain and get you back to living life to the fullest!