Joints are parts of the body that form a physical connection between two or more bones. They can be anywhere in our body; an estimated 250-350 joints are there in the human body. You may be aware of knee, ankle and shoulder joints. However, there are several others like those in the hands, feet or even in the skull. These joints provide mechanical support to the body and help in free movement. Any damage or injury to the joint may lead to joint pain that would affect the movement of the body.
Conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, strains and other injuries can result in painful joints. Joint pain can affect any part of the body; however, knee pain is the most common complaint, as we know that knee is the largest joint in the body. Other parts of the body where joint pain is common are the shoulder, hip, hands, and ankles. Joint pain becomes more prominent as we age.
There are several options available to treat joint pain. Most of these treatments are aimed at providing quick joint pain relief by reducing the pain and inflammation.
- Conventional medication:
There is a broad range of drugs available for joint pain. However, before taking any medication, always consult a licensed medical practitioner. Your physician will first diagnose the condition by performing physical examinations and then prescribe medications for your condition. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, naproxen sodium, ibuprofen can provide quick joint pain relief for moderate to severe joint pain. A newer generation of anti-inflammatory drugs known as Cox-2 inhibitors also provides quick joint pain relief.
- For milder pain, the doctor may suggest acetaminophen drugs.However, these drugs can have side effects and potentially increase your chance of gastrointestinal bleeding. In case you drink alcohol, avoid taking high dosage as it may lead to liver damage. Apart from these medications, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, and antiepileptic drugs may also relieve pain.
- Topical agents:
A cream containing topical agents like capsaicin and methyl salicylate may provide quick joint pain relief. They block substance P that assists the transmission of pain signals and triggers the body to produce chemicals like endorphins, which block pain. Applying these creams may cause the area to which it is applied to burn or sting.
Patients who don’t show any sign of improvement from conventional medicines would be advised to inject steroid medications directly into the joint every three to four months. These injections may provide quick joint pain relief. However, it only masks the injury overusing the injections may lead to further damage.
- Professional physical therapy:
Massage therapies help in strengthening the muscles around the joint. There are various physical therapies, which use modern ultrasound, heat or cold therapy and electrical nerve stimulation to provide quick joint pain relief. These treatments help in losing weight to a great extent. Reduced weight puts relatively less pressure on the painful joints. However, high-impact exercises must be avoided.
Natural remedies are effective in treating mild joint pain. These are much safer alternatives to conventional medicine as they do not have any side-effects. Whether you feel joint pain in the shoulder, knees or anywhere, these remedies can help relieve the symptoms. Some of these remedies are –Fenugreek:
Fenugreek is famous for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To get quick joint pain relief swallow or have one teaspoon of finely ground fenugreek seeds along with a glass of lukewarm water or you can soak one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and have them the next morning.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is beneficial for quick joint pain relief in patients with knee osteoarthritis. To get the best results, mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with honey and consume it daily.
- Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar helps in eliminating toxins from the joints and relieves pain. It is rich in minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. Drink one to three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with honey and one cup warm water three times a day to get the maximum benefits.
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is excellent for joint pain. Various studies have confirmed its benefits. You may consume ginger by several means; you can have ginger tea or boil it in water for ten minutes and strain it.
Other natural remedies include
- Stinging nettle
- Epsom alt
- Cayenne pepper
Our body takes an extraordinary amount of pressure and stress every day – it is the joints that carry the weight and allows our movement. Therefore, taking care of the joints is of extreme importance. Pain in the joints may range from mild, moderate to debilitating. Proper medication and attention can improve the condition. Acute joint pain may go away after a few weeks, while chronic ones last for several weeks or even months.