Joint Pain Relief: What You Can Do to Feel Better Now
Why joints hurt
Pain in your joints can have many different causes. For many people, joint pain is caused by arthritis, a group of conditions marked by inflammation in the joints.
About 23 percentTrusted Source of adults in the United States have arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. This type is caused by a breakdown of cartilage as you age.
For others, joint pain may be caused by an injury or infection of the joints, or another condition, such as fibromyalgia or even depression. It can also be the result of poor posture or long periods of inactivity.
Treatment options for joint pain
If you’re experiencing joint pain and don’t know why, make an appointment to see a doctor to determine the cause.
Medications for joint pain
Your doctor may first suggest that you treat the joint pain caused by arthritis with anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
Pain and pain management
Pain is a very common condition. The occurrence of pain rises as people get older, and women are more likely to experience pain than men
Pain may be anything from a dull ache to a sharp stab and can range from mild to extreme. You may feel pain in one part of your body or it may be widespread.
How pain affects the body
Pain is a complex protective mechanism. It is an essential part of evolution that protects the body from danger and harm.
The body has pain receptors that are attached to two main types of nerves that detect danger. One nerve type relays messages quickly, causing a sharp, sudden pain. The other relays messages slowly, causing a dull, throbbing pain.
Some areas of the body have more pain receptors than others. For example, the skin has lots of receptors so it is easy to tell the exact location and type of pain. There are far fewer receptors in the gut, so it is harder to pinpoint the precise location of a stomach ache.
Savvy Shopping Tips for OTC Medicines
Overuse of acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller, can result in liver failure and even death. Because of this, the FDA is considering recommendations to place new restrictions on the drug. But this is only the latest in a long string of stories that call the safety of various OTC pain relievers, allergy medicines, and other drugs into question.
How can you be sure that what you are taking is safe or even effective? What’s more, how can you know for sure if the generic you buy is the same medicine as the brand-name drug? And how do all those formerly prescription drugs that are now available without a prescription fit in? With all these concerns and choices, a trip to the local drugstore can be overwhelming.
“The key,” says Norman Tomaka, a certified consultant pharmacist, in Melbourne, Fla., “is to know what you want and need before you go into the store.” Tomaka is also a spokesman for the American Pharmacists Association. “When you’re walking along the medicine aisle is no time to window shop or impulse buy.”
Read the Medicine’s Label — Carefully
“Reading the label on an over-the-counter drug is the single most important thing,” says Tomaka. The FDA mandates that each OTC drug label must clearly list the active ingredient and the amount of the active ingredient. Labels also need to state what the medicine’s intended use is. “Educate yourself,” Tomaka says, “even if you can’t pronounce the active ingredient’s name. Look at the drug ingredient and look at the indications to find out what it is used for.”
The information on the label can also help you decide between a generic and a brand-name OTC drug product. If you are considering saving money by buying a generic drug, Tomaka says, compare the active ingredient and amounts in the generic vs. the brand name OTC product. “For example, if you are purchasing an antihistamine, read the ingredient and amount. If the store brand or generic brand is identical to the trade brand, it will likely have the same effects on your symptoms.”
Pain Management: How to Choose a Painkiller
Best OTC options Start with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or an NSAID (ibuprofen or aspirin). For a killer headache, try a med that contains caffeine.
For Chronic Pain
Best OTC options Acetaminophen or NSAIDs are good for flare-ups, but NSAIDs can irritate the stomach, and acetaminophen is potentially toxic to the liver.
For Fever, Sore Throat, Flu
Best OTC options Acetaminophen or NSAIDs. Start with acetaminophen; NSAIDs can irritate your stomach.
For Menstrual Cramps
Best OTC options NSAIDs, especially naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen; they cut the production of cramp-causing prostaglandins.
Best OTC options Naproxen or ibuprofen. They short-circuit the production of prostaglandins.
Pain clinic – how to choose the right one
Choosing a pain clinic
Choosing a pain clinic can be a challenge, especially if you have moved to a new community. It is always a good idea to ask for recommendations. If you have a chronic or disabling condition, you will likely need a specialist who understands your particular health needs. Asking friends, neighbors, and coworkers is a good way to start, but ultimately you will have to decide which pain management doctor is best suited to your individual needs and situation.
Finding the best pain clinic – is the doctor Board Certified?
Most practicing physicians in the U.S. are board certified. Before scheduling the appointment make sure that a specialist you want to see has indeed the necessary credentials to run his or her medical practice. For example, Dr. Escobar is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology, the American Board of Pain Medicine and Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management. He has been practicing in the area for over fifteen years. He has lectured in the community as well as mass media on various topics in Pain Management. That’s why Pain Care Specialists of Florida is a pain clinic is considered to be one of the leading pain management practices in South Florida and is so respected in the community. For further information about the practice, here is the link to the clinic’s website.
Insurance plans – do they cover this pain clinic?
Keep in mind, that your insurance plan may restrict your choices to a group of plan-approved physicians or sometimes offer financial incentives to use one of the doctors on the plan. It is prudent to always check the terms of your insurance coverage to find out whether the plan will cover visits to the specialist you are considering. How much will you have to pay out-of-pocket for visits to this provider if they do not participate in your health plan? It is worth doing your research to find out which pain clinic accepts your insurance plan. Some of the clinics, including the Pain Care Specialists of Florida accept all PPO insurances. Find out more about insurance plans
Convenient locations of the pain clinic
The location does matter especially if your condition requires initial frequent visits for consultation and treatments. In order to meet their patients’ needs