Pain And Other Symptoms Of Spinal Osteoarthritis
The intensity and type of pain people experience as a result of arthritis in the spine varies from mild to severe, and occasional to episodic to chronic. Each type of pain is treated differently. Of course, it is not uncommon for arthritic neck or back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, or muscle spasms. Learn more about the range of osteoarthritis symptoms.
Make Your Own Heat Pad
Fill a cotton sock with uncooked rice grains and seal it. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. When it cools down slightly but is still nice and warm, place it on sore, stiff joints. Your DIY heat pad should stay warm for about half an hour. The rice grains will shape to your body and provide soothing heat. If you have lavender or another fragrant herb on hand, toss it in with the rice grains for an additional relaxing aromatherapy treatment, too. Check out these other home remedies for arthritis even doctors recommend.
Get Some Supportive Help
Its important to take some steps to reduce the stress on your joints. This might involve making some changes to your home, car or workplace. This can be anything from making switches, dials and plugs easier to grip if you have osteoarthritis in your hands you could wrap elastic bands around door handles for example to installing lever taps in your home. In your car, you could add a padded steering wheel cover to help you grip the wheel better, and get a supportive headrest to give your neck some support. A panoramic rear-view mirror and blindspot mirrors on wing mirrors can also be a huge help if you have limited movement in your neck.
Your doctor may refer you to see an occupational therapist who can give you some practical help on how to protect your joints, and information about equipment or gadgets that will make your daily life easier.¹
You May Like: What Drugs Are Used To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Treatment For Hand Arthritis In The Greater Chesapeake
If you have a hand injury or chronic condition such as arthritis, turn to the experts at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder. Our team of hand experts have a profound understanding of the complex networks of blood vessels, nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones that make up the hand and fingers.
We understand how important pain-free hand and finger motion and function is to daily activities, including work, self-care, sports, and leisure. Our orthopedic and plastic surgeons specialize in hand surgery, and we can offer state-of-the-art nonsurgical and surgical care to treat a full range of hand and finger injuries and conditions.
Call us today to schedule a consultation with our at or request an appointment online now for any of our Greater Chesapeake locations. We look forward to helping you feel less pain in your hands and regain hand motion and function, so you can get back to doing what you love.
What Can You Do For Arthritis Pain If You Cant Tolerate Nsaids
Roughly one out of five Americans takes an NSAID regularly. That includes medications like celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, indomethacin, meloxicam and naproxen . Theres a reason so many people take NSAIDs. There are over 50 million Americans with diagnosed arthritis. This does not count the millions of people who suffer in silence and dont bother to ask their doctor why their fingers ache or their knees creak and crackle. They know arthritis pain up close and personal. But what can you do if you cant tolerate NSAIDs? This reader speaks for many:
You May Like: Is Krill Oil Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Overview Of Medications Used To Treat Spinal Arthritis A Common Cause Of Back Pain Also Called Osteoarthritis Or Spondylosis
The type of arthritis that more commonly affects the spine is osteoarthritis, also called spondylosis. Other types of arthritis that are inflammatory in nature include rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Here, youll learn about medications for osteoarthritis that affects your neck , mid back , and/or low back .It is not uncommon for arthritic neck or back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, or muscle spasms. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
Stir In Some Turmeric
The yellow spice found in curries and ballpark mustard contains a powerful compound called curcumin, which inhibits enzymes and proteins that promote inflammation. Several studies have found that turmeric specifically reduces pain and swelling in arthritis patients. In one study of people with knee osteoarthritis, those who ate just 2 grams of the spice a day had pain relief and increased mobility equal to those who took 800 milligrams of ibuprofen. How to get some curcumin in your diet? Sprinkle ½ teaspoon on rice or in vegetables daily. Or keep some packets of ballpark mustard in your pocket and break them out at lunchtimeits the perfect dose for arthritis pain relief. This is how much turmeric you need to reduce inflammation.
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Imak Arthritis Gloves
Considering Taking Opioids For Your Pain
This animated video below, from NPS MedicineWise and the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists , provides information to people who may be considering taking opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL ARTHRITIS OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND SUPPORT SERVICES.
Other Pain Management Techniques
If a joint is very swollen and painful, your doctor or therapist may suggest you use a splint to rest the joint . This helps reduce swelling and pain. Your doctor may recommend that you wear the splint during certain activities all day or only at night. This depends on how severe the swelling or pain is.
Getting a good night’s sleep restores your energy so you can better cope with the pain. It also rests your joints to reduce the pain and swelling. Only you know how much sleep your body needs, so get into the habit of listening to your body. If you feel tired and ache after lunch every day, for example, take a brief nap. This can help restore your energy and spirits.
If you have trouble sleeping at night, try relaxing quietly in the afternoon rather than taking a nap. Here are some other tips to help you sleep better:
- take a warm bath before going to bed
- listen to soothing music or a relaxation tape
- spend some quiet time by yourself before you go to bed
Do not take sleeping pills unless your doctor recommends them.
Massage and topical lotions
Massage increases blood flow and brings warmth to the sore area. You can massage your own muscles or you can ask your doctor to recommend a professional who is trained to give massages. If you have arthritis in your shoulders, elbows, wrists or fingers, you may not be able to give yourself a massage.
Tips for safe massage:
Read Also: What Can I Take For Arthritis In My Knee
Berries Apples And Pomegranates
Berries are rich in antioxidants and the Arthritis Foundation notes that blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries and boysenberries all provide arthritis-fighting power. Youll get health benefits no matter if you eat them frozen, fresh or dehydrated , so be sure to eat a variety of berries throughout the week.
Apples are also high in antioxidants and a good source of fiber. Plus, they provide crunch and can help curb your appetite for unhealthy snacks, Dunn says.
Pomegranates, which are classified as berry fruits, are rich in tannins which can fight the inflammation of arthritis. Add these to a salad or stir into plain yogurt for some added benefits.
How Do We Tell What The Cause Of Joint Pain Is In An Ra Patient
When a rheumatologist sees a patient with RA and pain is their primary complaint, the first step is often to assess how active the synovitis or inflammation component due to RA is since treatment of this is important not only to prevent pain but also to prevent further joint damage. Rheumatoid arthritis inflammation is often associated with prolonged morning stiffness of 1-2 hours, whereas an osteoarthritic joint will be painful and stiff for only a few minutes on waking and then get worse with use over the day. The rheumatologist will also assess the degree of inflammation by feeling the number of tender and swollen joints and performing blood tests that indicate general inflammation levels .
It is often difficult in patients with long-standing disease to determine whether persistent RA inflammation or osteoarthritis is the problem in any one joint, and this may be especially difficult in large joints such as the knee. As stated above,often more than one problem is present.
You May Like: Can Arthritis Cause Eye Problems
Tips To Ease Joint Pain
Arthritis joint pain and symptoms can make simple activities difficult. This head-to-toe guide can help.
Arthritis pain in even one joint can take a toll on your entire body. For example, a painful neck can prevent you from turning your head properly, placing stress on your shoulders. A painful knee may cause you to walk in a way that affects your hips, back and feet. And holding a joint still to protect it can make moving it more difficult and in some cases almost impossible over time.
If joint pain is caused by an inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic treatment is needed to stop inflammation that can lead to joint damage or destruction. For flares of pain, persistent pain or pain due to other causes, there are many things you can do on your own or ask your doctor or physical therapist about to get relief.
Solutions vary and may include splints, therapeutic exercises or more informal daily modifications at home and beyond. Here are a few suggestions to help ease joint pain head-to-toe:
Neck pain can make it difficult to look up or turn your head sideways. If you avoid twisting your neck by moving your shoulders or entire body, the surrounding muscles may hurt as much as the joints themselves.
The mandible joint can be a frequent source of discomfort, making it painful to bite into a thick sandwich or an apple. Jaw pain is common on the side of the face or just in front of the ear.
Antidepressants For Osteoarthritis Pain
Your doctor may recommend the use of antidepressant medication to help treat chronic OA pain even if you donât have depression. Itâs not clear how it works, but brain chemicals affected by antidepressant medications may play a role.
One antidepressant, duloxetine , is FDA-approved for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain, including chronic osteoarthritis pain. Common side effects include nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, and constipation.
Doctors sometimes prescribe a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline, desipramine , and nortriptyline for chronic pain. These are most often taken near bedtime because they can make you sleepy. Other side effects include dry mouth, nausea, weight change, and constipation.
All antidepressant drugs carry a boxed warning of higher risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. Anyone starting antidepressant drugs should be monitored closely for any unusual behavioral changes, suicidal thinking and behavior, or worsening of a psychiatric disorder.
Also Check: What Are The Best Gloves For Arthritis
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
Regular exercise is strongly recommended for arthritis patients. Exercise can reduce pain and improve physical function, muscle strength, and quality of life for people with arthritis. While it can be difficult to be motivated to exercise when you are having symptoms such as pain or fatigue, choosing the right exercise to enjoy can make a big difference in your quality of life.
Eating a nutritious diet is important for maintaining ideal weight and for bone health, too. There is no known diet that can cure arthritis, so you can start by following the basics of healthy eating you may also benefit from incorporating anti-inflammatory foods.
Reducing stressmay also help calm the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Being under stress can heighten your pain perception. A study also found that psychological stress was associated with flares and relapse in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Home remedies to manage pain and stiffness can help you keep it from interfering with daily living. You can try tactics such as cryotherapy , heat therapy or warm water therapy , or self-massage. Beware of folk remedies.
Assistive devices can help protect your joints and make it easier for you to go about your day. Look into canes, walkers, raised toilet seats, grabbers, and other helpful devices.
Hot And Cold Treatments
Using either heat or cold treatments can reduce the stiffness and pain of arthritis.
Cold packs numb the sore area. They are especially good for severe joint pain and swelling caused by a flare . Heat treatments relax your muscles. You can use dry heat methods such as a heating pad or heat lamp or moist heat methods, such as a bath or hydrocollator pack.
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Arthritis Swelling In Fingers
Pain Medications For Arthritis Pain Relief
There is a range of pain medications available to relieve arthritic and musculoskeletal pain, as well as post-surgical pain. In general, drugs that relieve pain are called analgesics or, more commonly, painkillers. These drugs vary in potency and in how they work, and can be administered in different ways, including via pills, skin patches, injections, or intravenously.
Analgesics are frequently divided into two categories: opioids and non-opioids.
- Opioids are often referred to as narcotics
- Non-opioids include both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen
Nutritional Supplements And Dietary Changes
There’s no strong evidence to suggest that specific dietary changes can improve rheumatoid arthritis, although some people with rheumatoid arthritis feel their symptoms get worse after they have eaten certain foods.
If you think this may be the case for you, it may be useful to try avoiding problematic foods for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
But it’s important to ensure your overall diet is still healthy and balanced. A Mediterranean-style diet, which is based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, is recommended.
There’s also little evidence supporting the use of supplements in rheumatoid arthritis, although some can be useful in preventing side effects of medicines you may be taking.
There’s some evidence to suggest that taking fish oil supplements may help reduce joint pain and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
- National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society : diet and rheumatoid arthritis
Page last reviewed: 28 August 2019 Next review due: 28 August 2022
Recommended Reading: Is Turmeric Effective For Arthritis
Managing The Pain Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Understanding the causes of pain in RA can go a long way to helping you to find the best ways to manage your pain.
Pain is an extremely personal experience. While this review will try to explain some of the simple mechanisms of pain and the current treatments for pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients, such an overview represents a view based on an understanding of the evidence-based literature on current RA therapies and an individual rheumatologists experience it cannot fully explain every individual patients pain problems. All pain that is present for a reasonable length of time, no matter what the underlying cause, can be associated with poor sleep patterns and depressed mood. The stress associated with RA-related job loss or relationship problems all impact on how we cope with pain. Pain involves not only the nerves at the site of pain but the nerve pathways leading to the brain and special pain pathways within the brain itself. Very simply, pain is a complex phenomenon.
Treating Spinal Osteoarthritis May Take A Combination Of Therapies
Talk with your doctor about your neck and/or back pain to make sure your diagnosis is accurate and current. Remember that certain types of back problems are degenerative, meaning they may change, improve, or worsen with time. Management of your spinal arthritis pain may involve more than 1 medication or therapy. You have choices, and your doctor can work with you to find the right drug or combination of medications and therapies to ease your spinal osteoarthritis symptoms.
Peppermint Eucalyptus Oil Blend
Peppermint and eucalyptus dont change the course of the arthritis itself, but they do have analgesic, or pain-relieving, properties. The cooling sensation that they produce can temporarily override your discomfort, and create a soothing sensation that can ease the pain of arthritis.
You will need-5-10 drops of Peppermint oil-5-10 drops of Eucalyptus oil-1-2 tablespoons of carrier oil -A small dark glass bottle
DirectionsBlend 5-10 drops of eucalyptus and peppermint oil together, and then mix into 1-2 tablespoons of carrier oil. Carrier oil is needed to dilute the essential oil so that it does not irritate the skin, and can be olive oil, grapeseed oil, or something of the like Store the oil blend in dark glass bottle away from direct sunlight, and rub into your joints when they ache.
Supplements For Those With Mild Pain
The evidence for glucosamine and chondroitin is mixed, but they are safe. So it might be worth trying. However, people with a shellfish allergy may not be able to tolerate them. Any effect wont kick in right away. Dr. Day recommends trying it for six to eight weeks. If you notice improvement, great if not, then stop it, she says.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and there is some evidence for its usefulness for painful knee arthritis. You can add turmeric to your food or take it as a supplement. It can thin blood, so people who take a blood thinning medication should not use turmeric.
Recommended Reading: Can Psoriasis Lead To Psoriatic Arthritis