Taking Command of Joint Pain


You probably don’t think about how your joints are functioning when you step out for a stroll—unless those joints are causing pain. In that case, sore hips, throbbing knees and aching shoulders can stop you dead in your tracks. The problem is the way joints connect bones and support every aspect of physical movement; so if you have problematic joints, you’ll feel it every time you take a step, have a seat or raise an arm.

Fortunately, whether your joint pain stems from arthritis, gout or a sports injury, you have lots of treatment options. From simple home treatments to modified diets and visits to the specialists, there’s a solution for almost every unhappy joint.

Recognizing Simple & Chronic Joint Pain

“Symptoms for joint pain caused by arthritis include pain when walking, problems getting up or down from a seated position, and a grinding or catching sensation,” says George Zoys, M.D., a physician at Methodist Hospital for Surgery. “Treatment can range from over-the-counter or prescription medication, bracing therapy, injections of steroids or lubricating cushioning agents, all the way to joint replacement.”

Joint pain ranges from mild to irritating to debilitating. In some cases, simple pain resolves spontaneously in just days or weeks, but chronic pain can last for years.

Believe it or not, joint pain is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S., but many people don’t know their pain’s root cause. Fortunately, joint pain teams are a mainstay at hospitals like ours and include physicians, physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists whose entire focus is diagnosing and treating the source of joint pain.

Conventional & Home Treatment

When treating joint pain, most physicians aim to decrease inflammation while preserving joint function and will utilize a combination of medication, physical therapy or alternative treatment. When treating simple joint pain at home, remember the letters R.I.C.E.:

  • Rest the joint
  • Ice the joint
  • Compress the area with a brace or wrap
  • Elevate the affect limb

Eating Healthy for Healthy Joints

Diet modification can also be key to joint pain relief, since certain foods help control inflammation. The Mediterranean Diet is particularly popular among joint pain sufferers because it emphasizes fish, vegetables and olive oil, all of which are high in inflammation-fighting omegas, antioxidants, monounsaturated fats and fiber.

Other powerful foods that can reduce joint pain include:

  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans/Legumes

No matter your level of joint pain, there’s an option for relief. Check out what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest for managing pain and then find out how you can get involved please contact one of our many specialized Physicians and Surgeons at Methodist Hospital for Surgery.

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