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Managing your Arthritis Pain

May 8, 2024

Arthritis is one of the leading causes of pain and disability not only in the United States, but worldwide. With so many individuals in our community dealing with the effects of arthritis daily, May was named as National Arthritis Awareness Month in support and to educate those who live with Arthritis as well as those who care for and about them. 

First, What is Arthritis? 

Informally, it is a way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. More specifically, there are two most common types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

Osteoarthritis is degenerative, caused by wear and tear of a joint’s cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder where the immune system attacks the tough membrane that encloses every part of the joint, eventually destroying the cartilage and bone within the joint. 

Common arthritis symptoms include joint pain and stiffness, swelling, redness, and decreased range of motion. These symptoms can worsen with time and age, making it difficult to do daily tasks.

If you would like a more in depth view of these types of arthritis, diagnosis, and treatment read our past blog Understanding Arthritis

Managing Pain and Maintain Mobility

Knowledge is the first key in managing daily discomfort and being able to continue your normal routine. Talk to your doctor about your diagnosis and learn all you can about your specific condition. This will help you to move forward with a treatment plan as well as strategize a daily routine that works for your lifestyle. 


It is important to keep your joints moving. Do gentle stretches and movements that utilize your joints through their full range of motion. Movement can decrease pain and stiffness as well as strengthen your muscles and increase endurance - helping you to maintain mobility. 

You will need to choose the right kinds of activities that build up your joint strength but don’t push the limits and cause more damage to them. A physical or occupational therapist can work with you to develop an exercise program customized to your goals. We will discuss Exercise and Arthritis in a blog scheduled for later this month! Be on the lookout for more detailed information. 

Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also crucial in managing pain. Being overweight can increase complications and pain. Manage weight through the daily movement we previously discussed and by eating a well balanced diet. Check out Our Recipe for Joint Health

Smoking also causes stress on connective tissues, increasing arthritis pain. Quitting this habit can ease pain and contribute to a healthier lifestyle in general. 


If you are noticing more pain, there are many types of medications available for relief. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and creams containing capsaicin can help relieve occasional pain triggered by overdoing an activity. Don’t ignore severe or prolonged pain, you may be experiencing joint inflammation or damage requiring daily medication. Talk to your doctor about incorporating a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms.

Pay Attention to your Body

Making sure you are using good posture can also help to keep arthritis pain down. Good posture helps develop the correct alignment between our bones and joints, minimizing wear and potential pain. A physical therapist can also show you how to stand, sit, and move correctly. 

Pay attention to your joints and know your limits. Balance movement and rest so that you do not overdo any activity. If you are feeling pain, rest with heat and cold. Applying heating pads or taking a hot bath or shower can relieve pain temporarily. Applying an ice pack to overused and inflamed muscles will also relieve pain and inflammation. 

Relaxation therapy like gentle yoga, meditating, and deep breathing are also great ways to rest your body as well as being positive for your mental and emotional state. Keeping your mood positive and mental health high are integral in your physical health and can help ease pain.

Talk to a Doctor

Our goal and the focus of arthritis treatment is to reduce pain, minimize joint damage, and to maintain or even improve joint function and our quality of life. By following the treatment plan created by your doctor and utilizing the tips from this blog to manage pain, you can take control of your arthritis.