What is Arthritis Pain?
arthritis shoulders symptomshow to arthritis shoulders symptoms for Pain is your body''s way of protecting you from further injury.
Long-lasting (chronic) pain, for example, the pain of arthritis, is a bit different. While chronic pain is also an alarm that tells you something is wrong, it often isn''s arthritis pain is different. A neighbor with the same kind of arthritis may feel a different kind of pain. Even your own arthritis and pain vary from time to time. There are no easy answers or magic solutions to relieve arthritis pain. What works for some people may not work for others, so you probably won''s okay to admit that you have pain and to take action to relieve it.
Pain doesn''t feel the pain from his own broken arm. The concern for his children somehow blocked the pain signal and kept the pain from affecting him.
Certain medicines such as morphine imitate the body''s instructions and read the directions that come with the 1 last update 2020/08/08 the medication. Alternative therapy can also be an option.Certain medicines such as morphine imitate the body''s instructions and read the directions that come with the medication. Alternative therapy can also be an option.
Through exercise you can help manage your pain and ease symptoms of chronic pain, such as the pain from osteoarthritis. A doctor may recommend an exercise program or refer you to a specialist, such as a physical therapist or occupational therapist.
Protect your body
Ask a doctor about how to do routine tasks in a way that reduces stress on joints. Listen to your body when it signals that it needs rest.
Keep a positive attitude
Having arthritis and the pain that goes with it can lead to a life built around pain and sickness. One way to reduce your pain is to build your life around wellness, not pain or sickness. Live what is called a "" This means to think positive thoughts, keep a sense of humor, eat a balanced diet, exercise every day and enjoy activities with others. It also means following your treatment plan, taking your medication properly and practicing relaxation.
arthritis shoulders symptomshow to arthritis shoulders symptoms for Arthritis can limit you but it doesn''t do. You''s easy to slip into the habit of drinking alcohol or taking more medicines to escape your pain. If you answer "" to any of the questions below, you may need to find new ways to handle your for 1 last update 2020/08/08 pain.Arthritis can limit you but it doesn''t do. You''s easy to slip into the habit of drinking alcohol or taking more medicines to escape your pain. If you answer "" to any of the questions below, you may need to find new ways to handle your pain.
- Do you drink alcohol several times a day?
- Do you use up pain medication faster than you used to?
- Do you spend all day in bed?
- Do you talk about pain or arthritis much of the time?
Changing your pain habits will help you feel better. One way to make a change is to do something positive in place of the old habit and to reward yourself. Discuss these habits with your doctor, nurse or other health care workers who specialize in pain management. Ask them to help you find new ways to cope with your pain.
Create a pain management plan
You can make a chart of your own pain control methods. This will help you keep track of which methods you have used and which ones work best for you. Adapt it often. Post it where you can refer to it often such as on your refrigerator or medicine cabinet.
arthritis shoulders symptomshow to arthritis shoulders symptoms for Seek support
Share your successes and frustrations with others--whether it''t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.
Take control of your pain so it doesn''s pain.
Patients may want to consider asking a friend or family member to accompany them to the doctor''s appointment may help patients explain their pain to doctors:
- Where is the pain felt? (Knee hip feet?)
- Is there pain anywhere else?
- Does the pain move from one area of the body to another?
arthritis shoulders symptomshow to arthritis shoulders symptoms for Frequency:
- How often is the pain felt? (Daily, weekly?)
- Is the pain felt constantly or every now and then?
- What time of day is the pain felt? (Upon waking up at night?)
- How strong is the pain?
- Is it sharp? (Stabbing, splitting, gnawing?)
- How does the pain make you feel? (Tired, upset?)
What makes the the 1 last update 2020/08/08 pain feel better or worse:What makes the pain feel better or worse:
- What relieves the pain? (Exercise, rest, medicine?)
- What makes it feel worse (Inactivity?)
- What activities cause the pain to be felt? (Walking, bending?)
- Has any treatment worked so far? If so which ones?
- Does pain interfere with activities? (Bathing, dressing, sleeping, exercising, taking care of children?)
arthritis shoulders symptomshow to arthritis shoulders symptoms for During a doctor visit
Here are some tips and suggested questions for a patient visiting a doctor about pain.
- Tell the doctor about the pain. Don''re not for pain.
Ask the doctor:
- About options for pain relief (exercise, medication, alternative therapies).
- About the benefits and potential risks or side effects of any treatments or medications.
- About activities to avoid or modify.
- To explain anything that isn''t sleep with the heating pad on because you might burn yourself.
- Use an electric blanket or mattress pad. Turn it up before you rise to combat morning stiffness.
- Use flannel sheets. They feel warmer against your skin.
- Use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to keep your feet back or hands warm.
- Before getting dressed, warm your clothes by placing them on top of the dryer for a few minutes.
- Place hot packs on the painful area. These are filled bags that are heated in water and covered with a towel. Be careful not to let the pack get too hot.
- Dip your hands in a paraffin bath. This is a mixture of melted paraffin and mineral oil. The warm coating soothes stiff painful fingers. Ask your doctor or therapist about this method.
- Use a combination of heat and cold. This is called a contrast bath (see figure 1). Soak your hand or foot in warm water then cold water then warm water again.
Tips for cold
arthritis shoulders symptomshow to arthritis shoulders symptoms for Place a cold pack or ice bag on the painful area. You can buy these at the drug store or you can make one by wrapping a towel around a bag of frozen vegetables.
Before and after treatments
Before using heat or cold:
- Your skin should be dry and healthy.
- Protect the skin over any bone that is close to the surface of your skin. Place extra padding over the area to prevent burning or freezing your skin.
After using heat or cold:
- Check the area for any swelling or discoloration.
- Carefully dry the area.
- Gently move your joint to reduce stiffness.
- Allow your skin to return to normal temperature before using another treatment.
arthritis shoulders symptomshow to arthritis shoulders symptoms for Use heat or cold safely
- Use either heat or cold for only 15-20 minutes at a time. Let your skin return to its normal temperature before using another application.
- Always put a towel between your skin and any type of pack.
- Always follow the advice of your physical therapist or doctor carefully when using these methods especially heat.
- Check your skin before and after using heat or cold.
- Use milder temperatures for a child''s skin.
Don''t become too tired. Here are a few guidelines for using your joints wisely and for saving your energy:
- Be aware of your body positions. Avoid activities that involve a tight grip or that put too much pressure on your fingers. Use self-help devices, such as jar openers, reach extenders, zipper pulls and buttoning aids. These aids put less stress on your joints and make difficult tasks easier.
- Use your largest and strongest joints and muscles. For example, use a shoulder bag to carry items. This protects painful elbow, wrist or finger joints. When you lift or carry objects, spread the weight of the object over many joints. This prevents you from placing too much stress on one joint.
- Avoid holding one position for a long time. Move or change positions often. Keeping joints in the same position adds to joint stiffness and pain.
- Balance rest with activity. Learn to understand your body''re getting tired. Take breaks when you need them. Don''ve done too much. Next time do a little less or go about it in a way that takes less effort.
- Simplify your work. Plan ahead, organize and create short cuts. Use labor-saving devices such as an electric can opener or electric garage door opener that require less energy on your part and place less stress on your joints.
- Ask for help when you need it. Family and friends would rather help you than have you become too tired or ill from doing too much.
Pain and stress
People who are in pain experience both physical and emotional stress.
Pain and stress have similar effects on the body. Muscles become tight and breathing becomes fast and shallow. Heart rate and blood pressure go up. Relaxing can for 1 last update 2020/08/08 help you reverse these effects. It gives you a sense of control and well-being and makes it easier to manage pain.Pain and stress have similar effects on the body. Muscles become tight and breathing becomes fast and shallow. Heart rate and blood pressure go up. Relaxing can help you reverse these effects. It gives you a sense of control and well-being and makes it easier to manage pain.
What is relaxation?
Relaxation is more than just sitting back reading or watching TV. It involves learning ways to calm and control your body and mind. Relaxation does not come easily especially if you are in pain. It takes practice. The best time to use relaxation skills to manage your pain is before the pain becomes too intense.
Some people find it very difficult to relax. They feel they don''t believe it will help them. Others feel embarrassed for taking the time. With a little practice most people get some relief from relaxation.
There is no best way to learn how to relax. Everyone responds differently to different techniques. Try some of the methods below until you find some that work for you.
Guided imagery uses your mind to focus on pleasant images. First begin by breathing slowly and deeply. Think of yourself in a place where you feel comfortable safe and relaxed. This may be a favorite vacation spot or a porch swing in your own backyard. Create all the details--the colors sounds smells and how it feels. These images take your mind away from pain and focuses it on something more pleasant.
arthritis shoulders symptomshow to arthritis shoulders symptoms for Prayer is very relaxing and comforting for some people. You may want to make a tape recording of a soothing inspirational message.
Hypnosis is a form of deep relaxation in which your attention is focused internally--away from the usual thoughts and anxieties. You''s reaction to stress and pain and to learn how to control your body''s responses to pain. One advantage to biofeedback is that it shows you that you have the ability to relax.
Relaxation audio tapes help guide you through the relaxation process. These tapes provide directions for relaxation so you don''t worry about whether you reach a deep level of relaxation. Allow the relaxation to go at its own pace.
Counseling and other support
Health care team
Any major disturbance in your life--such as illness or chronic pain--may make you feel anxious, depressed, angry or even hopeless.
This is your first place to turn for help. The team includes your doctor and a nurse. It may also include an occupational therapist or a physical therapist, a social worker, counselor, psychologist and a pharmacist.
Talk to the members of the team about ways to cope with pain. They may be able to help you find services in your area. Don''s smart to get help when you need it. If you have the symptoms of depression--poor sleep, changes in appetite, crying, sad thoughts--talk with your doctor.
Some psychologists or counselors are specially trained to work with the emotional side of chronic health problems like arthritis. These people can also teach you how to manage stress. Pain is stressful. If you have increased stress, you may feel more pain. So learning to manage stress can also help you manage your pain.
Sharing your feelings and experiences with a group can make living with arthritis easier. The basic goal of a support group is to give you a way to share and learn about arthritis. A group also helps you to feel understood and can give you new ideas to help cope with problems. It can also help you feel good about yourself because you''t cure your health condition but they may help you to learn better pain management skills. Ask your doctor about pain clinics in your area.
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 (see figure 2). 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''t massage a joint that is very swollen or painful.
TENS helps reduce pain for some people with arthritis. It is a small device that uses mild electric pulses to stimulate the nerves in the painful area. This blocks the pain message in several ways.
To use a TENS machine, electrodes are taped on the skin near the painful area. These electrodes are connected by wire to a small battery-operated stimulator. TENS doesn't hurt but it may cause some tingling. Usually it feels like vibration or tapping. TENS works for some people but not for others. Talk to your doctor or therapist about whether TENS might help you.
1330 West Peachtree Street
Atlanta GA 30309
American College of Rheumatology
American Chronic Pain Association
P.O. Box 850
Rocklin CA 95677-0850
American Pain Foundation
111 South Calvert Street Suite 2700
Baltimore MD 21202
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
1 AMS Circle
Bethesda MD 20892
Some of this material may also be available in an Arthritis Foundation brochure.
Adapted from the pamphlet originally prepared for the Arthritis Foundation by Robert L. Swezey MD, FACP, FACR and Beth A. Ziebell PhD. This material is protected by copyright.