Joint pain - what to do? Patient guide to osteoarthritis

Every little movement hurts. Even getting up will be a pain. Osteoarthritis often affects the entire daily routine of those affected. If the disease begins with pain in the movement, it can lead to fatigue or stress pain when used - in severe cases, to chronic pain, even at rest.

Five million people suffer from pain in the joint area. The cause is often osteoarthritis, a joint disease due to wear and tear, which can occur mainly at an advanced age - in some cases already in 40-year-olds. The Stark for Pain Initiative clarifies what to do at the first sign of joint pain.

Go to a doctor early

Feel the first signs of pain in the joints, you should not hesitate to see a doctor. Because an early diagnosis increases the chances to get the complaints under control - any consequential damage can be reduced. The sooner the therapy starts, the lower the risk of pain remaining for the rest of life.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain, onset pain that disappears after a few movements, fatigue pain after prolonged exercise, cracking or crunching in the joint, heat sensation during exercise, swelling without a real visible swelling, and decreased joint mobility.

Osteoarthritis can occur anywhere in the body where articular cartilage is present. Most commonly affected are the spine, knee and hand, followed by the hip, foot and toe joints, shoulder and elbow.

Do not let off steam

Ask your doctor for individualized therapy. Do not be put off with sentences like "in old age everyone has this pain" or "you just have to endure it".

Today, there are a variety of therapy options, both physical and medical treatments that help painful patients meaningful. Nobody has to suffer from his pain. Find a specialist who takes your complaints seriously.

Ensure enough exercise

If an osteoarthritis is diagnosed, do not settle with your illness and do not try by as little exercise and restraint to avoid the pain. Stay mobile! Even if the cartilage damage to the joints can not be reversed, the osteoarthritis can be slowed down or even stopped.

With regular and targeted movement, every patient can do something for the pain themselves. Because the movement produces joint lubrication in the joint, some of which gets into the articular cartilage. The synovial fluid serves to provide nutrients to the articular cartilage and reduces friction in the joint and acts as a fluid shock absorber.

A good muscle also protects the joints from over- and overstressing and relieves them. Cycling, swimming, walking or hiking are the most suitable sports for osteoarthritis of the hip and knee joints, as they keep the joints in motion without overloading them.

Therapeutic measures for pain

With physical therapy measures such as cold and heat applications, you can achieve very good results in pain relief. Keep in mind, however, that all applications should only be carried out in consultation with the attending physician.

  • In acute pain caused by inflammation, cold may help. For this, you can, for example, fill ice cubes in a plastic bag and treat it for several seconds for 30 seconds.
  • Heat tends to help relieve chronic pain, as it has a relaxing, muscle-relaxing effect. In joint diseases heat also increases the metabolic processes in the tissue. The mobility of the joints is increased.
  • But medication is also a useful pain therapy, because no one has to endure his pain.
  • In addition, freedom from pain is important for sensible exercise therapy and natural exercise. Researchers have developed a new generation of painkillers, so-called selective COX-2 inhibitors, that specifically fight pain and are more compatible with the stomach than traditional medicines.

Simple tips for everyday life

Even simple measures help those affected to curb the symptoms: Reduce, if necessary, your body weight, because every kilo too much burdened hip and knee joints. Do not carry heavy things. Avoid prolonged standing and sitting. Wear flat heels and prefer soft shock-absorbing soles.

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