Self-Care Strategies for Joint Pain Care

Joint Pain Care Ooltewah, TN

Joint pain care can improve your quality of life, making it easier to complete daily tasks and providing freedom from chronic pain and discomfort. Fortunately, we can recommend self-care techniques to further our treatment at home. Check out some common self-care strategies for joint pain management.

RICE and similar methods

The RICE method can help reduce inflammation from joint-related injuries. It can also help with acute joint pain the patient experiences for less than six consecutive months. RICE stands for:

  • Rest. Try to use the joint as little as possible, limit any strenuous and weight-bearing activities, and repetitive movements
  • Ice the area. Apply an ice pack to the joint several times a day for about 15 to 20 minutes each time
  • Compression. Compressing the area can be done with compression bandages, sleeves, gloves, or socks, among other items
  • Elevate. Elevating the joint above heart level is recommended; patients may lie down and prop up the affected joint on pillows 

It is important to remember that patients sometimes need to customize the RICE method for their joint pain. Not all joint pain subsides with icing. For example, chronic joint pain is better served by heating pads and compression. Resting will remain important, but elevation will be less so. A chiropractor can discuss how to tailor RICE to the patient’s specific condition.

Carefully stretch the area

Stretching can help with chronic or acute joint pain and restore range of motion. According to Harvard Medical School, stretching the muscles around the joint on a regular basis helps prevent them from shrinking, which could cause more pain, even less mobility, weight gain, trouble walking, and a lack of balance. However, start slowly with simple stretches to avoid straining the joint.

Since any joint can cause pain and discomfort, consider consulting a chiropractor who will create a stretching routine tailored to the patient. These routines will be adjusted as the joint becomes more flexible and mobile.

Try to get active

Staying active is a key part of joint pain care. Similar to stretching, staying or becoming active helps restore mobility to the joint and strengthens the muscles around it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other benefits include improved brain function, bone health, and sleep. It may also result in weight loss, which can remove some pressure on arthritic joints or stressed joints (like the hip).

That said, certain types of exercise and exercising too much can worsen joint pain. Take it as slow as the joint needs and start with low-impact exercises, such as biking, walking, or swimming. 

Protect the joint

Joint protection can be as simple as resting when pain and other symptoms flare up. Joint pain can be frustrating, but pushing through it can cause larger issues down the road. Other ways to protect the joints include warming up before exercising and eating foods that promote joint health, like dark, leafy vegetables and foods high in antioxidants.

Work on improving posture

Correcting posture can realign the spine and relieve pressure on painful joints. At work, this may involve improving the ergonomics of the workspace by getting a chair, desk, and keyboard setup that does not cause the patient to hunch over or antifatigue mats for better support. Patients may do posture-correcting exercises and stretches at home, such as chin tucks, planks, bird dog exercises, and cat and cow stretches. Posture-corrector braces can also be effective.

Invest in your health with a professional

A chiropractor can assist in easing joint pain that stems from a wide range of conditions, be it a repetitive motion injury, arthritis, or anything in between. They can also provide sports rehabilitation and sometimes work with physical therapists to provide more comprehensive joint pain care.

Either way, a chiropractor’s approach is known as regenerative medicine, which strives to use the body’s ability to heal itself to help with joint pain. This may include chiropractic adjustments to realign the spine or other areas of the body, at-home exercises and stretches to restrengthen the joint and improve range of motion, or over-the-counter medications and topical treatments to ease pain and discomfort.

Get personalized joint pain care

Joint pain can be hard to ignore. The good news is that a chiropractor will work to restore mobility and comfort. To learn more about joint pain care, schedule an appointment with our Ooltewah team today.

Request an appointment here: https://sjrm-tn.com or call Spine & Joint Regenerative Medicine at (423) 424-1529 for an appointment in our Ooltewah office.

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