Living With Joint Pain

Ways to find relief from chronic joint pain

Joint Pain Relief

Joint Pain Is Surprisingly Common



Arthritis Pain Relief


Percent of Men Taking A Prescription Medication for Joint Pain Relief


Percent of Americans With Joint Pain

Millions of Americans With Arthritis

While you may feel like you’re alone with joint pain, it is a surprisingly common affliction, with some 44% of Americans indicating that they have suffered from painful joints at some time in the past three months. It’s not surprising then, that many seek joint pain relief. Over The Counter Medication Survey, Jan, 2003. Retrieved Jun-17-2014 from the iPOLL Databank, The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut.


Percent of Women Taking a Prescription for Joint Pain Relief


Percent of Arthritis Sufferers Under Age 65

Thousands of American Children With Arthritis

Joint Pain

Five Common Symptoms Accompanying Joint Pain

inflamation – a generalized hot feeling in the affected area
swelling – enlargement of the affected area and sometimes the surrounding tissue
redness – a red discoloration of the affected area
muscle cramps – tightness in the muscles around the affected joint

Common Joint Pain Locations
knee pain is the most common form of joint pain knee pain The most common joint pain complaint is knee pain.  In fact, Google receives more than 90,000 searches per month for the term “knee pain.” Injuries are the primary cause of a complaint of knee pain. These can include sudden injuries such as a twist or dislocation, as well as repetitive use injuries such as those incurred while running on hard surfaces. Pain, swelling and stiffness are common symptoms that accompany knee pain. Clicking inside the joint can also occur. Because of the complexity of the knee joint with its confluence of bone, ligament, major blood vessels and cartilage as well as the fact that it is a weight-bearing joint, the knee is among the most susceptible to injury and continuing joint pain complaints. In addition to injuries, osteoarthritis accounts for the second major cause of knee pain.  Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that causes a gradual erosion in cartilage, resulting in painful bone-on-bone contact in the affected joint.  Osteoarthritis in the knee can be helped with regular exercise as well as weight-loss if you are overweight.   shoulder pain  Bursitis and rotator cuff injuries including rotator cuff tendonitis and a torn rotator cuff represent the bulk of shoulder pain causes. This painful condition can make it hard to move your arm, especially to lift it laterally over your head. Additional causes of shoulder pain include frozen shoulder, shoulder dislocation, and other forms of tendonitis, such as calcific tendonitis. Effective treatments for shoulder pain caused by injury include rest as well as application of alternating heat and cold therapies to assist with inflammation and swelling. Other common joint pain locations are: hand, fingers hip, ankle, toes, and elbow.
Joint Pain Causes You Haven't Considered

shoulder pain is another common complaint for those experiencing joint painMost often, joint pain is associated with arthritis.  While arthritis can be a common cause, it is helpful to know which of the many kinds of arthritis are to blame. Arthritis is actually a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that can affect people of all ages, races and genders. Types of arthritis include Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Juvenile Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Psoriatic Arthritis, Gout and Sjögren’s Syndrome among others.

There are also a number of other potential causes. Although not exhaustive, this list represents conditions most commonly associated with joint pain.  Consult your physician to be certain of the cause of your joint pain and to find the best joint pain relief.

  • Broken bone
  •  Bursitis
  •  Dislocation
  •  Gout
  •  Lupus
  •  Sprains and strains
  •  Tendinitis
freedom from joint pain

Joint Pain Treatment Options

Joint Pain Relief

Popular Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications for Joint Pain Treatment

There are a number of first-line treatment options for someone experiencing mild or episodic joint pain. Your local pharmacy or grocery store will have a number of options available.  Be mindful of any drug interactions with prescriptions you are already taking. If in doubt, consult a pharmacist. Aspirin – Although extended use can cause stomach problems, including bleeding, aspirin is an effective analgesic. Ibuprofen – sold under the commercial names of Advil and Motrin, ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anagesic that reduces inflamation. Naproxen Sodium – sold under the commercial name Aleve, naproxen sodium is also a non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drug (NSAID) that is a preferred choice for patients who have cardiovascular risk factors.

Common Prescription Medications Used To Treat Joint Pain

COX-2 Inhibitors (Celebrex) – this class of NSAIDs has been almost eliminated from use due to increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Opioids – includes drugs such as morphine and oxycontin. Limited in use because of addictive properties. Anti-Depressants – due to the chronic nature of joint pain and associated illnesses, depression can be a concern. A number of depression medications can be used and have also shown success in reducing depression associated pain.

Surgical Solutions To Joint Pain

Joint Replacement – involves the removal of the damaged joint and replacement with a mechanical joint, often made of stainless steel. Recovery can take six to eight weeks or more depending upon the affected joint and any complications suffered during or after surgery. Fluid Removal – via hypodermic needle, fluid removal can help to relieve pressure in joints. Steriodal Injections – commonly performed in a physician’s office, these injections can provide short-term relief through reduction in swelling and inflamation.


Natural Joint Pain Relief

Joint Pain Supplements To Include In Your Treatment Regimen

Individuals are often in search of natural joint pain remedies to provide relief while avoiding side-effects.  The following joint pain supplements have been scientifically proven to provide relief equal to or better than some OTC and prescription medications. Condroitin – a naturally occurring substance in connective tissues in people and animals, condroitin is recommended as a treatment for osteoarthritis. Glucosamine – often given in concert with condroitin, glucosamine has shown more signficant promise as a joint relief supplement. Taken as glucosamine sulfate, this supplement is thought to help repair joint damage brought on by arthritis. Turmeric – a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine and the pigment that gives mustard its characteristic yellow color, turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory properties. SAM-e – a synthetic form of a naturally occurring chemical in the body, SAM-e has been shown to be at least as effective as NSAID-type medications, without the related side effects and with more prolonged benefits. Additionally taking vitamins B12, B6, and folate.

Effective Topicals In Providing Joint Pain Relief

Heat/Cold Therapy – the use of alternating heat and cold on the affected area has the joint effect of reducing swelling and de-sensitizing the pain receptors, thereby reducing the pain. A recommended regimen is alternating the application of heat (a microwave rice pack, hot water bottle, or electric blanket) and cold (ice pack or ice cubes) every five minutes for 30 minutes, three times a day. Capsasin – the active component in chili pepers, capsasin has an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. It is used in topical creams to provide a warming sensation as described above. Arnica Oil – with properties similar to Capsasin, Arnica delivers heat to the affected area.


How Exercise Can Provide Relief From Joint Pain

Exercise may seem unrealistic when coping with joint pain, but as contradictory as it may sound, exercise provides a host of benefits to those suffering from joint pain. Exercise improves circulation in the affected area, which can reduce the swelling associated with some joint pain by washing out toxins.  Additionally, endorphins are released through exercise and have been proven to blunt the pain response. Finally, if you are overweight, exercise is a great way to reduce your weight. Reducing your weight decreases the amount of stress on weight-bearing joints, allowing them to heal more effectively. The following exercises are particularly good for those suffering from joint pain because they are low-impact. Always check with your doctor before staring an exercise regimen and ask which exercise might be right for your condition.





Weight Bearing Exercises


any movement, no matter how small, can help

Nutrition Changes You Can Make To Improve Joint Flexibility and Decrease Joint Pain

The following foods are part of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet and have been identified to have an anti-inflamatory effect, possibly reducing inflammation in the joints:

Fatty Fish

Whole Grains

Dark Leafy Greens



Low Fat Dairy




Ginger & Turmeric

Garlic & Onions

Olive Oil


Tart Cherries


Prescription use for joint pain
Kaiser Women’s Health Survey, Jul, 2004. Retrieved Jul-10-2014 from the iPOLL Databank, The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut.
Joint Pain Occurance
CBS News Poll, Jan, 2003. Retrieved Jul-10-2014 from the iPOLL Databank, The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut.
TurmericConrozier, T. (2014). A complex of three natural anti-inflammatory agents provides relief of osteoarthritis pain. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 32.
Nieman, D. (2013). A commercialized dietary supplement alleviates joint pain in community adults: A double-blind, placebo-controlled community trial. NUTRITION JOURNAL.

CondroitinRecommendations offered for reducing joint pain with chondroitin sulfate. (2003, 04). Pain & Central Nervous System Week, p. 48.
Sakai, K. (2007). Chondroitin sulfate N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase-1 plays a critical role in chondroitin sulfate synthesis in cartilage. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, (6), 4152.
Gabay, C. (2011). Symptomatic Effects of Chondroitin 4 and Chondroitin 6 Sulfate on Hand Osteoarthritis A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial at a Single Center. ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM, (11), 3383-3391.

Two trials presented at rheumatology meeting support use of glucosamine for joint pain. (2005, 12). Health & Medicine Week, p. 1183.
Ruane, R. (2002). Glucosamine therapy compared to ibuprofen for joint pain. British Journal of Community Nursing, (3), 148.
Miller, D. (2003). Clinical inquiries. Does glucosamine relieve arthritis joint pain? The Journal of Family Practice, (8), 645.

Ringdahl, E. (2011). Treatment of knee osteoarthritis. American Family Physician, (11), 1287.
John R. Jr. (2004). Joint project.(Pills of Wisdom)(SAM-e may help with joint pain)(Brief Article). Men’s Health, (2), 64.
Clouatre, Dallas. (2000). SAM-E: THE ULTIMATE METHYL DONOR.(S-adenosyl-L-methionine). Health Products Business, (1), 5.


Xu, Z. (2011). Resolvins are potent analgesics for arthritic pain. BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY, (2), 274-277.
Andelman, S. (1983). Etodolac, aspirin, and placebo in patients with degenerative joint disease: A twelve-week study. Clinical Therapeutics, (6), 651.
Di Lorenzo, L. (2011). Managing osteoarthritis and joint pain at work: Helping the primary care physician educate patients who rely on non-prescription NSAIDs. Giornale Italiano Di Medicina Del Lavoro Ed Ergonomia, (2), 193.


Ruane, R. (2002). Glucosamine therapy compared to ibuprofen for joint pain. British Journal of Community Nursing, (3), 148.
Brune, K. (2011). Paracetamol, ibuprofen, or a combination of both drugs against knee pain: An excellent new randomised clinical trial answers old questions and suggests new therapeutic recommendations. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, (9), 1521.

Naproxen Sodium

Goldberg, M. (1988). Naproxen sodium: Comparative efficacy and tolerability of two dosages for pain after joint surgery. Orthopedics, (4), 575.
Code, W. (1994). Preoperative naproxen sodium reduces postoperative pain following arthroscopic knee surgery. Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia = Journal Canadien D’anesthésie, (2), 98.
Telhag, H. (1981). A double-blind comparative evaluation of tolmetin versus naproxen in osteoarthritis. Current Medical Research and Opinion, (6), 392.

CoX-2 Inhibitor

Samad, T. (2001). Interleukin-1 beta-mediated induction of Cox-2 in the CNS contributes to inflammatory pain hypersensitivity. NATURE, (6827), 471-475.
Ekman, Evan F. (2006). The COX-2 specific inhibitor valdecoxib versus tramadol in acute ankle sprain: A multicenter randomized, controlled trial. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, (6), 945.
Lo, Vincent. (2006). When should COX-2 selective NSAIDs be used for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?(CLINICAL INQUIRIES). Journal of Family Practice, (3), 260.


Fudin, Jeffrey. (2011). Opioid pain management: Balancing risks and benefits.(AN ONGOING CE PROGRAM OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT SCHOOL OF PHARMACY AND DRUG TOPICS)(Report). Drug Topics, (9), 46.


Bogduk, N. (2004). Management of chronic low back pain. The Medical Journal of Australia, (2), 79.
Rico-Villademoros, F. (2010). Reasons for prescription of serotonin receptor 2A-blocking antidepressants may confound the association between their use and the occurrence of joint disorders: Comment on the article by Kling et al. ARTHRITIS CARE & RESEARCH, (5), 744-744.
Bannwarth, B. (2005). Antidepressants in rheumatic disorders: Do they act as analgesics or antidepressants? JOINT BONE SPINE, (5), 351-353.

Joint Replacement

Lewis, J. (2013). A predictive model for knee joint replacement in older women. PloS One, (12), E83665.
Curtis, A. (2011). Determining priority for joint replacement: Comparing the views of orthopaedic surgeons and other professionals. The Medical Journal of Australia, (11-12), 699.


Rogachefsky, R. (1997). Synovial chondromatosis of the distal radioulnar joint: A case report. JOURNAL OF HAND SURGERY-AMERICAN VOLUME, (6), 1093-1097.
Doward, David A. (2006). Synovial Chondromatosis in an Elite Cyclist: A Case Report.(Report). Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, (6), 860.

Steriodal Injections

Gaujoux-Viala, C. (2009). Efficacy and safety of steroid injections for shoulder and elbow tendonitis: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, (12), 1843.
Dincer, U. (2007). Caudal epidural injection versus non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of low back pain accompanied with radicular pain. JOINT BONE SPINE, (5), 467-471.
Pereira, P. (2000). Corticosteroid injections of the sacroiliac joints at MR-unit: Preliminary results. JOURNAL DE RADIOLOGIE, (3), 223-226.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Schlesinger, N. (2002). Local ice therapy during bouts of acute gouty arthritis. JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY, (2), 331-334.
Lane, Elaine. (2009). Managing pain using heat and cold therapy: Elaine Lane and Tracy Latham discuss the benefits of using non-pharmacological interventions to help improve children’s experience of pain in hospital settings.(Clinical)(Report). Paediatric Nursing, (6), 14.


Lehoux, C. (2011). Pain, sensory function, and neurogenic inflammatory response in young women with low mood. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, (3), 241.
Argoff, C. (2013). Topical analgesics in the management of acute and chronic pain. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, (2), 195.
Chu, K. (2011). TRPV1-related modulation of spinal neuronal activity and behavior in a rat model of osteoarthritic pain. BRAIN RESEARCH, 158-166.

Arnica Oil

Herschoff, Asa. (1997). Sprains and strains: Ease discomfort and speed recovery of common joint pain with remedies like Arnica, Rhus tox, and mustard seed extract. (includes related information). Let’s Live, (12), 75.
Brinkhaus, B. (2006). Homeopathic arnica therapy in patients receiving knee surgery: Results of three randomised double-blind trials. COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES IN MEDICINE, (4), 237-246.
Kučera, M. (2011). Arnica/Hydroxyethyl salicylate combination spray for ankle distortion: A four-arm randomised double-blind study. Pain Research and Treatment, 365625.


Boyle, K. (2011). Managing a Female Patient with Left Low Back Pain and Sacroiliac Joint Pain with Therapeutic Exercise: A Case Report. PHYSIOTHERAPY CANADA, (2), 154-163.
Exercise helps ease joint pain for women with breast cancer. (2014). CANCER, (8), 1133-1133.
Lim, H. (2005). Effects of home-based daily exercise therapy on joint mobility, daily activity, pain, and depression in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. RHEUMATOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, (3), 225-229.
Brudvig, T. (2011). The effect of therapeutic exercise and mobilization on patients with shoulder dysfunction : A systematic review with meta-analysis. The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, (10), 734.

Anti-Inflamation Diet
S. Palmer, Putting the brakes on inflammation through diet and lifestyle strategies, Environmental Nutr., 32 (2009), p. 1 6 Accessed August 27, 2010Zhang, Wei ; Dai, Sheng – Ming, Mechanisms involved in the therapeutic effects of Paeonia lactiflora Pallas in rheumatoid arthritis, International Immunopharmacology, Sept, 2012, Vol.14(1), p.27(5)

Van Der Tempel, Hille ; Tulleken, Jacob E. ; Limburg, Pieter C. ; Muskiet, Frits A. J. ; Van Rijswijk, Martin H., Effects of fish oil supplementation in rheumatoid arthritis, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Feb, 1990, Vol.49(2), p.76(5)