Medical professionals differentiate between chronic joint pain due to wear or attrition, and acute pain due to injury. Whatever the source, managing joint pain properly facilitates recovery, prevents additional health complications and improves the overall quality of life.
Body joints that can experience pain are ankle, knee, elbow, wrist, thumb – also spine or back pain.
Causes of joint pain can be either muscular/tendons/ligament, nerve or bone/meniscus/cartilage related.
Muscular, tendons, ligament or nerve injuries can be from an acute injury such as a tear, twist or sprain or may be chronic pain from inflammation or an overuse syndrome.
Bone, meniscus or cartilage related injuries may be from an acute injury such as a fracture or chronic such as arthritis where the bone/cartilage deteriorates and doesn’t move easily anymore.
An acute injury should be managed with the R.I.C.E.R method in the first 24-48 hours. A support or brace can then be used to assist return to mobility.
Ice (20 minutes on 20 minutes off for 24-48 hours – do not put ice/ice pack directly on skin – have a towel in between)
Compression – use a compression bandage such as Nexcare™ No Hurt Wrap – ensure it is not done too tightly. Check circulation in extremity. This will assist in reduction of swelling.
Elevate – keep injured joint elevated to assist reduction of swelling
Refer – to a Health Care Professional for assessment and treatment