Chronic Muscle & Joint Pain

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Chronic pain of the muscles and/or joints can be among the most uncomfortable and debilitating conditions to live with. Chronic pain is tedious and generally lasting longer than three months because muscles and ligaments provide the body with its natural ability to move and function and must be used often. Proper diagnosis, understanding and treatment are essential to combating the symptoms that result from chronic pain.

Diagnosis

Chronic pain is usually diagnosed by a doctor or physician. While each case and type will vary, chronic forms of muscle and ligament pain are typically severe enough to render average, over-the-counter painkillers ineffective. Physical therapy, surgery and prescription medicine are conventional options given to those diagnosed with chronic pain.

Causes

The most common causes of chronic joint and muscle pain are inflammation and injuries like bone breaks and fractures. These often come in the form sports-related injuries like tendonitis and tendonosis (muscle and joint strain caused by sprains or ligament atrophy). Wearing shoes too small or without proper padding can easily lead to chronic foot muscle pain over time. People with arthritis often experience some form of chronic pain due to age and the natural decline of their joints. Additionally, complications involving bones, such as compound fractures, often result in casts and prolonged discomfort.

Treatment

A doctor will likely prescribe physical therapy and/or prescription painkillers to prevent muscle atrophy and dull pain. Other forms of treatment might include surgery to realign bones or replace torn muscle. A cast may be also be used to prevent excess activity around the affected area. Follow your doctor’s advice, and do not attempt to use the affected joint or muscle more than he suggests. This will speed recovery and decrease the amount of pain caused.

Homeopathy

Several people have turned to homeopathic treatments to help with chronic pain. If this is a method prescribed to you by your therapist or doctor, there are several different methods of homeopathy to consider. Aromatherapy that includes lavender, chamomile or lemon grass has been known to relax muscles and promote relaxation. Acupuncture and friction massage can be performed by a professional therapist to dull pain.

Once proper treatment has been used and pain begins to dull, there are a few home remedies that can be self-administered. Freezing a bottle three-quarters full of water and rolling it along the affected area dulls pain and prevents inflammation. Additionally, light massages can be self-administered to the hands, feet, arms, legs and shoulders by applying cream or oil and using circular rubbing motions with your hands to stimulate nerves.

Prevention/Solution

Prevention will always be the best form of treatment for chronic pain. Wear proper-fitting shoes with padding if you are on your feet for long periods of time. Do not ignore muscle or joint pain if it lasts more than a few minutes. Never attempt to physically exert a muscle or joint if it is causing discomfort. Wear proper padding, gear and protection if you are involved in sports or activities that include high levels of physical activity. Exercise and stretch daily for 30 to 60 minutes to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and prevent injury.

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