How to Treat Inflammation

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Characterized by swelling, pain and redness, inflammation occurs within the joints of the human body and can also affect organ tissues. Conditions such as arthritis, bursitis and autoimmune disorders can all result in inflammation. Often resulting in loss of movement within the affected joint, inflammation represents a protective mechanism initiated by the body in reaction to a virus, bacteria or injury. Treating inflammation leads to increased mobility and the ability to more fully participate in ongoing treatment methods, including therapy.

Things You'll Need

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Supportive device
  • Ice
  • Heating pad
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, to reduce and control the pain associated with the inflammation. See your physician for severe pain not controlled by over-the-counter products. Prescription-strength options exist.

  • Suspend participation in activities that increase pain. Avoid participating in sports or recreational activities that negatively affect relief of inflammation and pain. Ask for assistance with daily responsibilities as needed.

  • Use supportive devices. Wear a brace or sling as directed by your physician to help immobilize the joint and reduce inflammation. Use crutches and canes to help reduce body weight on inflamed joints, including the knees, hips and ankles.

  • Use ice and heat therapy to reduce inflammation. Apply ice or heat to the affected joint. Alternate between the application of heat and ice in order to determine which therapy works best for you. Keep a towel between your skin and the ice pack or heating pad to avoid irritation.

  • Seek the help of a physical therapist. Participate in a physical therapy regimen to help improve joint mobility, strength and flexibility. Utilize the tools and exercises provided on a regular basis to stave off inflammation and pain.

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