Other Arthritis Treatments for Pain Relief
For temporary pain relief, your healthcare provider may recommend that you use warm towels, hot packs, or a warm bath or shower. In some cases, cold packs (such as a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel) can relieve pain or numb the sore area. If you have poor circulation, do not use cold packs.
The decision to use either heat or cold for arthritis pain depends on the type of arthritis and should be discussed with your doctor or physical therapist.
Other pain-relief options may include:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Joint care
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
A small TENS device that directs mild electric pulses to nerve endings in the painful area may relieve some arthritis pain. TENS seems to work by blocking pain messages to the brain and by modifying pain perception.
Using a splint or a brace to allow joints to rest and protect them from injury can be helpful. Splints should be used only for limited periods, however, since joints and muscles need to be exercised to prevent stiffness and weakness. Using a cane can also help by protecting and taking pressure off of joints. A doctor or a physical or occupational therapist can help a person choose a splint or cane and make sure it fits properly.
Some people find that relaxation techniques, stress reduction, and biofeedback help. Other ways to reduce stress on joints include self-help devices (for example, zipper pullers, long-handled shoe horns, etc.); devices to help with getting on and off chairs, toilet seats, and beds; and changes in the ways that a person carries out daily activities.