Treatment options for joint pain include medications, such as anti-inflammatory medicines, alternative remedies, physical therapy and exercise. Many options exist for reducing swelling, pain and inflammation associated with acute and chronic joint pain. When prescribing treatments, physicians consider several factors, such as age, severity of injury, amount of pain, swelling and limitation of mobility.
After diagnosing thecause of joint pain, doctors prescribe treatment to provide pain relief, reduce swelling and increase range of motion. For patients with moderate or bothersome pain and swelling, doctors typically recommend non-steroidal anti inflammatory medicines, or NSAIDs. These medications include common brands, such as Advil, Motrin and Aleve. Patients canreceive them with or without prescriptions, and they generally experience adequate pain relief, according to WebMD.
Some medicines, however, have greater risks of side effects, such as internal bleeding and cardiovascular problems. Patients opposed to traditional medicines, or for those who cannot take them due to other illnesses, canseek relief from other sources. Topical creams and gels may produce relief from symptoms; these items may include the same ingredients as traditional NSAIDs but areapplied directly to the skin rather than requiring ingestion. This direct application may make them more effective for fast pain relief. Topical treatments may reduce the risk of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular distress, but carry a small risk of skin reactions and allergies, as stated by the Arthritis Foundation.