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Wellness and Prevention

To your good health

Whether it’s from occasional overexertion or something more serious, everyone feels joint pain at some time. At Northwest Community Hospital, the question we ask is: How much is it affecting your everyday life?

Common causes of joint pain

  • Age, normal wear and tear
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Bone cancer
  • Bursitis
  • Infection diseases such as Lyme disease
  • Injury
  • Obesity
  • Repetitive motion
  • Sickle Cell disease
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Unusual exertion or overuse

For mild or occasional joint pain, these home treatments might help

If you are suffering from mild or occasional joint pain, here are several treatments you can try at home to help ease the pain.

  • Exercise—Strengthening your muscles helps support your joints and prevents swelling.
  • Weight loss—Dropping even five to 10 pounds reduces stress on your joints.
  • Fish oil supplements—Studies have shown that the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in fish oil may be beneficial.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin—Many people swear by these dietary supplements, although scientific studies vary on their effectiveness.
  • Pain relief creams—These topical creams can provide some relief from occasional pain.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications—Mild joint pain can be relieved by taking ibuprofen (Advil®) or naproxen (Aleve®).
  • Heat or cold—Use ice or cold packs on inflamed or overworked joints, and heat on stiff joints.
  • Alternative therapies—Acupuncture, meditation, yoga, massage and hydrotherapy are all non-traditional methods of pain relief you can try.

When pain becomes a problem

Here are some symptoms that may indicate a joint problem. If you have any of these symptoms, it is probably affecting your everyday life, keeping you from activities you once enjoyed.

  • Persistent pain—“Chronic” pain lasting more than three months
  • Joint pain that starts after an injury that doesn’t go away over time
  • Pain that starts after an infection—Either viral or bacterial
  • Sleeplessness—Waking up during the night due to joint pain
  • Swelling—Inflammation of the joint area
  • Stiffness—When your normal range of motion is restricted
  • Warmth around joint—A sign of inflammation
  • Redness around joint—Usually accompanies warmth, another sign of inflammation
  • Deformity—This may be a symptom of joint disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis

If you have any of these symptoms, we encourage you to see one of our orthopedic experts for a consultation. Whether you need a joint pain diagnosis, hip or knee replacement surgery, treatment for shoulder pain, or just some exercise and medicine to slow the progression of a disease like rheumatoid arthritis, we have the expertise to meet your needs. Call NCH HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968) today for a physician referral.

After joint replacement surgery

At NCH, we want to make sure you stay healthy. We offer a variety of home care services that we prescribe for you once you return home after treatments like hip replacement or knee replacement surgery.

Rehabilitation resources are available at:

Get your FREE Joint Health Kit!

This helpful kit is filled with valuable information to keep your joints pain-free. To order yours, call NCH HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968).

If you are having orthopedic surgery, visit the Patients section for all of the pre-op information you need.

Get the orthopedic care you need. For a physician referral, please call HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968), or view our list of Northwest Community Hospital orthopedic surgeons.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009