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How to Effectively Manage Joint Pain at Home

Managing Arthritis at Home

In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, most Californians are following shelter-in-place orders to help prevent the spread of the virus and to protect their families and communities. However, there is still the need to get exercise in, and many of us have found ourselves doing do-it-yourself projects around the house, gardening, or other hobbies to keep us occupied. As a result, our current environment does not eliminate the need for orthopedic care for arthritic conditions and chronic pain. While many aches and pains can be ignored, those affecting weight-bearing joints can get in the way of performing daily activities and can negatively affect your quality of life.

If your hip or knee replacement surgery has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some helpful tips from Newport Orthopedic Institute hip & knee surgeons to help you ease your joint pain while you wait to get your surgery rescheduled.

Apply a Cold Compress

If you experience a sudden onset of swelling and redness to your joint after exercise or activity, applying ice or a cold compress can reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain related to arthritis. Applying ice has the opposite effect of applying heat, as it reduces blood flow to the area.

Use a Heating Pad

Applying a heating pad to the affected joint can actually help to relax the muscles and alleviate joint stiffness surrounding your knee or hip, effectively relieving your joint pain. This is because heat allows blood to flow more freely to the joint. Applying heat before an activity is a great way to warm up joints to avoid further injury. Some people may benefit from alternating between heat and cold therapy.

Practice Dynamic Stretching

Contrary to the popular belief that you should take it easy and sit still when experiencing joint pain, it can worsen your joint pain in the long-run. When living with chronic pain, getting regular low-impact exercise, like yoga and other forms of dynamic or “active” stretching, helps to keep your joints mobile and to support the muscles surrounding the area that support it. Dynamic stretching mimics movements used in various sports or activities, in effect, preparing the body for a given activity by helping to increase blood flow and muscle temperature. Review Prevention’s article on the “7 Best Stretches for Arthritis Pain.”

Manage Your Stress Levels

When your body is stressed, it has a physical response to the stress hormone called cortisol—causing your muscles to tense up as a way to safeguard your body from pain and injury. When exposed to stress hormones for long periods of time, this can exacerbate the pain associated with chronic pain.

For those living with chronic pain, it is important to find healthy coping mechanisms to keep your stress levels under control. Try incorporating some of these techniques into your everyday routine to manage your stress levels:

  • Get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep.
  • Practice meditation or yoga.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Practice journaling.
  • Spend virtual time with loved ones.

Pain Management Services in Newport Beach, CA

At Newport Orthopedic Institute, we understand that patients living with persistent pain still need quality orthopedic care, regardless of the current COVID-19 outbreak. If your hip or knee replacement surgery has been delayed due to the pandemic, we are still offering steroid injections to help alleviate your pain for the time being. Your physician can determine if steroid injections are right for you & your individual injury.

Elective surgeries have started to resume for candidates who do not fall into the high-risk sector.

Call your Orthopedic Surgeon at Newport Orthopedic Institute to see if you are a candidate for elective surgery.

Telehealth Orthopedic Services

We also understand that our patients may have questions and concerns surrounding their condition or course of treatment, but would rather limit face-to-face interaction. NOI is offering Telehealth orthopedic care solutions for a fast, secure, and easy way to receive pain management care with your orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine doctor or pain management specialist.

To schedule a virtual orthopedic appointment, call Newport Orthopedic Institute or fill out our Telehealth appointment request form.