Pain Management

Finding ways to manage your pain

When dealing with a chronic or long-term condition such as osteoarthritis, pain management strategies are essential.

Chronic pain can lead to:

  • Changes in the nerve cells
    • Muscle tension
    • Fatigue, insomnia
    • Mood changes such as stress, fear, and anger
    • Relationship issues

    Research supports the use of medicine strategies to treat osteoarthritis pain Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about what strategies are right for you. Medicine strategies include:

    • Topical creams (capsaicin, diclofenac)
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol Arthritis Formula)
    • NSAIDS (naproxyn, diclofenac, Celebrex)
    • Opioids (Tramadol)
    • Intra-articular injections (cortisone, hyaluronic acid)
    • Nutritional supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamins, minerals)

    Non-medication and alternative strategies to manage your pain

    • Exercise (range of motion, strength, flexibility, aerobic)
    • Diet
    • Acupuncture
    • Footwear, orthoses, insoles
    • Walking aids
    • Thermotherapy: ice, heat
    • Complementary therapies: acupuncture, massage, chiropractor

    Take your medication wiselyAlways remember to discuss possible side effects with your doctor.  Don't try to control your pain through medication alone.  Medication works best when you also manage your pain through lifestyle changes like eating well and exercising regularly.

    Don’t ignore your emotional healthIt is natural to feel grief or depression when you are diagnosed with a chronic condition like osteoarthritis. Some of the common symptoms are feelings of isolation, helplessness, and loss. Talk to your doctor if you suspect that you may be experiencing feelings of depression.

    Manage your stressDealing with a chronic condition like osteoarthritis can lead to increased stress. It is important to manage your stress in healthy, productive ways such as:

    • Breathing
    • Stretching
    • Relaxing your muscles
    • Doing yoga, tai chi, chi qong


    Learn more about strategies for managing your pain:

    Learn more about managing sleep and stress:

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