What Is The Most Effective Way To Treat Joint Pain?

medication for joint pain

Joint pain is a common ailment that can cause long-term discomfort and impact your activities of daily living. The type and severity of joint pain will depend on the underlying cause. In some cases, it can be treated with over-the-counter medication for joint pain or rest. However, if you have persistent joint pain, you may need treatment from a doctor to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

 In this guide, we’ll explore different types of arthritis and how they affect your joints, as well as treatments for each type (including non-drug approaches) so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you!

Heat and ice

While heat and ice can both be effective in reducing your pain, they work differently. Heat increases blood flow to the area which helps loosen stiff muscles and reduce inflammation. Ice works by numbing the nerve endings in your body, which helps to decrease pain signals sent to your brain.

Heat is best applied using a moist heating pad or hot water bottle wrapped in a towel or cloth (not directly on the skin). You should use heat every day for 20 minutes at a time until you feel relief from joint pain. If you have a reaction such as burning or blisters when applying heat to an area of your body, discontinue use immediately because this may indicate an allergy or irritation from the product being used; try switching out products if frequent reactions occur over time.”

Ice should be applied on top of clothing after wrapping with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t leak onto other parts of your body while cooling down joints causing discomfort.”


Acetaminophen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that has been shown to help reduce pain. It is commonly known as Tylenol, and it’s one of the most common medications used to treat arthritis pain. 

Acetaminophen works by reducing your body’s production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause inflammation and swelling. If you’re experiencing joint pain due to an injury or overuse, taking acetaminophen may be helpful in alleviating your symptoms.

Acetaminophen can also be used for muscle aches and pains associated with exercise or overexertion—it doesn’t matter whether you work out at the gym or just do housework all day long! This medication does not contain any steroids; instead, it works by decreasing the number of certain chemicals produced in the body that cause inflammation and redness around injured areas like joints or muscles.

medication for joint pain

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs are the most common medication for joint pain and can be bought over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. They’re generally safe and effective, but there are some important side effects to know about.

  • NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation, bleeding and ulcers.
  • NSAIDs can cause kidney damage in some people (usually those who have existing kidney problems).
  • NSAIDs can cause liver damage (again, usually in people with existing liver problems).

Steroid shots

If you’re looking for a short-term solution to treat your joint pain, steroid shots may be an option. Steroid injections are generally considered safe and effective when administered by trained professionals. One study of over 21,000 people with osteoarthritis found that those who received steroid injections had less pain and improved function compared to those who did not receive the treatment. However, they do come with some risks:

  • Pain: The injection itself can be painful if it’s placed incorrectly or in the wrong area of your body—it can also cause tenderness or swelling for up to a week after receiving it.
  • Cost: While most people pay out-of-pocket for these services because insurance doesn’t cover them, prices vary depending on where you live and how many times per year you get an injection (usually ranging from $50-$100).
  • Side effects: Side effects from steroids include weight gain/loss; increased blood sugar levels; mood swings; insomnia; breast enlargement in men; acne breakouts; thinning hair on the head or face; muscle weakness/pain at injection sites (this goes away once steroids stop being injected).

Exercises and physical therapy

Exercises can be an effective way to manage joint pain. The exercises you choose should depend on the type of joint pain you are experiencing, as well as your fitness level and ability to move around.

Experts recommend that people with osteoarthritis do aerobic exercise such as walking or jogging for 30 minutes at least three days a week on nonconsecutive days. They also recommend resistance training two to three times per week, including exercises such as those found in yoga, Pilates and tai chi.

Alternative therapies

If you’re looking for an alternative way to treat your joint pain, there are a few options available. Alternative therapies include acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga. While these methods do not provide immediate relief from pain like traditional medications do, they can help you manage your symptoms over time.

Acupuncture is one of the most common alternative therapies used for treating arthritis in patients who are experiencing chronic pain in their joints. It involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body so as to stimulate energy flow that may help reduce inflammation and improve mobility in affected areas (such as fingers or knees). Massage therapy also works well for many people with arthritis because it involves physically manipulating tight muscles through techniques such as deep tissue massage or trigger point release therapy (TPR).

When treating your joint pain, it’s important to consider the side effects of your medication, alternative therapies, and other treatments. Medications and supplements can have different side effects including stomach pain, heartburn, and diarrhea. Other treatments such as physical therapy can help you stay active while decreasing inflammation and pain.

Some alternative therapies may not be safe for everyone while others can cause serious side effects if used incorrectly or without a doctor’s supervision. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that some patients who take NSAIDs for more than two weeks may experience bleeding ulcers or internal bleeding which in rare cases could lead to death. Acetaminophen is another option for reducing arthritis symptoms but the NIH warns against using this over-the-counter drug for longer than 10 days at a time since it has been linked with liver damage.

Steroid shots are injected into areas affected by inflammation to reduce swelling but they also come with potential side effects like headaches or dizziness due to their immune system suppressing properties that protect against infection but weaken defenses against viruses like influenza A(H1N1).


With so many treatment options available, it can be difficult to know what will work best for you. It’s important to talk with your doctor about your symptoms and lifestyle before starting a new medication or treatment plan. If you do decide on an alternative therapy like acupuncture or chiropractic care, make sure that these treatments are covered under your insurance plan. The most important thing is to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for treating joint pain—there are many different treatments available that may help ease symptoms in specific situations, so don’t give up if something doesn’t work! Be patient and keep trying until you get the best medication for joint pain.