Joint pain is a general term. The management of joint pain depends on what is causing the joint pain. For example, a patient may present with osteoarthritis of the knee. Initial management may include symptomatic relief with analgesia and NSAIDs, modification of activity, exercise prescription together with weight loss if indicated.
Whilst another patient may also come to you complaining of knee joint pain. However, the underlying cause/mechanism of injury could be completely different. This patient may be experiencing knee pain because of dislocating the patella during a game of netball. Therefore, the management of this knee joint pain will be quite different to that of osteoarthritis. Due to the acute nature of the injury, investigations such as an x-ray may be warranted to rule out fractures. Depending on the pain the patient may require aids for mobilising for the first few days after the incident. Pain relief and taping the knee joint may help to decrease pain and increase stability around the knee joint. Long term management would include a specific strengthening program.
As you can see joint pain is varied and there could be a number of reasons why you are experiencing pain in a particular joint, that is why a thorough assessment by a physiotherapist is important. The physiotherapist can work out why it is you may be experiencing pain in a particular joint and deliver specific hands on treatment (joint mobilisations, myofascial release, passive joint movements) as well as prescribe a specific exercise program to help manage your joint pain.
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