- Weight loss – Losing weight can help alleviate stress and pressure on your joints
- Exercise – Regular exercise and activity can help keep your joints loose and flexible
- Physical therapy – Physical therapists can work with you to identify stretches, exercises, and movements to help alleviate stress and pressure in your joints
- Ice and heat – Alternating the application of ice and heat to your joints can help alleviate arthritis pain
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers can provide temporary relief from minor arthritis pain.
OTC pain relievers come in many forms. Some are taken orally in pill, capsule, or liquid form, and include medicines containing acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Our Pain Reliever Assessment will help you identify personal risk factors that you can discuss with your healthcare professional to find the right oral OTC pain reliever for you.
There are also OTC topical pain relievers, which are applied to the skin. Common active ingredients in these medicines include diclofenac sodium, capsaicin, menthol, and methyl salicylate.
When taking OTC pain relievers, it is important to understand that each medicine has potential side effects and interactions with other drugs. Always read the Drug Facts label on the medicine’s bottle or packaging to determine whether you have any risk factors related to the medicine’s active ingredients.
OTC medicines can provide safe and effective relief for mild to moderate pain. However, they aren’t meant to treat chronic pain conditions on a consistent or long-term basis, unless as directed by your healthcare professional.