Pains in the joints, whether back, ankles, knees, neck or other area can be very detrimental to one's quality of life. Joints pains can have several causes including arthritis, bursitis, sprains or injuries. Those that result from underlying conditions are more common with aging.

The pain can range from short-term (acute) to long-term (chronic). Treatment of joint pains aims at reducing inflammation and maintaining joint function. These include:

1. Home therapy

Home-care treatment of joint pain will involve:

- Covering the joint with a brace depending on the site,e.g, ankle, knee, wrist, back brace/support

- Avoiding activities that cause pain to the joint

- Placing ice on the area or cold treatment.

- Compressing the joint area with a wrap. Heating pads can also help with muscle spasms

- Elevating the joint above the level of the heart to help drain fluids from site and speed up healing

- Low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling. These can release pressure on joints.

2. Ointments

Topical agents that contain Capsaicin can be effective in relieving joint pain. Capsaicin works by triggering the release of endorphins which block pain. Some topical options include methyl salicylate which also aids in pain management in arthritis.

3. Medication

For pain that is moderate or severe, a doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or aspirin which are available over the counter. It is however recommended that pain medication is taken with precaution since they can cause liver damage. Muscle relaxants, antidepressant and antiepileptic drugs can also work in some instances when indicated by a doctor.

4. Injections

Severe conditions  where the pain does not respond to oral or topical medications may require injections. The doctor may inject steroid medication, platelet-rich plasma or an irritant into the joints, tendons and ligaments. 

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