Arthritis is inflammation of one, or usually several, joints which causes tenderness and severe pain in joints. There are many different types of arthritis. The most common is osteoarthritis, which is caused by damage or wear and tear, affecting the smooth, shiny cartilage that covers the end of the bones where they come into contact. The term arthritis is used to describe changes in the joints which may be either inflammatory or degenerative in character. If only one joint is affected the condition is referred to as monoarticular arthritis; if several joints are involved it is called polyarticular arthritis or polyarthritis (Greek: poly= many). The affected joints become stiff and painful, and in time the bone around them becomes roughened and knobby. This happens to some extent to all of us, but in a small minority the osteoarthritis becomes severe and crippling. Massaging is often a sought after option in pain therapy in arthritis. Massage therapy can not only soothe pain, relax stiff muscles, and reduce the swelling that accompanies arthritis. The underlying mechanism being that massage and gentle stretching help maintain a joint's range of motion. Gentle massage may also help reduce swelling in rheumatoid arthritis. Massaging can be administered in a variety of forms like acupressure, Reflexology and Swedish massage.
Magnetic therapy is another popular method of pain relief in Pain relief in Arthritis. There are special therapy magnets available in stores. There is a lot of razzmatazz associated with magnetic therapy since many researchers postulate that the, magnetic field internal and external to the system react with each other and help in re aligning the cells in the body and therefore aid in pain relief.
There are various medicines that are administered as well for pain relief in arthritis. Analgesics like aspirin and NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) aid in pain relief as well. More over these are over the counter drugs so they are also easily accessible. Other than this there are quite a few pain relief gels available that are meant to be rubbed on the affected areas for instant pain relief. For more effective and efficient pain relief it is advisable to wrap a warm piece of cloth around the rubbed area as this increases blood circulation.
Hypnosis is another popular and recommended form of pain relief therapy. Self Hypnosis if tried properly aids in Pain therapy. However since there is no scientific reasoning involved in this form of therapy it is not considered to be a part of mainstream medicine. Another similar pain relief therapy which falls under the same category is Reiki which is based upon the principle of energy transfer from the person practicing it to the person upon whom it is being administered. Reiki can also be self administered.