Senior woman suffering from pain in elbow on light background


I seem to be experiencing lots of joint pain have you any advice?


There are three areas for managing joint pain. The first is lifestyle measures. If you are overweight, then that will put extra pressure on joints and healthy eating including cutting down on sugar can help keep you at the recommended weight for your height. We usually measure this by dividing your weight in kg by your height in metres squared. This is called Body Mass Index and a healthy score should be between 18.5 and 25. Over that, 25-30 is overweight and 30+ is obese. As well as weight, appropriate exercise is essential to strengthen joints and help build muscle. This can alleviate pain but best to get advice from a physiotherapist.

The second area for helping with joint pain is analgesia. Paracetamol is the mainstay of treatment and sometimes adding in a non-steroidal such as ibuprofen for flair ups can be useful. There are of course people who should not take non-steroidals – those with stomach problems, blood pressure or heart complaints. Please ask if it’s safe for you before trying these medicines. Over the counter rubs can be helpful. I usually recommend Pernaton Gel for those that can’t use the stronger non-steroidal preparations.

The third area is supportive measures. Again, physiotherapists may suggest using walking supports and I have found that a Tens machine that gives the body small electrical pulsescan bring great relief in some individuals. Alternative supplements that have shown some benefit in trials are omega 3 and glucosamine and chondroitin. Ask for advice in your pharmacy.

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