To ease your pain, you can take medications, adopt a healthier lifestyle, or use a relaxation technique to help calm your mind and body. If you would like to learn more about how medication and relaxation techniques can help, read on. See Can changing my lifestyle help my arthritis? to learn more about what to eat and how to exercise and manage stress.

How can medications help?

Medications can help control your pain. Pain is your body's way of telling you that an injury has occurred. Special nerve endings throughout your body act as pain receivers, or receptors. These endings become excited by pressure, heat, or chemicals released by damaged cells. Once excited, the endings release pain signals. These signals travel along nerve pathways, through your spinal cord, and to your brain. Your brain decodes the signal and then responds. Osteoarthritis medications ease your pain by blocking these pain signals. See What do I need to know about arthritis medication? to learn more.

It is also important to pay attention to your pain so that you can handle it appropriately. Like other habits we pick up in life, the way we react to pain becomes a habit. So, even if your pain isn't the worst it has ever been, you might react as if it is. Changing the way you deal with pain can help you to take control.