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Joint and Muscle Pain Relief

Joint and Muscle Pain Relief

We all suffer from joint and muscle pain at one time or another, and as we get older, even more so.

Joint and muscle pain are usually symptoms, not the disease
Muscle and joint or musculoskeletal pain is often a symptom of an underlying problem like an injury or disease. People sometimes feel that their muscles have been pulled or overworked and sometimes they can twitch. With aching joints or muscles, you feel pain, fatigue, or tiredness and may also sleep badly.1


What causes muscle pain

Often, our muscles ache after we’ve over-exerted ourselves doing something out of the ordinary. This could range from something as simple as extra strenuous housework to hiking or running longer or harder routes than you are used to.

You can experience pain or myalgia in any of the muscles in your body. As we have noted, this is common after we have exerted ourselves, but myalgia is also a sign of injury – like a sprained ankle – or infection. Infections and illnesses can include, for example, localized boils or abscesses and/or general aches and pain associated with the influenza virus. There are some chronic or autoimmune conditions like fibromyalgia that are associated with continuous muscle pain.2


Treating muscle pain

The treatment for muscle pain, as with most things, depends on what’s causing the pain.

Home and alternative remedies muscle pain relief

The simplest and usually the first treatment for muscle pain relief is the instinctive one: rest. Take any weight off, stop using, and raise or elevate the part of the body that hurts – the hand, the foot, the finger. Once you’ve done that, and to improve blood flow to the painful area, use an ice pack and hot water bottle (heating pad) and alternate or swap them from time to time.

You might also find it helpful to take a warm shower, some people find that massaging helps with the pain, while others meditate and/or even use acupuncture.

Medication for muscle pain relief

For mild to moderate muscle pain, you could take over-the-counter pain pills. These contain drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, for example, Cipladon.


When to consult a healthcare professional about muscle pain

If you experience pain in your chest, you should get emergency help from the clinic or hospital. If you have a pain that gets worse and/or any of the following symptoms, you should also get medical help:

  • Fever or temperature
  • Not being able to control your bladder
  • Weakness in your muscles.
  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers, arms, or legs

What causes joint pain?

As we have already noted, joint pain is very common as we get older. Arthralgia or true joint pain is often accompanied by arthritis – inflammation of the joints. The most common symptom of joint inflammation is pain, but the affected joints may also be swollen, feel warm to the touch and the skin may even be red. People who have arthritis may have pain in just some joints, like their knees or hips, a finger or an elbow and/or just their spine or pelvis. Their joints can be painful either when they move the affected joint or even when it is still (at rest). The following conditions, in addition to strains, sprains, and other injuries, can also cause joint pain:3

  • We have already mentioned arthritis. There are two types of this kind of joint condition, and the most common, Osteoarthritis, is associated with age and years of use – wear and tear. The other, known as Rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune condition where your body attacks its own tissues.
  • If the sacs of fluid that help to cushion your joints get inflamed, the condition is known as Bursitis.
  • The Arthritis that most often affects the joint of your big toe is known as Gout.

How a medical professional will diagnose joint conditions

  • Before a healthcare professional diagnoses what is wrong with your joints, s/he may do one or all of the following:
  • Blood tests to check for infections and measure the levels of enzymes, hormones and electrolytes in your blood.
  • Scan your joints for any damage or injuries to the muscles using an MRI or CT scanner.
  • Measure electrical activity in your nerves and muscles using Electromyography.
  • Cut out a bit of muscle – a biopsy – to see if there are any changes to your muscle tissue changes that may show signs of neuromuscular diseases.


Treating joint pain

There are a number of treatments for joint pain relief. As with everything, the treatment depends on the cause and the severity of the pain, as well as the treatment recommended by your health care professional.

Lifestyle changes and supplements

Medication for pain relief includes over-the-counter medicines, prescribed medicines, and a range of injections.

Depending on the condition, your doctor could give you one or more of the following injections:

  • Steroid injections: Every 3 to 4 months your doctor injects a hormone into the painful joint. Sometimes the doctor will also give you a local anaesthetic.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves drawing your own blood and separating out the platelets to inject into the painful joint. This treatment helps with inflammation and has a positive effect on Osteoarthritis.
  • Prolotherapy speeds up the healing of injured tissues. The doctor will give you a series of injections into the painful joint. These injections contain an irritant which is usually sugar.

Paracetamol tablets such as Cipladon are the most recommended treatment for patients with Osteoarthritis and who have mild to moderate joint pain. However, if you are experiencing moderate to really bad joint pain and some swelling, you could take the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). These are available either over the counter or on prescription from your doctor. These drugs include aspirin, celecoxib, ibuprofen, or naproxen can provide relief. NSAIDs can have side effects, potentially increasing your risk for stomach (gastrointestinal) bleeding. For patients who are at risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, Cipladon (paracetamol) is recommended instead.4

Lifestyle changes and supplements

You could work to strengthen the muscles and stabilize the painful joint, to get better function through physical exercise programs designed by your physiotherapist or kinesiologist. The therapist will use techniques such as ultrasound, heat or cold therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, and manipulation.5

Home and alternative remedies joints pain relief

In addition to medical help and medication, there are a few things you can do at home, and which may help to relieve your joint pain:6

  • Wrap your aching joint with a bandage or get a brace or get a firm elastic bandage and wrap it around the painful joint.
  • Rest and don’t move the painful joint in a way that will make it hurt.
  • Put an ice pack on the sore joint for about 15 minutes at a time, a few times a day.
  • If possible, raise the painful joint so that it is above the level of your heart.


When to consult a healthcare professional about joint pain

No matter what treatment you’re following, get medical help right away if the joint pain gets intense, your joint suddenly becomes inflamed or changes shape, or you can no longer use it at all.

Disclaimer: The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.


  1. DerSarkissian, C. (Reviewer) 2021 Pain Management: Musculoskeletal Pain. WebMD. [Online] Available from <> 
  2. Stöppler, M C., 2019. Muscle Pain (Myalgia): Symptoms & Signs.  Medicine Net, WebMD. [Online] Available from <> 24/05/2022
  3. Watson, S. & Smith, M. Joint Pain. WebMD (2021). [online] Available at: <> (15/06/2021).
  4. Watson, S. & Smith, M. Joint Pain. WebMD (2021). [online] Available at: <> (15/06/2021).
  5. Watson, S. & Smith, M. Joint Pain. WebMD (2021). [online] Available at: <> (15/06/2021).
  6. Watson, S. & Smith, M. Joint Pain. WebMD (2021). [online] Available at: <> (15/06/2021).


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Please note the content on this website is not intended to be a substitute to a medical professional consultation.