• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Finding relief for osteoarthritis pain

March 19, 2018

If you’re experiencing progressive pain in your joints, you may be one of the more than 54 million Americans who are experiencing arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report looking at this chronic condition that leaves millions in crippling pain. The CDC says arthritis is projected to affect 78.4 million adults by 2040. Dr. Eric Matteson, a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist, says osteoarthritis is the most common form of this condition.

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Sore hips, knees or shoulders. Arthritis in those joints can be painful. Dr. Matteson says arthritis is damage in the joints.

One kind of arthritis comes with aging. “Osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear arthritis, [is] the kind that most of us are going to get as we get older,” says Dr. Matteson.

Dr. Matteson says the pain can affect a person’s overall quality of life. He says lifestyle choices can affect a person's risk for getting arthritis.

“Physical activity, minding your weight, smoking cessation is important because smoking is actually related to developing arthritis, as well.”

Over-the-counter pain medications may offer relief.

“We try also to have patients do things beyond taking medicines that will relieve pain ─ being physically active, using heat or cold sometimes when the joints are especially uncomfortable,” says Dr. Matteson.

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