Clinical Overview Symptoms Take Action Diagnosis and Treatment


Patient Actions

Immediate Action
  • RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
  • If there is no warmth or swelling, you may use heat to relieve the pain. (Two to three times a day for 20 minutes each time is ideal.) Hot soaks, heat lamps, or whirlpool treatments may help. You can also try heating pads, deep-heating ointments, or swimming in a heated pool.
  • If the spine is affected, sleep on a very firm mattress.
  • Rest only when joints are very painful.
  • Remain active to keep muscle strength from diminishing. If you work up to a well-designed exercise program, you can keep or even improve joint flexibility.
  • Avoid throwing, swinging or overhead motions that may aggravate the condition.
  • Keep doing as much of your normal routine as possible.
  • Take aspirin or an anti-inflammatory painkiller such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen if needed.

    See Your Doctor If:
    You have joint pain, swelling or stiffness; you can’t move a joint as well as you used to; your joints are red or warm; you have joint pain and suddenly lose weight, lose strength, or have a fever; the shoulder seems to “catch” or to give way; other unexplained symptoms develop.

    See Your Doctor To:
    Design an exercise program for you; get physical therapy (in severe cases only); consider whether surgery is necessary.

    Last updated: May-16-07

Reducing Sport Injuries in children
Reducing Sports Injuries in Children
Learn important tips on how to avoid sports injuries, specifically for ...
more more Featured Videos

Dr. Robert Klapper

Dr. Robert Klapper:

Preventing Knee Surgery
  more Heroes
  nominate a Hero
  Hero policy