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Arthritis

At-home solutions for arthritis pain

Arthritis pain affects more than 52 million people in the United States. While common treatments like medications and surgery can relieve discomfort, physical therapy is a drug- and surgery-free solution.

“The main reason why people come [for physical therapy] is because of pain,” physical therapist Karena Wu of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in New York City told FoxNews.com. “So they’ve lived with it for a really long time and they’ve gotten more and more limited in their daily activities.”

Wu suggested a few at-home solutions to relieve pain:

-A foam roller and “the stick”
“Both of those are hand-held devices that you can just roll… like you’re kneading dough and those will help loosen up the soft tissue around your joint,” Wu said.

-Stretching
Stretching, both dynamic and static, is also important for arthritis patients. Active range-of-motion stretches, such as rolling your neck, can also alleviate pain.

“As I [roll my neck], I stretch, I contract on this side, my joints open up on this side and then I just switch sides so I’m getting some joint mobilty as well as some soft tissue mobility,” Wu said.

-Kinesiology tape
Kinesiology tape is made of a flexible material that mimics the elasticity of the skin and serves as a support while also increasing blood flow to the area. The tape can be purchased in pre-cut forms and applied to all areas of the body.

“Just being on it makes it feel better… on a neuromuscular level, it does help with retraining your muscle tissue, as well as the nerves that innervate them,” Wu said.

-Ice and heat
Wu said ice is a good way to treat pain 24 to 72 hours after an injury. Heat should be used for chronic pain only. With all at-home treatments, discontinue them if your pain persists and speak to a professional.