Ignoring Joint Pain
Joint pain is not a symptom that should be ignored. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or another type of degenerative joint condition, waiting to see the doctor may result in permanent joint damage and disability. How do you know when joint pain is a sign of something potentially more serious? See your doctor if your joints are red, swollen, stiff, painful, or warm to the touch. Make an appointment with your physician if joint pain or other symptoms make it difficult to carry out daily activities. If you have joint pain or symptoms that last three days or more, see your doctor. If you suffer several bouts of joint symptoms within a 30-day period, see your doctor.
For minor aches and pains, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve joint pain and stiffness. Your doctor can prescribe stronger COX-2 medications or other drugs if you need stronger pain relief treatment. NSAIDs may not be appropriate for you to use for pain relief if you suffer from gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcers.