Medical Essay on Management of Arthritis Pain and Stiffness

Published: 2021-06-23
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Harvey Mudd College
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Ideally, cases of arthritis have increased in the last decades because of the presence of causative agents such as increased body weights, diabetic conditions, and continuous use of medications, surgeries, and bacterial infections in the body. Medical practitioners classify arthritis as one of the rheumatic diseases. Arthritis affects the joints and connective tissues in the joints. The chronic disease is popular among the elderly though the trending is changing because of lifestyles in the contemporary society. Arthritis causes stiffness and pains in the joints and thus the patients feel uncomfortable because of the infections (Patel et al. 2013). Besides, the condition is popular because it is severe and can disable the patients. However, the health practitioners advise the patients to embrace pain self-management to reduce the severity of the pain. The purpose of this essay is to give an analysis of how the cultural, psychological, social, and physical affect the management of pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.

The most common conditions with arthritis include bursitis and tendonitis. In the past, patients diagnosed with chronic arthritis did not heal. For this reason, the medical practitioners are advising on ways of pain management to improve the quality of life. The strategy for pain management among the patients with arthritis is multimodal (Shetty et al. 2014). The physicians focus the pain management to individual patients and advocates for a combined strategy, which involves pharmacological and no pharmacological approaches. The non-pharmacology approach depends on efforts of individual patients because it is applicable at the comforts of their home. The efforts by physicians were to educate patients on the essence of self-management to reduce the pain and severe consequences of the chronic illness. Some of the healthy living practices that help reduce pains and stiffness among the patients with arthritis include weight control. Obesities increase stiffness and severity of pains in arthritis patients. Besides, exercise and continuous engagement in physical activities are examples of non-pharmacological approaches that helps reduce pains due to arthritis (Lebwohl et al. 2014).

The pharmacological approach that has been used in the past includes nutritional supplements and use of herbal products. The patients experiencing extreme pains go for corticosteroids injections on the soft tissues to regulate the pain. The ordinary treatment that helps the patients to cope with the conditions includes the use of stronger analgesics. In the history of arthritis, there has never been a complete pain relief but pain management to make life comfortable. The inadequate knowledge regarding pain management with arthritis among the patients causes mood disorder, fatigue, and sleep disturbance. Despite the medical advice regarding effective management of arthritis, many factors contribute to failure in pain management.

Culture and pain management

The aims of the most health care providers are to reduce pains among the patients. However, in the history of medicine, there is no accurate parameter for measuring pain. However, the healthcare professionals rely on the response from the patients to know the severity of the pain. The doctors often ask their patients to rate the pain as either severe or moderate on a scale of 1-10. The cultural aspect is a barrier to effective diagnosis of arthritis. Notably, the difference in culture causes diversity on how people respond to pain. Patients from some cultures fear to express their discomforts because of cultural ties. Additionally, different communities perceive medical interventions with a negative attitude. Patients who are culturally sensitive may resist undergoing medical diagnosis and thus live with extreme pains. Ideally, treatments in health facilities starts once the doctors have ruled out all the doubts regarding the causes of disease. However, a case involving culturally sensitive patients is hard because of lack of accurate diagnoses. The two categories of patients emotive and stoic confuse the medical practitioners regarding the degree of their pain (Fenlon et al. 2014). Emotive patients do not express their pain but withdraw in their social dimension. It is easy to operate with stoic patients because the doctor can read the pain from the appearance of their faces. Ideally, severe pain kills and it is important that patients adhere to self-management strategies to cope with the chronic disease. Patients from culturally sensitive backgrounds need medical interventions as an enhancement to self-management strategy. The use of painkillers, herbs, and food supplements can help reduce severe cases of arthritis. For this reasons, it is prudent that patients seek for early diagnosis to commence early treatment.

Physical factors

The biochemical process in the body sends signals to the brain regarding the level of injury in the body. Medical research confirms that is uniqueness concerning pain tolerance and threshold. The physical factors such as joint damage, age, inflammation, genes, gender, emotion, gender, and medical conditions are important in pain management. Notably, as people advances in age, the amount of pain increase because of the aging of tissues. Historically, persons above 65 years of age report intense cases of pain because of arthritis. The patient with more than two medical conditions finds it hard to manage pain because the cause is not clear. When more than one factors trigger pain, it becomes hard to manage the pain (Fenlon et al. 2014). Besides, there is a connection between pain and genetics. Some personalities are susceptible to pain and can develop chronic pains. On the other hand, women are likely to contract arthritis and other diseases that cause chronic pains. Notably, people who are susceptible chronic pains are likely to develop depressions. In this case, different patients react differently to pain hence approaches to pain management varies.

Psychological factors

A medical survey on a population in China reveals that psychological factors affect pain management among the arthritis patients. Ideally, patients with psychological stability experienced a decreased level of pain and stiffness. Besides, the mental stability contributes to a reduced functional disability. It is evident that sufficient emotional support among the patients is important because it helps reduce the severity of pain (Combe et al. 2017. The patients with enough emotional support are less likely to experience depressions and functional disability that is common in patients with arthritis.

Social factors

Social factors such wealth and poverty determines the levels of pain among the patients with arthritis. Arthritis patients come from different zones, which include low to high resource zones. The pain is intensive among the arthritis patients when diagnosis is late and patients feed on low-quality food. Some types of arthritis are treatable using food supplements. However, for patients with low social status, cases of arthritis disable them because of late diagnosis and poor feeding habits. Social exclusions occur when the patients experience extreme pains and there are a high level of poverty (Combe et al. 2017). Persons with poor background may not access the common painkillers and emotional support that helps suppress the effects of pain. For this reason, a social factor determines the severity of pain among individuals.


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