Though often associated with aging, the joint pain caused by arthritis frequently strikes sufferers at a young age. When broken down, the medical term arthritis simply means inflammation of the joints, which can happen for a number of reasons and at any age. Fortunately, there are ways to manage the chronic pain of arthritis and improve the quality of life for those who struggle against it.

Finding the motivation to exercise can be difficult, and it's even harder when you're in pain. Exercise is, however, an excellent way to manage arthritis. Although exercise may make the pain worse temporarily, in the long run it serves to increase joint mobility while strengthening the joints and the muscles around them. Start slow with mild exercises such as tai chi and stick with low impact options such as swimming.

Stay Busy
Sometimes a simple distraction is all it takes to shift focus from arthritis pain to something happier. This can be particularly true in youngsters. During arthritis flares, get involved in a game, good book or a movie. This might be a good time to do research and search resources like Chronic Pain Daily, to help you get additional ideas for pain management. A distraction won't stop the pain, but it can lessen it by removing the focus.

Many arthritis sufferers are hesitant to try and resolve their pain with medication. The thought of drug treatments can be especially daunting for parents who are dealing with arthritis in children. While it is certainly understandable why one would hesitate to turn to a chemical solution, many drugs, such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen, can help alleviate the pain of arthritis without unpleasant side effects. Working with your doctor and carefully following all his instructions are the keys to successfully managing arthritis with medication.

In cases where arthritis pain is both chronic and extreme, surgery is sometimes an option. The type of surgery depends on the specific nature of the problem. In some instances joints are replaced completely and the new joint provides many years of smooth, comfortable movement. Sometimes joints simply need to be realigned or have debris and tissue fragments removed from them. Young people who have these surgeries tend to recover quickly and live with much less pain.

Keep Trying
Tenacity is the most important tool you can employ in the fight against arthritis pain. Different treatments work for different people, and sometimes patients find relief in the unconventional. Acupuncture, hypnotherapy, TENS therapy and body braces have all been known to provide pain relief in some people. Keep looking for pain management resources and be open to their suggestions.

Arthritis pain is sometimes tricky, but can be successfully managed with the help of your doctor and the wealth of research available about chronic pain management. Help is available, no matter what age you happen to be when arthritis comes calling. Take advantage of your resources, available research, and medical professionals to help you move forward with your life.

Author's Bio: 

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2