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What should you do if your arthritis is so bad that you cannot put weight on your wrist?

Pain is your body’s alarm system. Pain tells you something is wrong. When part of your body is injured or damaged, nerves in that area release chemical signals. Other nerves act like tiny telephone wires and send these signals to your brain where they are recognized as pain. Pain “tells” you that you need to do something. For example, if you touch a hot stove, the pain signal makes you pull away your hand to prevent further injury. This type of pain is useful because it is your body’s way of protecting you from further injury.

Long-lasting (chronic) pain, for example, the pain of arthritis, is a bit different. While chronic pain is also an alarm that tells you something is wrong, it often isn’t sufficiently relieved when you treat it. Controlling this type of pain is important since it can disrupt your life.

The methods used to control short-term (acute) pain, such as strong painkillers, are not useful for controlling the chronic pain of arthritis. Other methods such as those listed in this article can help.

Many different diseases and conditions cause chronic pain. One of the most common is arthritis, a group of diseases that cause inflammation of the joints. Other common types of chronic pain are backache, muscle pain, headache and sore feet.

Arthritis pain is caused by:

inflammation, the process that causes the redness and swelling in your joints
damage to joint tissues caused by the disease process or from wear and tear
muscle strain caused by overworked muscles attempting to protect your joints from painful movements
fatigue caused by the disease process which can make your pain seem worse and harder to handle