Joint Pain Relief
Arthritis is a common disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, immobility, and swelling. Arthritis alters the cartilage in joints. Cartilage is a very tough, shock absorbing material that covers the ends of many of our bones. The cartilage forms a smooth surface and allows the bones in our joints to glide easily during motion. Arthritis can cause the cartilage to wear away. Loss of the protective lining can cause painful bone on bone rubbing. Arthritis can be quite painful and disabling. While this may be tolerated with medications, therapy, other modalities, and lifestyle adjustments, there may come a time when surgical treatment is necessary.
Inflammation is the main finding of arthritis. Inflammation can cause your joints to feel painful, swollen and stiff. These symptoms are most likely continuous, even when you are resting. Your joints may feel weak or unstable. You may have difficulty moving and performing common activities, such as walking or climbing stairs.
X-rays are used to see the condition of your bones and joints, and to identify areas of arthritis or bone spurs. The tissues that surround the joint do not show up on an X-ray. In this case, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan may be requested to get a better view of the soft tissue structures, such as ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
Most cases of arthritis can be treated with non-surgical methods. Temporary joint rest and pain relievers are sometimes all that are needed. Over-the-counter medication or prescription medication may be used to reduce pain and swelling. If your symptoms do not improve significantly with these medications a cortisone injection may be successful in reducing inflammation and pain.
Viscosupplementation is another injection option for arthritis, but currently is FDA approved for use only in the knee. Studies are underway to test its usefulness in other joints. Another injection option to treat joint pain in other joints besides the knee is PRP or Platelet-Rich Plasma injections.
Occupational or physical therapists can help you strengthen the muscles surrounding your joint. The resulting added joint stability can help relieve pain. Aquatic therapy in a heated pool can be especially soothing. In addition, the buoyancy of the water takes stress off the joints while exercising, and the resistance of the water can help strengthening efforts. Exercise regimes, such as Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi can improve arthritis pain in many ways. Physically, the stretching and strengthening provided by these programs has a direct positive effect for many with arthritis. Additionally, the stress-reducing relaxation that usually occurs from these types of exercise can have a significantly positive effect on arthritis pain.
If you are currently suffering from joint pain, call our office to make an appointment 270-442-2449.