You fondly remember the days when you could bound up and down steps, go for long walks or runs, and even get in and out of chairs without using your arms. These days, joint pain and inflammation are overshadowing too many of your movements, and you want to find freedom again.
More than 92 million people in the United States are in the same boat, so you're in good company when it comes to joint pain and inflammation. The other bit of good news is that you have treatment options.
To give you an idea, we review six great options for joint pain and inflammation here.
Before we get into the treatment options for joint pain and inflammation, we want to underscore the importance of coming to see us for a proper diagnosis. Arthritis is a catchall term for more than 100 different diseases that lead to joint pain and inflammation, so it makes good sense to figure out what we’re up against first.
Once we understand the nature of your joint pain and inflammation, the next step is to relieve these two symptoms to restore pain-free movement in your body. Here are six of the more common and effective options:
If you have degenerative or wear-and-tear forms of arthritis, taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen is a good first step. We recommend these types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for when pain and inflammation flare after activity.
If your joint pain and inflammation are becoming more constant and the symptoms are really limiting how well you’re able to use the affected joint, it might be time to move from OTC medications to joint injections.
More specifically, corticosteroid injections can be very helpful as they contain both a local anesthetic for the pain and steroid for the inflammation. These injections can last for weeks or months, giving you much-needed relief.
For a longer-term solution for joint pain and inflammation, we offer platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. With PRP therapy, we draw some of your blood. Then, we place it in a centrifuge, which separates the platelets from the rest of the components in your blood.
Then, we inject the resulting serum into your painful joints. The platelets then release growth factors, which are substances that can help spur healing and tissue regeneration.
Your joints naturally contain hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a substance that retains moisture and promotes lubrication within many of your joints. To restore this lubrication, we turn to viscosupplementation therapy, in which we inject HA into your damaged joints.
Whether we use medications or injections to restore pain-free movement in your joint, it’s important that you use this time to build up the surrounding tissues. Targeted physical therapy can strengthen the surrounding muscles that help support your joints and also help improve flexibility and range of motion.
If you have a progressive form of arthritis, joint pain and inflammation will likely be an ongoing battle. While we can treat the symptoms, there is no cure for arthritis, so you may need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle.
For example, go easier on joints that are breaking down — perhaps go for more walks than runs. You can also adjust your activities to more joint-friendly ones, such as swimming or cycling.
We’re happy to sit down with you to come up with a good plan that will keep you moving, but in a way that safeguards your joints.
To figure out which treatment options are right for you, please call our office in Chandler, Arizona, at 480-820-7246 or book an appointment online with Apex Pain Specialists today.