arthritis pain and treatment
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a disease that is characterized by inflammation of one or more joints. It can be crippling in its late stages. It is estimated that 50% of adults 65 and older have been diagnosed with arthritis. Although there is no cure, there are medications, procedures and treatments that help alleviate the pain associated with this disease. It is important to know that there are a number of different forms of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is caused by the deterioration of the joints from normal wear-and-tear, but tends to be worse for those with obesity due to an increased stress on weight-bearing joints (hips, knees). Rheumatoid arthritis is not a deterioration of joints — it's caused by an auto-immune disorder which makes the body attack its own tissue.
Arthritis Pain Treatment Options
Treatment for arthritis is usually minimally invasive. Medication is often used before a procedure. The most common medications for the treatment of arthritis are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. This class of drug includes ibuprofen and naproxen. NSAIDs can be a good treatment option because these drugs can alleviate pain but are non-habit forming and are considered a safer alternative to opioid drugs.
Although arthritis can make movement very painful, consistent exercise is recommended because movement keeps joints flexible and helps them move fluidly. Low impact exercises, such as yoga, walking and water aerobics are advised for arthritis patients. Visits with a physical therapist can also be very beneficial because a physical therapist can help devise a recovery plan for a patient's specific ailments. It is estimated that 50% of adults 65 and older have been diagnosed with arthritis.
Utah Arthritis Treatment
Joint injections have been shown to be very helpful for many patients seeking arthritic pain relief. This treatment involves the use of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation of the joints. A physician will often suggest a series of joint injections in order to best alleviate pain and improve the range of motion in arthritic joints.
Medial branch blocks have proven helpful for those suffering from neck pain and low back pain caused by arthritis. The relief can be immediate, but a series of injections will improve chances of long-term relief.
When arthritis is severe and other treatments haven't worked, the best choice is often total joint replacement. This procedure, when performed with a plastic or metal prosthesis, can totally alleviate the pain in the affected area. Knee and hip replacements are the most common, but medical technology has improved to the point that shoulder joints, elbow joints and finger joints are also possible. Though joint replacement can be very beneficial, complications can occur and post surgical pain can be long-lasting.
For more information on how Omega Interventional Pain can help treat your arthritis pain, please contact us at 801-261-4988.