Joint pain can have many different causes, including arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common. Other causes include long periods of inactivity, poor posture, depression, fibromyalgia, and injury or infection of the joints. Finding relief from joint pain can be complicated, but there are some practical ways to find the best treatment or combination of treatments.
Get a Diagnosis
First, if the joint pain is of an unknown origin, a visit to the doctor or the pain clinic Orange Park FL to determine the cause may be in order. It is possible that the cause of pain is due to an unrelated condition such as a bone fracture or muscle strain. An accurate diagnosis is important, and getting one early may help manage the condition better, particularly for osteoarthritis. The diagnosis itself may reveal the best treatment in some cases.
Determine the Severity
Depending on the severity of the pain, an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended by the doctor. If the pain is severe, prescription medication may be indicated, including some off-label uses for osteoarthritis. For those with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug can help slow joint damage and slow the progression of the disease.
Therapy for Joints
Physical therapy can strengthen muscles surrounding joints and improve range of motion. This can help treat joint pain by lessening overall pain and stiffness. Also, the physical therapist may recommend items such as braces for knee pain that can help with function and stability.
Injections and Surgery
If the pain persists, injections of steroids or hyaluronic acid may help. A steroid injection can reduce swelling over time, but the doctor is limited on how many injections a patient can receive. Surgery is typically reserved as a last resort for relieving joint pain, and it is often for people who have not responded to other treatments for their job or know osteoarthritis. An osteotomy can be performed for less severe cases, and it involves cutting and re-shaping bones to lessen the joint pressure. If it is successful, it can delay the need for joint replacement surgery by several years.
Joint pain is not uncommon, but by uncovering the cause of the pain, one can start to get relief. Many different treatment options are available, and just one may not be enough. It may take a combination of two or more to find the best treatment.