Arthritis affects a large percentage of the population in the United States, with numbers that range between 54 and 78 million. And of the 100 million people in the United States who struggle with chronic pain, no small percentage is due to the many different forms of joint disease.
Since there’s no cure for arthritis, this leaves the medical world to find ways to better manage the disease, which includes pain relief.
The pain management specialists understand the effect that arthritis can have on your health. Not only does it cause considerable pain, but it can limit your ability to move freely. To fight back against the pain and help our patients lead happy active lives, we offer a number of different solutions for arthritis pain.
In order to better discuss pain management techniques, it’s helpful to take a closer look at what we’re up against when it comes to arthritis. To start, arthritis is a catchall term for around 100 different diseases that cause pain and inflammation within your joints. The most common forms of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis — a degenerative disease that causes the breakdown of cartilage within your joints
- Rheumatoid arthritis — an autoimmune disorder in which your body mistakenly attacks the linings within your joints
- Psoriatic arthritis — an autoimmune inflammatory disease
- Fibromyalgia — a central pain syndrome
- Gout — a buildup of uric acid within your joints (usually your big toe)
This list is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to arthritis, but it accounts for the large majority of diagnoses.
In many cases, there are specific medications that deal with your particular type of arthritis better than others, but our pain management techniques are fairly universal in that they address the pain within your joints.
Dealing with The Pain
As pain management specialists, we don’t believe that our patients should live with any kind of pain. While we understand that achy, creaking joints are often part and parcel of growing older, that doesn’t mean that your life should be at the mercy of this pain.
To help you find much-needed relief from arthritis pain, we offer several different approaches, which we often use in combination for best results.
To start, we address your immediate pain using analgesics, such as tramadol, oxycodone, or hydrocodone. These medications are highly effective at quieting the pain signals, but they’re also opioid-based, which means we use them judiciously.
We’ve also had great success with anti-inflammatory medications, such as naproxen, celecoxib, and ibuprofen. These drugs are non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications that work well against the inflammation within your joints, but they, too, should be used with caution as they can be hard on your kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.
For specific joints that are causing you pain or limited mobility, we also offer corticosteroid injections, which can address both pain and inflammation and can last for weeks, or even months.
Outside of these pain management options, there are other medications that have been shown to help with managing pain, including anticonvulsants and antidepressants.
Approaching Your Pain from Every Angle
While medications provide great pain relief that will have you moving more freely, there are other steps we can take to help you better manage your pain. For example, physical therapy can go a long way toward strengthening the supporting tissues to take the pressure off of your joints. And lifestyle changes such as losing weight and becoming more active can make a big difference in your comfort level.
In some cases, we use regenerative medicine, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapies, to help rebuild your joints from the inside out.
If your arthritic joints have been greatly affected by arthritis, and medications are the only thing that’s allowing you to move, we may suggest joint replacement surgery. Replacement of joints like knees and hips is fairly routine, and these procedures allow you to regain your active lifestyle.
The bottom line is that there’s no single pain management solution when it comes to arthritis. Our goal is to tailor your treatment to the type of arthritis you have, your comfort level, and your goals. And we work with you until we succeed on all fronts.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has two convenient locations in Richmond Hill – Queens and New Hyde Park – Long Island. Call the Richmond Hill office at (718) 215-1888, or (516) 419-4480 for the Long Island office, to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.