Your joints are a vital part of your body, so it's difficult to move when they hurt. Arthritis is one of the main conditions affecting your joints and leads to long-term discomfort and disability.
While surgery may be tempting, you don't have to go under the knife for pain relief. Dr. Jocelyn Idema and the team at Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center offer several nonsurgical treatments when you're suffering from chronic joint pain.
Dr. Idema is an orthopedic specialist with experience treating chronic joint conditions both surgically and nonsurgically to give you optimal relief.
Causes of chronic joint pain
Joints are the parts of your body where two or more bones meet to allow fluid movement. Different types of joints help your skeletal system work and move freely.
Your knees, hips, and shoulders are some of the most prominent joints in your body that are vital to your ability to perform everyday activities. When one of these joints hurts, it makes daily living extremely complicated.
There are several reasons that you're experiencing joint pain, with the most common including:
Your joints contain bones, ligaments, and tendons that all allow you to move correctly. Injuries result in strains and sprains to any of the tissues in your joint.
Fractures of the joints also happen, sometimes leading to chronic pain from the trauma within the joint space.
Arthritis is the most common cause of chronic joint pain. The disease leads to damage in various parts of your joint, including the protective layer of cartilage. There are different forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Other issues also lead to chronic joint pain, including infections in your joints and autoimmune diseases like lupus.
It's crucial to find out what's causing your joint pain, so you get the proper treatment for your specific condition.
When to seek help for joint pain
Joint pain has varying degrees of severity. If you have mild to moderate joint pain, you can manage it independently with lifestyle changes and home treatments.
When you have joint pain from an acute injury, you can usually rest the joint and slowly return to your normal activities.
However, if you have severe joint pain or chronic arthritis that affects your daily life, it's time to consider professional treatment. Untreated joint pain worsens over time, making early treatment necessary for relief.
If your joint pain makes it difficult to perform simple everyday tasks, you should seek help from Dr. Idema as soon as possible. When your discomfort makes it hard to get up the steps, walk around the block, or get out of bed, you need an expert to relieve you.
Five nonsurgical treatments that help
Suffering from chronic joint pain isn't a walk in the park, especially when it affects your life.
If you're not quite ready for surgery, Dr. Idema recommends several nonsurgical treatments to relieve your joint pain. Five of the most common conservative treatments include the following:
1. Physical therapy
Physical therapy is one of the core treatments for joint pain. Physical therapy includes a thorough evaluation and therapeutic exercises to increase your strength around the affected joint.
Our team provides stretches, strength exercises, and lifestyle modifications during physical therapy to help you cope with your joint pain.
Dr. Idema recommends medications in conjunction with physical therapy for the best outcome. She provides you with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids to help with inflammation in your joints.
3. Joint injections
Dr. Idema provides several joint injections when over-the-counter medications haven't worked to relieve your pain. Hyaluronic acid injections, corticosteroid injections, and regenerative medicine treatments relieve joint pain.
The worst thing you can do for your joints is to have a stagnant lifestyle. Movement is the key to preventing damage and pain in your joints. Dr. Idema directs you toward safe exercises that increase your mobility and decrease your discomfort.
5. Lifestyle changes
Many factors play into your joint pain, including your lifestyle choices. For example, if you're overweight, the excess weight puts a lot of strain on your joints.
If you're dealing with chronic joint pain, changing your lifestyle can decrease discomfort. Losing weight, exercising, and watching what you eat can play a big role in reducing your joint problems and pain.
Don't continue to suffer from unbearable joint pain; call the Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center team today at one of our convenient locations in Pittsburg, Rocks, and Washington, Pennsylvania. You can also request an appointment on our website.