Arthritis is a leading cause of joint pain and stiffness. Arthritis can cause varying degrees of pain and impair movement. While there is no cure for arthritis, you can consider many treatment options to manage the pain and continue to lead a productive life.
Symptoms Of Arthritis
Arthritis causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, leading to limited movement and even joint deformity. Signs and symptoms of arthritis include:
- Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Reduced range of motion in the affected joints
- Loss of flexibility in the affected joints
- Tenderness in the joints, tendons, or ligaments
- Increased fatigue or sleepiness
Arthritis Treatment Options
To diagnose arthritis, your doctor will start by reviewing your family and medical history. They will also ask about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. If needed, your doctor may order imaging tests to get a better picture of your musculoskeletal health.
Depending on the results, your doctor will craft a treatment plan. Arthritis treatment is focused on reducing painful symptoms and improving function. Here are some treatment options that your doctor may recommend:
Exercise might not sound appealing when you’re suffering from chronic pain. While arthritis may leave you wanting to take it easy, low-impact exercise will help keep your joints flexible, strengthen muscles, and maintain bone strength. Low-impact activities, such as swimming and walking, can reduce arthritis symptoms.
In addition to exercise, what you eat also plays a role in managing arthritis pain. Eating processed foods, unhealthy fats, and carbohydrates can increase inflammation. Try to incorporate more fruit, fish, whole grains, and vegetables into your diet in order to reduce inflammation and avoid flare-ups.
Your doctor may also prescribe pain medications as part of your treatment plan. Acetaminophen or Tylenol is effective in reducing the severity of flare-ups. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also help with painful symptoms.
If over-the-counter medications fail, your doctor may prescribe medications, such as steroids or biologics, depending on how severe your arthritis is and how well you respond to medications. When taking any medication, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and report any side effects.
Your doctor may recommend different types of therapy to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and preserve joint structure and function for arthritis patients.
- Physical therapy. It helps improve your range of motion, increase flexibility, strengthen muscles, and reduce pain.
- Occupational therapy. An occupational therapist can teach you how to perform daily tasks without putting extra stress on the affected joint.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This treatment provides short-term pain relief using a low-voltage electric current.
If severe pain persists despite nonsurgical treatments, your doctor may suggest surgery. The exact surgery will depend on several factors, like the extent of the joint damage and your overall health. Surgical options include:
- Joint repair. Joints can be smoothed or realigned to reduce pain and improve function. These are typically performed through small incisions over the joint.
- Joint replacement. In this surgery, your doctor will remove damaged joint surfaces and replace them with plastic and metal parts.
- Joint fusion. Commonly done on smaller joints, this surgery removes the ends of the two bones in the affected joint and locks those ends together until they fuse.
Arthritis Treatment In Melbourne, FL
With proper pain management and treatment, it’s possible to live well with arthritis. If you would like to explore treatment options for arthritis, it’s best to have a professional guide and monitor you throughout your treatment.
If you’re looking for a pain clinic near you, look no further than Central Florida Spine & Pain. Dr. Nicholas Giordano can offer you comprehensive and personalized arthritis treatment. A board-certified specialist in interventional pain management, he has extensive background and knowledge in treating degenerative conditions like arthritis. You can trust Dr. Giordano and our team to help you manage chronic arthritis pain effectively.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Giordano, call us at (321) 802-5021 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you live your best life!