Joint pain is something many people experience as they get older, but it can also affect younger people as well. For any age group, joint pain can be miserable and frustrating, but Bart Gatz, MD, and the team at American Interventional Pain Institute in Greenacres, Florida, have the training and experience to help. Dr. Gatz is a distinguished pain medicine specialist providing high-quality services for patients who have joint pain and other chronic pain problems. Request a consultation online or by phone today to learn more.
What causes joint pain?
Your joints come under all sorts of stresses every day as your body moves, and therefore may suffer injury or cumulative damage over time.
Osteoarthritis is a common cause of joint pain and is a wear-and-tear condition, but other forms of arthritis develop for different reasons. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, which means you body mistakenly attacks its own tissues, and septic arthritis develops because of an infection.
Injuries to the tissues within the joint such as cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves can also cause pain. Some of the most common causes of joint pain include:
- Sprained ligaments
- Strained tendons or muscles
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Joint pain that lasts for more than a couple of months is considered chronic. Treatment for joint pain depends on the cause and severity of your pain.
How is acute joint pain treated?
If your joint pain is due to an injury, then resting the joint to help injured tissues to heal and following a physical therapy program to rebuild strength in the muscles around the joint are usually effective in resolving joint pain.
When you first injure a joint, use of pain-relieving anti-inflammatory medication helps ease the pain and reduce inflammation, and applying hot and cold therapies can also help. Some injuries benefit from the use of compression bandages or full immobilization using a splint or cast to take the strain off the affected joint. Massage and manual manipulation might be useful for some types of injury.
What treatments are available for chronic joint pain?
Chronic joint pain may need additional treatments to help relieve the discomfort and restore function. Some causes of chronic joint pain, like osteoarthritis, aren’t curable, so the focus of the team at American Interventional Pain Institute is on alleviating the symptoms as much as possible.
Possible therapies for chronic joint pain include:
- Steroid injections
- Injections into the bursa inside the joint
- Nerve blocks
- Nerve radiofrequency lesioning
- Water-cooled radiofrequency lesioning
Physical therapy is beneficial for all forms of chronic joint pain. Unless you keep them moving, the joints can seize up and make your condition worse. It’s also a good idea to lose weight if you’re overweight because carrying too many pounds puts a considerable strain on your joints.
To find out more about the range of effective treatments available for joint pain, call American Interventional Pain Institute or schedule a consultation online today.