Chronic joint pain can really start to affect your ability to do the things you enjoy. When your quality of life is affected by chronic pain in your joints, you will want to find the right doctors who can help you experience relief. You may find yourself searching for “orthopedic doctors near me” to learn more about treatment options available for your chronic joint pain. In many cases, a combination of treatments can offer you the best chance at experiencing lasting relief from chronic joint pain for longer periods of time.
While most cases of chronic joint pain do not have a cure, there are many treatment options available depending on the root cause. Most joint pain occurs due to inflammation in and around the joint, including the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. This inflammation can occur from overuse, repeated use, or degenerative conditions like arthritis. Chronic joint pain is more common in older adults because joint pain is more common with aging. However, it is possible to develop chronic joint pain due to an injury left untreated or another root cause that your orthopedic doctor can diagnose.
To learn more about what treatments would work best for you, your doctor will want to assess the affected joints with a physical examination. They may also run diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays or CT scans to get a better look at the bone structure of the joint or how the supporting muscles and soft tissues may be damaged. Diagnostic imaging tools can help support your doctor’s diagnosis and also measure the progress and effectiveness of treatment options. Here are 7 of the top treatment options for chronic joint pain:
R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This treatment method is often recommended for at-home remedies to address an injury, pain, or swelling. The best thing you can do for a painful joint is to relieve the pressure. By making time to rest, you take the pressure and weight off of the joint and allow the swelling a chance to go down. Icing the area also helps to address inflammation and can provide a soothing experience as well. In some cases, utilizing compression like with a wrap or brace can help provide your joint more stability. Elevating the affected area also helps to reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
You may try over-the-counter pain medications for temporary pain relief. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can also help to reduce inflammation. However, it is important to note that medications can only provide temporary relief for your chronic joint pain because they do not address the root cause. Treating your chronic joint pain with medications will work best when utilized in tandem with other treatment options listed here.
Stretches & Exercises
Your doctor can talk to you about stretches and exercises to practice at home that can help reduce pressure on your joints and help improve your strength and mobility. The more pressure you put on your joints, the more likely you are to continue experiencing pain. Certain stretches and exercises can help redistribute your weight evenly and strengthen the muscles that support your joints.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend physical therapy where you can continue to learn how certain movements can support relief from chronic joint pain. A physical therapist can work with you through exercises to improve your strength, range of motion, and flexibility so that your joints are better supported and function smoother.
More serious cases of chronic joint pain may require steroid injections for longer periods of relief. Steroid injections are done directly into the affected joint and provide localized treatment for inflammation in the joint. These injections reduce swelling and inflammation which helps to relieve pressure on the affected joint.
Your doctor may discuss lifestyle changes like losing weight to better support your joints. You can develop chronic joint pain when an excess of weight is putting too much pressure on joints, especially in the hips and knees. Losing weight can help to redistribute the pressure on your joints so you can experience lasting relief. Regular stretching can one of the best exercises for back pain and weight loss.
Serious cases of chronic joint pain may require surgery when other treatment options have not provided adequate relief. Your doctor can talk to you about the various options for joint surgery to relieve your chronic pain.
Visit AICA Orthopedics in Conyers to learn more about our team of orthopedic doctors, physical therapists, and surgeons who can help provide you with effective treatment options for your chronic joint pain.