If you have arthritis, you understand how painful, restrictive, and distracting it can be. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available to manage this lifelong condition. If you suspect you may have arthritis, or if you have a diagnosis already and need help managing it, there are many treatments that can benefit you.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a chronic and painful joint condition that impacts millions of Americans. Progressive in nature, arthritis degrades the cartilage that covers bone ends in the neck, back, hip, knee, shoulder, hands, wrists, ankles, feet, and more. As this protective coating wears away, bones rub together, causing:
- Joint deformity
- Poor range of motion
- Joint warmth
- Poor mobility
People with arthritis also lose the synovium and the synovial fluid that lines and cushions joints.
How is Arthritis Diagnosed?
There are many kinds of arthritis, including:
- Osteoarthritis, characterized by joint wear and tear and aging
- Rheumatoid arthritis, known for its earlier onset and high degree of autoimmune dysfunction
- Gout, due to a build-up of uric acid crystals in joints
- Psoriatic arthritis and its associated skin rashes and inflammation
- Fibromyalgia, which causes widespread body pain and fatigue
- Lupus, a painful condition common in women ages 15 to 44
- Juvenile, or childhood, arthritis, which begins very early in life
Your pain management doctor in Melbourne, Florida, can pinpoint your exact diagnosis through symptom review, joint examination, and state-of-the-art imaging, such as X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs. From there, you’ll receive a treatment plan individualized to your needs and health goals.
What Are My Treatment Options?
You may be surprised to learn that there are many arthritis pain management options. In fact, some people employ conservative treatments at home and find significant relief.
At-home options include:
- Achieving and maintaining the proper body weight
- Staying active with daily, joint-friendly exercise, such as walking, biking, and swimming
- Eat a low-carb, high-fiber diet
- Getting adequate hydration
- Taking over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, for pain
- Application of heat and cold to painful joints
- Using assistive devices, such as canes, knee braces, and compression socks
These treatments are effective for early-stage arthritis. Once the condition progresses to advanced stages, at-home treatments will no longer give desired results.
Today’s orthopedic surgeons offer a variety of surgeries to repair, replace, or reconstruct damaged joints. Many patients with advanced arthritis require joint surgery to fix the permanent damage caused by the condition.
While appropriate in many cases, these more invasive treatments are not always the first and best options. That’s where interventional pain management from Dr. Nicholas Giordano at Central Florida Spine and Pain comes in. Dr. Giordano offers the latest in arthritis treatments that are particularly helpful in controlling pain. These treatments include:
This is a series of injections of hyaluronic acid, a substance that the human body produces naturally. Over 6 to 12 months, the patient receives three to five weekly shots to the affected joint (typically the knee). The injected material helps replace the cushioning effect normally produced by the synovial fluid.
These are X-ray-guided shots of anti-inflammatory steroids. Your doctor can place the injections in various parts of the body for pain relief that lasts much longer than orally-taken pain killers.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
The physician uses radio waves to destroy irritated nerve endings that cause pain. This procedure typically helps people with advanced spinal arthritis.
Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy
Usually used for knee arthritis, PRP injections consist of extracted plasma from a patient’s blood to speed up healing, and reduce pain and inflammation.
Consult With The Best in Arthritis Pain Management
In Melbourne, Florida, the physician to see for arthritis is Dr. Giordano at Central Florida Spine & Pain. He is board-certified in interventional pain management techniques and has a wealth of experience treating conditions like arthritis.