Do you suffer from chronic joint pain? Whether it is due to arthritis or some other cause, the joints are particularly susceptible to pain. And for that same reason, joint pain is particularly difficult to treat. When there is inflammation it can hurt to move and hurt to be still.
Chronic pain can be debilitating and significantly reduce your quality of life. Many patients don’t seek help because they want to avoid surgery. But there are treatments that can relieve your pain without surgery.
One non surgical treatment for pain is physical therapy. Whether pain is chronic or due to a recent injury, physical therapy can often relieve the pain by treating it at the source. If there is damage to the joint itself, it may be due to weak muscles that only need to be strengthened. Sometimes pain can cause you to move in ways that are not healthy for your body, and those ways become a habit. Physical therapy can teach you how to move your body the right way to build strength and relieve pain.
One of the most common types of medications are pain relievers. There are over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, and naproxen sodium. There are prescription strength medications such as narcotics that offer a stronger dose. However, narcotics can be habit-forming and should not be taken over the long term. Eventually all pain medications start to fail as your body gets used to them and you require higher and higher doses to achieve the same results. Chronic pain may require different interventions.
Pain centers are medical facilities that specialize in the treatment and relief of pain. One of the treatments pain centers offer is injections. There are a wide range of injectable medications that provide relief of pain right at the source.
Different types of injections include:
- Anti-inflammatory. These injections reduce the inflammation that causes the pain you are feeling. Because they are injected right in the location of the pain, they work faster and last longer than oral medications.
- Steroids. When steroids are injected into the site of the pain, they offer fast relief. However, steroids don’t last as long, so you may need repeat injections every few weeks.
- Botox. More commonly known for cosmetic enhancements like smoothing out facial wrinkles, Botox can also relieve pain. The same properties that relax the facial muscles to reduce the appearance of wrinkles is also what relieves pain in inflamed joints.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
One of the newest therapies for pain is platelet rich plasma or PRP. This therapy involves drawing blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, and reinjecting blood with a concentration of platelets into the area where the pain is felt. Platelets are the body’s natural healing elements. By concentrating them and applying them directly to the area, healing is accelerated and pain is relieved.
Radiofrequency ablation has been around for over 50 years and is still the most effective way of providing long term relief of joint pain. There are discrete sensory nerves to various joints which can be selectively destroyed to relieve pain from the joints. The nerves will regenerate in 6-12 months but the procedure can be repeated without significant long term consequences. Pain in the shoulders, hips, and knees can each be treated using this technology. Patients who qualify for these procedures are traditionally those looking to avoid surgery or whose pain has not responded adequately to surgery.
Relieving Pain Without Surgery
If you wish to avoid surgery, such as a knee or hip replacement, non surgical pain relief options may be able to help. Pain specialists focus on treatments for the relief of chronic and acute pain that are less invasive than surgery, but still provide effective results.
American Pain Institute
If you’re plagued by chronic pain or severe pain due to a recent injury, the American Pain Institute is here to help. We specialize in pain management and relief, applying the latest options the medical field has to offer. Avoid surgery and habit forming narcotics with alternative pain treatments.
Call 603-766-8500 to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.