If you’ve been struggling with osteoarthritis pain, you’re not alone. This is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people around the globe. But while it’s common by the numbers, living with it can lead to uncommon levels of pain. If you’re working to manage your osteoarthritis pain without seeking surgery, we have a few tips that might help.
Tip 1: Know What You’re Dealing With
Sometimes, education is the first and best step toward caring for yourself or a loved one suffering from osteoarthritis pain. The less you know about your diagnosis, the less able you are to make positive changes. On the other hand, understanding the nature of what directly causes your pain can help you lessen any actions or choices that could lead to potential flare-ups.
While some of this knowledge can be gleaned easily by reading up on your condition online (as you are doing right now), other insights are available to you through consulting your doctor or the pain management specialists at Gateway Pain Solutions.
Also called “wear and tear arthritis,” osteoarthritis (OA) results when the smooth cushion between the bones breaks down. During this process, joints become painful, swollen, and stiff.
OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in hands, knees, hips, lower back and neck. OA can happen at any age, but it commonly starts in the 50s and affects women more than men. This disease starts gradually and worsens over time. (Arthritis Foundation)
Knowing exactly how and why OA attacks the joints helps us understand why important non-drug treatments often include exercise, physical therapy, and weight loss. In general, anything that will help relieve strain on the joints will help decrease osteoarthritis pain.
Tip 2: Examine Your Treatment Options
In addition to the treatment options mentioned above, those who are suffering from OA will sometimes be prescribed various treatments and medications to help reduce pain.
Plans may include (but are not limited to) the following items:
- oral pain medications
- topical pain-relieving creams and rubs
- corticosteroid injections into affected joints
- hyaluronic acid injections to replace lubricating fluid
- applying heat and cold
- gentle massage
- change of diet
In many cases, no one solution can solve the pain problem. Therefore, patients most often engage with a variety of these medications, treatments, and therapies to manage their osteoarthritis pain. Finding the right solution for your exact situation is precisely what we love to do here at Gateway Pain Solutions.
Tip 3: Consult with a Pain Specialist
While mild osteoarthritis pain merely leads to daily discomfort, severe OA can result in decreased range of motion, joint instability, and (in some extreme cases) physical deformity.
This is a serious matter. Though joint damage caused by severe osteoarthritis is usually not reversible, the right treatments can help reduce symptoms–particularly osteoarthritis pain.
The type of treatment that will help you the most will largely be determined by the severity of your symptoms and their location. Often, lifestyle changes, over-the-counter (OTC) medication, and home remedies will be enough to provide you with relief from pain, stiffness, and swelling.
To investigate exactly which blend of treatments will give you the best chance of managing your pain at home and avoiding surgery, your best bet is to consult with a pain specialist.
We Can Help
Here at Gateway Pain Solutions, we are committed to providing you with the best possible pain management care. To hear more about our premium treatments and services, or to consult with us about any pain you might be suffering due to an OA diagnosis, please feel free to contact us today.
We look forward to serving you.