Joint discomfort is a very common complaint and usually felt in the hands, feet, hips, knees, or spine. Pain may be constant, or it can come and go. Some patients complain of a burning, throbbing, or “grinding” sensation. In addition, the joint may feel stiff in the morning but loosen up and feel better with movement and activity. Severe joint pain can affect the quality of life.
Some of the risk factors for joints pain are:
- Having previous injuries or trauma to a joint
- Repeatedly use and/or overuse of a muscle
- Having Arthritis or other chronic medical conditions
- Overweight and Obesity
The most common causes of chronic pain in joints are:
- Osteoarthritis which is the most common type of arthritis, happens over time when the cartilage, the protective cushion in between the bones, wears away. The joints become painful and stiff.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of Autoimmune disease, that causes swelling and pain in the joints. Often the joints become deformed (usually occurring in the fingers and wrists).
- Bursitis is caused by overuse. It is usually found in the hip, knee, elbow, or shoulder.
- Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons, or the flexible bands that connect bone and muscle. It is typically seen in the elbow, heel, or shoulder and is usually caused by overuse.
Treatment usually depends on the underlying cause, but usually starts with:
- Simple at-home treatments, such as applying a heating pad or ice on the affected area
- Exercise can help get back strength and function. Walking, swimming, or other low-impact aerobic exercise is best.
- Weight loss may also be suggested, if needed, to lessen strain on joints.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen), may help ease the pain
- Topical treatments, such as ointments or gels that can be rubbed into the skin over the affected joint area, may also help ease pain.
- Dietary supplements, like glucosamine, may help relieve pain. Ask the doctor before taking any over-the-counter supplements.
- Physical or Occupational Therapy, along with a balanced fitness program, may gradually help ease pain and improve flexibility.
- Steroid injection: this procedure will decrease inflammation and make physical therapy and activity easier.
- Visco-supplementation (for knee pain): in this procedure, a gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid will be injected into the knee joint. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial fluid surrounding the joint’s cartilages.
Our physicians at Valley Pain Consultants will help you and offer a fast, safe and effective treatment. To schedule an appointment, please call (480) 467-2273 or complete the contact form.