The prevalence of joint pain due to arthritis in the United States is staggering. More than 92 million people report doctor-diagnosed arthritis or arthritis symptoms, namely pain and inflammation.
When it comes to arthritis, there’s no benefit or valor to simply soldiering through the pain, because there are many steps we can take to prevent more pain down the road.
At Pain Medicine Consultants, our team has extensive experience helping our patients better navigate the world of arthritis. The one thing that we’ve found, time and again, is that the earlier we intervene, the better your outcome, which is why you shouldn’t ignore arthritis pain.
The many faces of arthritis
There are many different types of arthritis, which is a catchall term for more than 100 diseases that lead to joint pain and inflammation. To simplify this discussion, we’re going to break arthritis down into four categories:
- Degenerative arthritis, namely osteoarthritis
- Inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis
- Infectious arthritis
- Metabolic arthritis, such as gout
Far and away, the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), which is a wear-and-tear disease that worsens with time and use.
The goals of treating arthritis
We have many objectives when we treat arthritis, and they depend on which type of the disease you have.
For example, let’s take a closer look at OA. As we mentioned, this form of arthritis is progressive, but the other important point to consider is that there’s no cure for OA. Once the cartilage in your joints breaks down, it doesn’t regenerate.
With this in mind, our goal is not only to relieve your current discomfort, but to slow or halt the deterioration in your joints. In taking a proactive approach to your OA, we help you maintain your mobility by taking the necessary steps to support and strengthen your joints.
If you’re struggling with inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), our goal is a bit different, as we work toward putting this autoimmune disorder into remission. Through medications and lifestyle changes, we can manage your pain and preserve your joints.
If your arthritis stems from an infection, it’s important that we treat the problem as early as possible. By promptly clearing the infection, we can not only remedy your arthritis pain, but prevent irreversible damage to your joints.
Lastly, if you have a problem with gout, we can manage the symptoms of a flare-up, but, more importantly, we can help you avoid future bouts by instituting a few lifestyle and dietary changes.
Since there are many different types of arthritis, we tailor a treatment plan that’s appropriate to your unique situation, which may include:
- Pain medications
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Joint injections
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy
- Regenerative medicine
- Physical therapy
If the damage in your joints is beyond our ability to manage it with conservative treatments, we may recommend surgical solutions, such as joint replacement.
The bottom line is that you shouldn't ignore pain of any kind, especially chronic arthritis pain. To get much-needed relief, please contact one of our three locations in Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, or Corte Madera, California, to set up a consultation.