Arthritis Pain

Arthritis Pain Management Houston

Feeling achy or stiff after a hard workout, a long flight, or sleeping on a too soft or too hard mattress? That is common. What is even more common is experiencing these pains in general. This is referred to as arthritis, and the majority of adults can expect to experience arthritis and its symptoms on some level during their lifetime. If you are tired of suffering with some “aches and pains” and would like to know about the treatment options best for you, the Texas Pain Care team in the Sugar Land, Missouri City and Houston areas is here to help with effective Arthritis pain Management.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is the swelling or tenderness (also known as inflammation) in any joint in the body. Symptoms range from moderate to severe. Arthritis is most often experienced later in age, as this condition is related to wear and tear. 

The majority of people who are 65 years and older will experience some form of arthritis. While there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, the most common include: 

Osteoarthritis: wear and tear of the joints that affects most people later in life

Rheumatoid arthritis: an auto-immune disorder that causes the body to attack its own tissues, causing inflammation, pain, and deterioration common to other arthritic disorder

Psoriatic arthritis: a type of arthritis that occurs most often in people with psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disorder

Facet joint arthritis: occurs in the facet joints in the spine and can be due to an injury or just wear and tear over time

Other forms of arthritis include juvenile idiopathic arthritis and gout. Infections or underlying disease can cause arthritis, and treatments vary based upon which type of arthritis the patient is diagnosed. 

What Does Arthritis Feel Like?

Arthritis symptoms vary from person to person, as well as from the particular arthritis that is experienced. In general, the most common symptoms of arthritis include: 

While the major complication of arthritis is pain, severe arthritis can create lifestyle changes, such as making it difficult to use your hands or arms, or from walking comfortably or sitting up straight. In certain cases, the affected joints could gradually lose their shape and alignment, causing additional and long-term problems.

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What Causes Arthritis?

The main cause of arthritis is related to wear and tear. This is why the majority of patients who experience arthritis and related symptoms are at least 65 years of age. On top of age, the most common risk factors for arthritis include:

Genetics: some forms of arthritis is genetic, so you might be predisposed for arthritis if your parents or siblings have arthritis

Age: as previously mentioned, the most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is wear and tear of the joints over time

Sex: women have a higher chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis while men have a greater chance for developing gout

Injuries: people who have experienced an injury to a specific joint or joints are more likely to develop arthritis in that damaged joint

Obesity: being overweight places greater stress on a body’s joints, especially the hips, spine and knees, which increases the likelihood of developing arthritis

There is no clear cut reason why a person will experience arthritis symptoms, which makes partnering with a medical professional so important.

What are the Best Treatments for Arthritis? 

The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. There is no cure for arthritis at this point, so the goal of all pain management specialists is to offer patients medications, treatments and medical procedures that can reduce the feeling of pain, alleviate symptoms, and allow the patient to enjoy their ideal lifestyle. 

Proven methods for helping patients alleviate their arthritic pain symptoms include:

At-home care: focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet, taking vitamins, and utilizing an ice/heat approach can provide comfort for minor arthritic symptoms

Exercise: low impact exercise that is performed on a regular basis is the best way to keep the joints fluid, flexible and extended through the ideal range of motion. Some of the best exercises include swimming, yoga and walking. As an added benefit, regular exercise can help a person to maintain a healthy weight, which puts less stress on the joints. 

Physical therapy: a physical therapist who is trained in arthritis symptoms can help to developed specific stretches and exercises with a goal to manage current symptoms and prevent future symptoms

Acupuncture: this traditional and alternative form of therapy has proven helpful for promoting healing, all with zero side effects

Medications: over-the-counter pain medications can help to provide temporary pain relief, which works best when used in conjunction with physical therapy and other conservative methods

Joint injections: injections of corticosteroids into the joint help to reduce inflammation and subsequent pain. Depending on the type of arthritis and the severity of pain symptoms, multiple injections might be needed to provide long term relief. This is also a good option for patients as it allows for more comfort during physical therapy and at-home treatments. 

Medial branch blocks: most often used to help patients who are suffering from back and neck pain, a medial branch block is an injection of a local anesthetic administered near the medial branch nerves to temporarily block the pain signal carried from the facet joints of the spine to the brain, reducing inflammation and irritation

Joint replacement: most often a last resource for helping to reduce or eliminate arthritis pain, a knee, hip, shoulder or elbow plastic or metal prosthesis can help to relieve pain. However, surgery comes with additional recovery time and risks. 

The best way to manage your arthritis pain is to partner with a trained pain management specialist who can expertly diagnose and treat all forms of arthritis. If you believe you are suffering from arthritis pain, regardless of your age, please reach out to the Texas Pain Care team in the Sugar Land, Missouri City and Houston areas today. We are here to partner with you to both manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life, today and in the future. 


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