One-third of all Americans live with daily joint pain, managing their discomfort with anti-inflammatory medication and limited motion until they’re forced to pursue more extreme measures. Fortunately, plenty of treatment options are now available to help people suffering from joint pain, including a wide variety of minimally invasive surgeries.
This joint pain can originate from any part of a joint, including the ligaments, cartilage or bone, and may occur alongside swelling, stiffness and limited range of motion. Without treatment, joint pain will often get worse over time, resulting in even more pain and immobility.
What Types of Joint Pain Occurs?
Joint pain can happen at any point in the body where two or more bones form a mobile connection. Some examples include the knee, shoulder, hip and elbow. Additionally, joint pain can manifest differently for each person, occurring alongside the loss of motion, redness, swelling, stiffness or weakness at the joint. The location of the joint pain and the associated symptoms will often determine the type of treatment pursued by a specialist.
Diagnosing joint pain due to arthritis routinely starts with a physical examination and review of medical history. Our doctors will ask when your symptoms started and how they have changed over time and if any medical conditions your close family may have. Our doctor will examine your painful joints and look for signs of osteoarthritis or other conditions that may be causing your pain.
After your first visit, the doctor routinely will order additional imaging and possibly laboratory tests. Several tests can help your doctors confirm a diagnosis or rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms. If osteoarthritis is considered, the doctor will order X-rays to determine how much of the joint is damaged and how the joint is changing over time. This X-ray can show loss of cartilage, bone damage and bone spurs. Additionally, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered to examine cartilage, ligaments and tendons damaged that may be contributing to your pain.
How Is Joint Pain Treated?
Treatment for joint pain in our NJ offices depends on three primary factors:
The amount of time the patient has experienced the pain will determine if it is short-term or chronic, while the associated symptoms and site will inform the specialist about the source of the pain. In most cases, the treatment options begin with physical therapy, medication and splinting, then progress to surgery if the pain persists.
Surgical shoulder, elbow and knee pain treatments in NJ range in invasiveness based on the extent and source of the pain. On one end of the scale is an endoscopic cleaning and repair of the joint, which often helps ease joint pain due to age or minor injuries.
More severe pain, however, may require joint replacements or fusions, which are on the other end of the surgical scale. In many cases, these measures will result in the elimination or reduction of joint pain, improving mobility and quality of life for the patient.
At the Spine Institute of North America, we offer several conservative to least invasive treatment options for joint pain. Our doctors routinely see patients that suffer from joint pain and will advise you are the best options that will ease or eliminate your painful joints. Our goal when seeing patients is to identify the cause of the pain and relieve it so that you can avoid surgery and return to an active lifestyle.
Physical Therapy – stretching and strengthening exercises or massaging the affected areas.
Viscosupplementation Of The Knee Joint
OrthoVisc – Hyaluronan is similar to synovial fluid, a substance that occurs naturally in the joints. Like Synovial fluid acts as a lubricant and shock absorber, Orthovisc is injected into the knee joints for treatment of pain from osteoarthritis.
Synvisc-One – is an injection that supplements the fluid in your knee to help lubricate and cushion the joint, and can provide up to six months of pain relief for osteoarthritis of the knee.
Interventional Treatment Options
Genicular Nerve Block: An injection of a local anesthetic to block the nerves that transmits pain from the knee.
DRG Stimulator: Each nerve in spinal cord communicates through the dorsal root ganglion in a way that allows sensory messages from a defined area of the body like the knee. Applying stimulation to the DRG can permit focused therapy to a specific focal area like the knee. LEARN MORE (connect to DRG page)
Over the past few years, the regenerative medicine field has grown immensely. Your blood contains healing agents such as growth factors, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), amniotic fluid and stem cells that act to repair and replace damaged tissue. Learn more about regenerative medicine.