Seeking Diagnosis and Treatment For Relief of Joint Pain
A diagnosis of inflammation by your healthcare provider is useful in determining joint pain treatment. Studying your medical history, performing a medical exam and getting a blood test to detect the presence of C-reactive protein markers are useful in predicting such inflammatory diseases as heart problems, painful joints, stiffness and other symptoms.
People often tend to deal with joint pain with over the counter medications such as ibprofen or acetaminophen for moderate to severe pain and swelling. These NSAID anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful in easing the pain, but none of them are meant for long term use.
Some or all of the following options have helped to mitigate the pain:
- Topical Agents
- Physical Therapy
- Weight Loss
- Compression Wraps
- Elevating the joint above the heart
- Ice packs for pain and inflammation
- Heating pads or moist heat for muscle spasms
Doctors can prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for something a little more powerful. There are newer NSAIDs on the market that are known as Cox-2 inhibitors for pain-relief. Whether acute conditions, those only lasting for a few weeks, or chronic pain that goes on for much longer, the goal should be one of reducing pain and inflammation to prevent further or ongoing damage to joint function.
A report by the FDA that was only recently released indicates that the same risk of heart attack and stroke that has seen the removal of all the Cox-2 inhibitors from the market except for Celebrex is now applicable to numerous over the counter drugs. It is a wake-up call for those who take these medications longer than a week.
Chronic drug use can be as dangerous as chronic joint pain issues. Alternative methods are popular among those who want to work at restoring collagen, the elastin that helps keep joints lubricated. As we age, we lose collagen. However, this does not apply to injuries where damage has been sustained and may need surgical correction.
Surgical Options for the Treatment of Joint Pain
Surgery is an option for sufferers who have run out of non-surgical joint pain treatment options. The five types of joint surgery are:
- Total joint arthroscopy
- Resection arthroplasty
Each procedure carries its own risks and these should be discussed in detail with your orthopedic surgeon. Whatever the approach, obtaining medical help when pain gets severe or when joints become inflamed or appear to become deformed is highly recommended to prevent permanent damage.