Mild joint pain may cause you discomfort when you use the affected joint, but severe pain can prevent you from using your joint altogether. Although arthritis is the most frequent source of joint pain, any part of a joint — including cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments, or muscles — can be affected by an injury or a condition that causes pain. Pain medicine specialist Dr. David Wu is dedicated to helping patients at his practice in Torrance, California, and the greater Los Angeles area overcome joint pain safely and effectively. Call or request your appointment online today.
Healthy joints allow your body to move smoothly, easily, and with a full range of motion. Although the complex nature of your joints makes them incredibly and reliably functional, their inherent complexity also makes them prone to injury and the kind of degenerative conditions that come from ongoing wear and tear.
Because each joint in your body is made up of a variety of tissues, your joints can be affected by an equally wide variety of problems, including:
Osteoarthritis is both the most common form of arthritis and the leading cause of joint pain, affecting more than 30 million adults in the United States and millions more across the world.
Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis involves the gradual wearing down of cartilage and bone within the affected joint. Although it begins silently and progresses slowly, osteoarthritis almost always gets worse as time goes on. Symptoms include:
Some people are more likely to develop osteoarthritis because it runs in their family, while others develop the disease from excessive joint use or injury. Being overweight or obese also can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis or make an existing condition worse.
Effective joint pain treatment is entirely dependent on identifying the root cause of the problem. When joint pain is a symptom of an inflammatory condition like arthritis, the primary goal of any treatment approach is to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
Creating a program of regular, arthritis-friendly physical activity is one of the main ways for arthritis patients to manage joint pain. Brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, water aerobics, and yoga are excellent options for most people.
For patients with severe joint pain, anti-inflammatory medications offer immediate relief. Steroid injections — usually in the form of cortisone shots — also can temporarily help relieve joint pain caused by bursitis, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis.
For arthritis-related joint pain as well as other types of joint pain, physical therapy can reduce pain and inflammation, improve strength, function, and range of motion, and ultimately help stabilize and protect your joints.
Radiofrequency ablation therapy (RFA) may also be used to treat the degeneration of joints due to arthritis. The SimplicityTM Probe by St. Jude Medical can be used by Dr. Wu to target specific nerve tissue and ultimately decrease joint pain signals to your brain.