Arthritis (Pain Management)

  • Introduction

Approximately one out of every three adults is diagnosed with arthritis or other chronic joint symptoms, although arthritis affects patients of all ages, including children and adolescents.

In a healthy joint, the bone ends are covered with a smooth cushion of cartilage and the joint is protected by synovium, a fluid-filled capsule. Arthritic joints are swollen or inflamed, usually because the cartilage has been damaged in some way, causing people with arthritis to experience pain, stiffness and swelling in the affected joints or areas.

There are over 100 different types of arthritic diseases. The most common is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease where the cartilage protecting the bone ends wears away. Another common type is Rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disorder whereby the body's own immune system attacks the joint lining.

Arthritis is diagnosed after an evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, a physical exam and one or more diagnostic imaging tests. While there is no cure for arthritis, current treatment options available can be very effective for most types of the disease.

Treatment typically involves pain management techniques such as a combination of anti-inflammatory medication as well as exercise, weight loss, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cortisone injections and acupuncture. Depending on the specific area involved, an interventional procedure could be prescribed to specifically address individual needs, with the goal of decreasing pain and improving function and quality of life.

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