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Non-Surgical Joint Pain Treatments

Non-Surgical Joint Pain Treatments

At The Joint Center, we offer a range of joint pain treatment options designed to get you moving comfortably again without major surgery. You and your joint pain specialist will determine which joint pain treatments are right for you. Joint replacement surgery is only recommended after all your non-surgical options have been exhausted. Learn more about what causes joint pain.

Joint Pain Medications

Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can be used to control joint pain: aspirin-free pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, disease modifiers, and sleep medications. Anti-inflammatories are often used as a first line treatment in conjunction with an exercise or physical therapy program.

Exercise/Physical Therapy

Weakened muscles make the joint more difficult to move, so joint pain can actually become worse if you don't stay active. With that in mind, your joint pain specialist may recommend a strengthening program with our outpatient physical therapy team. Our physical therapists will work with you to create a personalized plan of simple, low-impact exercises designed to increase the joint's strength and range of motion, such as stationery bike cycling, leg lifts and knee extensions.

Weight Management

Excess body weight adds stress to your joints and often leads to reduced activity levels, creating the perfect storm for joint pain. Your joint pain specialist may connect you with one of our registered dietitians, who can help you create realistic meal and exercise plans for easier weight management.

Braces and Assistive Devices

A knee brace may be recommended to provide additional stability for the joint. This stability can reduce the amount of bone-on-bone contact in your joint, thereby lessening your joint pain and enhancing your mobility. Other assistive devices, such as canes and orthotics (shoe inserts) can also be used to minimize the amount of stress on your joint.

Injection Therapy

When less invasive forms of joint pain treatment fail to relieve your symptoms, your joint pain specialist may try injection therapy: the injection of an anesthetic or medication into the damaged joint, soft tissues or other areas to relieve your joint pain. Injection therapy is often recommended for patients living with acute - not chronic - joint pain.

What Causes Joint Pain?

Cartilage is the tissue in our joints that acts as a cushion between our bone surfaces. As we age, our cartilage grows brittle and begins to wear away, eventually resulting in bone rubbing against bone. This loss of cartilage is known as arthritis, and causes joint pain, inflammation and stiffness.

The degree to which joint cartilage wears away varies from person to person and joint to joint. Because the knee, hip and ankle are weight-bearing joints, the stresses and strains of living, such as injuries, weight, occupation, and genetics affect how much and how fast the cartilage wears away.

Moderate degrees of wear can cause intermittent or mild joint pain, which may be managed with non-surgical treatments. If, however, cartilage wear and the accompanying joint pain reach a point where the normal functions of everyday life become difficult, joint replacement surgery may be the appropriate option.

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