In the United States, around 32.5 million adults live with the chronic pain and disability of osteoarthritis. If you're one of those people, the expert rheumatology team at Arthritis Associates in San Antonio, Texas, can help. They have extensive experience using advanced, innovative treatments that aim to relieve your pain and improve your mobility. For the most effective osteoarthritis therapies available, call Arthritis Associates to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that's one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions, especially in older people. The cause of osteoarthritis is years of wear and tear on your joints.
Each bone in a joint has a covering of tough, slippery articular cartilage that protects it from damage. The bones move smoothly in the joints as long as the cartilage remains intact, but as it starts to erode over the years, friction builds up, and inflammation sets in.
The more the cartilage wears, the worse the inflammation becomes, leading to the typical symptoms of osteoarthritis.
The pain of osteoarthritis starts as tenderness and deep aching in your joints, along with heat and swelling. As your condition worsens, the pain becomes increasingly intense, and your joints progressively stiffen and weaken. They may also start to twist and look distorted.
You might have problems getting up if you have osteoarthritis in your hips or knees and find it impossible to kneel due to the discomfort. If the osteoarthritis is in your hands, you could be struggling to grip, write, or use your hands to perform all the other daily tasks.
You're likely to find your symptoms get worse if it's cold and wet. Stress and overexertion can also trigger a flare-up, where the pain and other symptoms become much more severe for a day or so.
Currently, there's no cure for osteoarthritis, but the team at Arthritis Associates offers effective therapies to reduce your pain and help you stay active for longer:
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help with osteoarthritis pain in the early stages, but as your condition worsens, they're likely to be of less use. Other pain relief medications that can be useful for osteoarthritis include prescription NSAIDs like diclofenac and potent drugs like lidocaine and ketamine.
Arthritis Associates has an in-house IV (intravenous) suite where you can receive medications directly into your bloodstream.
Steroid injections into your joints deliver the most powerful anti-inflammatories directly to the source of your pain. Another option is viscosupplementation, where your provider injects a natural lubricant called hyaluronic acid into your joints. Some patients may benefit from platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections as well.
It's also vital to keep moving when you have osteoarthritis. Physical therapy and regular exercise help you stay mobile for longer and prevent you from losing strength in your muscles and connective tissues, which would make your condition worse.
If you can feel twinges in your joints due to osteoarthritis, seek treatment as early as possible to optimize your well-being. Call Arthritis Associates and arrange a consultation or book an appointment online today.