Osteoarthritis Pain Management in Knoxville, TNOsteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis – a disorder of the joints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it affects over 32.5 million Americans. It is a common cause of back pain, neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and elbow pain, especially in the elderly population. This is a chronic disease that can span over many years and, if left untreated, can make normal everyday activities painful. In this article, we will look into the causes and symptoms. and discuss the treatment options for osteoarthritis in Knoxville that can help relieve the suffering from this disease.
What is osteoarthritis?Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects the joints in our body. A joint is a point where two or more bones connect, for example, a knee or an elbow. The ends of the bones are normally covered in protective cartilage that allows the smooth movement of the joint. In osteoarthritis, this cartilage gradually wears away resulting in direct contact between the bones that makes motion painful. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but most commonly occurs in the knees, hips, shoulders, hands, and spine (especially the lower back and neck). It usually develops over the course of a few years, with symptoms worsening over time.
What causes osteoarthritis?The exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown but it is thought to be connected with the body’s reduced ability to repair itself. There are a few factors that can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis:
- A previous injury or surgery on the joint
- Repetitive joint overuse, such as sports or physically demanding work that includes manual handling or ladder climbing
- Joint malformation
- Having family members with this condition
- Having diabetes
- Having another type of arthritis
How common is osteoarthritis?Although the prevalence of osteoarthritis varies between studies, it is generally agreed that a substantial proportion of adults are affected. According to a 2015 review, 15% of the population have osteoarthritis of the knee and 4% are suffering from osteoarthritis of the hip. This condition is more likely to occur after the age of 40 and the risk increases the older you get, with half of the patients being over 65 years old. Women have higher rates of incidence than men, especially after menopause. Almost a million hospitalizations a year in the US are due to osteoarthritis.
Main symptomsThe common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness in the affected joint. The pain is usually worse first thing in the morning or after a period of inactivity. Movements such as bending or rotating might become difficult. The joint may lock, weaken, or make clicking and grinding noises. Osteoarthritis of the knee makes walking (especially uphill or up the stairs) painful, whereas osteoarthritis of the hip can cause pain when changing position from standing to sitting and vice versa. One of the tell-tale signs of osteoarthritis is the development of bone spurs in the joint, presumably in the body’s attempt to repair it. They are most noticeable in the fingers and can significantly reduce the flexibility of the hand, making many everyday tasks more challenging.
DiagnosisOsteoarthritis is usually diagnosed by asking the patient about their symptoms and medical history and performing a physical examination. During the exam, the Knoxville osteoarthritis specialist will test the mobility in the joint, look for grinding noises that indicate that bones are in direct contact, and check for muscle loss and signs of injury. In some cases, X-rays might be taken to confirm the diagnosis and evaluate the degree of joint deterioration. Because osteoarthritis develops slowly, it may go undiagnosed for a long time before it starts causing painful symptoms.
How to treat osteosrthritis?There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis but there are many treatment options that are centered around symptom management and can help patients maintain their quality of life. Usually, a combination of various treatments is used to achieve the best results, such as:
- Over-the-counter oral pain medications (Tylenol, Ibuprofen)
- Topical pain relievers that can be applied directly on the skin
- Heat and ice packs to reduce swelling and pain
- Support devices (walking cane, splints, leg braces)
- Weight management programs to help with weight loss if the patient is overweight
- Physical therapy and gentle exercise to strengthen the muscles supporting the joint
- Steroid injections that deliver a combination of a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic into the joint to provide relief from pain and inflammation
- Hyaluronic acid injections that replenish the body’s supply of joint lubricant
- Platelet rich plasma injections that utilize the body’s natural healing abilities by directing high concentrations of the patient’s plasma proteins to the affected joint.
- Arthroscopy – removing bone spurs, loose fragments, or damaged lining of the joint
- Osteotomy – realigning the bones to reduce the pressure on the damaged part of the joint
- Arthrodesis or joint fusion – eliminating the joint by fusing the bones together. It is usually performed on the spine, hands, or feet. The procedure eases the symptoms but removes all flexibility in the joint.
- Arthroplasty or total joint replacement – replacing the affected joint with an artificial one
ConclusionOsteoarthritis is a disease that causes pain when the protective cartilage lining of the joint breaks down and the body is struggling to repair it. The disorder mostly affects the elderly population but can develop as early as in your 40s. It is a long-term condition and can severely affect the quality of life by making simple tasks like walking, sitting, or writing painful and difficult. If you are suffering from back pain, neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, or elbow pain, contact your doctor for an evaluation. Early diagnosis can help stabilize and slow down the progression of the disease and provide pain relief and freedom of movement with a combination of therapy options that are tailored to your needs.
Osteoarthritis Treatment in Knoxville, TNRegardless of your specific circumstance, having a plan in place to manage your pain while you find your Knoxville solutions to osteoarthritis is critically important. Omega Pain Management is the leading pain clinic in the area. Under Igor Smelyansky, MD, osteoarthritis specialist in Knoxville, you will receive elite personalized care, while getting your pain under control. A multifactorial approach is taken to ensure you receive a pain management plan that is effective and versatile, using the most recent industry pain research as a platform. Your health and wellness matters to the Omega Pain Management team. Call 865-337-5137 to get started managing and eliminating your pain TODAY! Click on the following links if you want to find out more about Dr. Igor Smelyansky and Omega Pain Management Clinic.
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