Joint pain caused by arthritis may be relieved without the use of medication. This may come as a shock to patients who are accustomed to reaching for medication to ease their pain symptoms. However, there are plenty of other options that you may not know are being used in joint pain treatment. Doctors across the country are avoiding prescribing medication to patients with chronic pain. Below you will find non-pharmacologic treatment options that exist for joint pain.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves the use of thin needles to stimulate healing in the body. When a needle is inserted into the body, it produces cortisol, which relieves inflammation. Patients with chronic knee pain tend to respond well to acupuncture, as well as shoulder, arm, and wrist pain. However beneficial acupuncture is, it remains a component of a comprehensive treatment plan for joint pain, as it tends to produce better results when combined with other non-pharmacological treatment methods.
A nerve block is a shot of anesthetic and corticosteroid into a nerve that is sending pain signals to the brain. The anesthetic works to stop pain signals from reaching the brain, while the steroid reduces inflammation. Nerve blocks can be used to control pain that originates from the facet joints of the spine, the sacroiliac joint, and coccyx in the hip joint, and the knees, shoulders, elbows, and hands. Nerve blocks are usually used as a diagnostic tool by doctors to find where the pain originates. If the patient experiences pain relief, radiofrequency ablation may be used to apply heat to the nerve to stop the transmission of pain signals.
Platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) therapy harnesses the natural healing properties found in the blood. It uses blood samples harvested from the patient’s body that is processed through a centrifuge machine to create a much higher concentration of platelets. Platelet-rich plasma is injected directly into the joint to reduce pain, improve joint function, and delay the progression of osteoarthritis. PRP therapy has shown to be very beneficial to patients with knee osteoarthritis.
The next question on your mind is likely: “where do I take advantage of these treatments?” You need a pain specialist — a pain management physician who can put together a highly individualized treatment plan composed of different treatment methods. Each new treatment introduced generally involves a trial stage to find out if it works for the patient. Pain doctors collaborate with their patients to develop successful treatment plans.
Pain Doctors in Austin, Cedar Park, and Marble Falls, TX
At Balcones Pain Consultants, we offer a wide variety of treatment methods for joint pain treatment, including acupuncture, nerve blocks, and PRP therapy. To find out your treatment options, come in for a consultation with one of our pain experts. To make an appointment, call our pain management clinic at (512) 834-4141 or use our online request form.