Arthritis is one of the leading causes of hand pain. Arthritis is the deterioration of the joints and the cartilage located at the joints. Arthritis in the hands is characterized by pain, stiffness, and weakness in the fingers and hands. Individuals with arthritis find it difficult to do simple tasks such as twisting open a jar or holding a glass. These difficulties in completing daily tasks can be very disheartening and can reduce your quality of life.
Fortunately, individuals with arthritis have a variety of treatments they can use to find pain relief. Some of the most state-of-the-art treatments reduce pain, stiffness, and weakness in the hands as well as slow down the deterioration of the joints and cartilage.
Treatments for Hand Arthritis
There are a variety of viable treatments for hand arthritis pain. However, the best way to treat hand arthritis pain is through a multi-layered approach with a combination of two or more treatment methods.
The commonly prescribed methods for treating arthritis are pain medications, dietary changes, exercise, and heat and cold therapies. Fortunately, there are newer and more effective treatments available for arthritis pain in the hands. They include:
- Intrathecal Pump Implant An intrathecal pump implant helps relieve chronic pain by delivering small amounts of medicine directly into the area surrounding the spinal cord. The pain medication relieves arthritis pain in places like the hands. After the initial trial period, the surgeon will proceed to implant a permanent catheter and pump beneath the skin (usually at the abdomen) for continuous delivery of medicine into the area. The intrathecal pump is programmed externally. However, before the surgeon implants an intrathecal pump permanently, he ensures it is actually effective in relieving pain and that you experience improvements during the initial trial phase. After the implantation, you will need to visit your doctor for medicine refills. In addition, the pump will need its battery replaced every three years.
- Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant Spinal cord stimulation offers relief for patients with chronic pain in different parts of the body including the hands, back, leg, foot, or knee. A battery-powered spinal cord stimulator is inserted under the skin, just like a pacemaker. This device allows you to control pain relief through the electrodes stimulating the nerves above the epidural space in the spinal cord. Similar to the intrathecal pump, you need to undergo a trial phase to ensure this method of treatment actually provides relief from pain. After the trial period, the surgeon will put the implant inside the body. This is a permanent treatment method that allows you to adjust the settings depending on your pain levels. Many patients report not needing pain medication after implantation of a spinal cord stimulator.
- Trigger Point Injections Doctors identify the source of pain, insert a needle into the joint, and subsequently apply small amounts of anesthetic and steroid into the trigger point. This method is very effective in alleviating pain caused by not only arthritis but also tension headaches, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain.
Arthritis Pain Treatment in Austin, Cedar Park, and Marble Falls, TX
Chronic pain affects each person differently, which is why at Balcones Pain Consultants, we create highly individualized treatment methods for arthritis pain in your hands. Every consultation begins by carefully listening to your symptoms and performing the right tests to give you a clear diagnosis. We follow this up with state-of-the-art treatments to relieve your pain quickly and effectively. To make an appointment, call us at (512) 834-4141 or request an appointment online.