Osteoarthritis causes chronic pain and joint dysfunction for millions of people across the United States. If your quality of life is poor because of osteoarthritis, Jeffrey Pearson, MD, at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana, can help. Dr. Pearson offers a range of effective, non-surgical therapies that reduce pain and stiffness, keeping you mobile for longer. For expert osteoarthritis care, call Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana or schedule an appointment online today.
Osteoarthritis typically affects people as they get older. It's by far the most common form of arthritis (a collective term for conditions that cause joint pain and stiffness).
Inside your joints are the ends of two or more bones – a meeting point that enables you to bend or rotate the joint. Each bone has a coating of a tough, slippery substance called articular cartilage protecting the ends.
After years of use, the cartilage can wear away, exposing the raw bone underneath. Without protection, the bones can't slide over each other when you move your joints. The rubbing and grating of bone-on-bone cause inflammation and signals the arrival of osteoarthritis.
Like other forms of arthritis, one of the primary symptoms of osteoarthritis is chronic joint pain. The discomfort in your joints typically starts as an aching feeling, which worsens over time into throbbing pain. You're also likely to experience:
The affected joints may become enlarged, lumpy, or twisted as the disease advances. Any joint can develop osteoarthritis, but hands, knees, and hips are often severely affected.
Many patients with arthritis find they have triggers that make their symptoms worse: unusual activities, the onset of cold, wet weather, and stress.
Osteoarthritis is incurable and likely to worsen over time. However, there are many ways to care for your joints and keep the disease in check. Dr. Pearson provides a variety of helpful, nonoperative treatments.
Self-help measures can make a significant difference. For example, losing any excess weight relieves stress on your joints, and eating healthy foods gives your body the nutrients it needs to promote better joint health. Exercise is also vital – regular, gentle movement helps keep you fit and flexible and delays the onset of disabling stiffness.
Dr. Pearson offers a range of treatments for osteoarthritis and creates a personalized treatment program for you. Potential therapies include:
Pain relief medication may be necessary as your condition worsens. You might also benefit from using a counterirritant capsaicin cream on your joints to help block pain signals.
Physical therapy is vital to keep you mobile and help you retain physical function longer.
Steroid injections into your joints provide potent, long-lasting anti-inflammatory effects that also reduce pain.
These non-surgical approaches to treating osteoarthritis can help you successfully manage your condition for many years. If, however, you reach a point where the pain and dysfunction are severe and no longer eased by these methods, Dr. Pearson can perform joint replacement surgery.
To effectively manage your osteoarthritis symptoms, call Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana or book an appointment online today.