The CDC estimates that more than 20% of American adults have been diagnosed with joint conditions and injuries such as gout, lupus, fibromyalgia, arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis. For instance, arthritis is characterized by inflammation and discomfort of one or more joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, which may affect your joints, tissues around your joints, and other connective tissues, making it difficult for you to stay active or move. One of the main treatment solutions doctor Sarah Phillips DNP, APRN, offers for joint pain is injections. The doctor uses joint injections as a minimally invasive treatment solution to relieve pain, discomfort, and stiffness you may be experiencing in your ankle, hip, elbow, knee, shoulder, or wrist.
Below are a few things you should remember about joint conditions and injuries.
When to seek medical care for joint conditions and injuries
Seek specialist treatment immediately when your disease or injury makes it impossible for you to move freely due to a limited range of motion.
Also, go for treatment if your pain and discomfort are long-lasting, your joints become stiff and inflamed, and the skin becomes warm to your touch. You may also need urgent medical care if the affected joint begins to deform.
Diagnosis of joint conditions and injuries
Your doctor can diagnose most injuries or conditions affecting your joints by relying on imaging scans, medical history, and physical examinations. During a visit to your doctor’s office, your doctor will examine signs of injury, ask questions about your symptoms, and evaluate your movement.
Initially referred to as radiographs, x-rays can provide an image of the bones in your joints affected by pain.
Your doctor may also use other imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scans, and ultrasounds to diagnose joint injuries and conditions. They enable your doctor to see the inside structures of your joint, including nerves, cartilage, muscles, tendons, and bones.
Alternative treatments to joint injections
Your doctor will choose the right treatment depending on the condition or injury affecting your joint. Also, your doctor may have to consider your general health and well-being and health history.
Before your doctor recommends joint injections, you may undergo conservative treatments, including RICE therapy, prescription or over-the-counter pain relief and anti-inflammation medications, and devices that support the injured area, like a brace or splint, or cast.
For example, RICE therapy is a simple at-home treatment that involves resting, subjecting the affected joint to cold or therapy, compressing the affected joint, and keeping your joint in an elevated position.
Physical therapy can also strengthen and condition your affected joints to enable quick recovery.
If conservative and minimally invasive treatments like Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections prove ineffective, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure.
If you have a severe condition affecting your joints, such as cancer, gout, or an infection, your doctor may utilize a combination of different treatments. For instance, you may benefit from chemotherapy, prescribed medications, and adopting healthy lifestyle choices like healthy diets.
Contact Prudent Medical Providers today to schedule an appointment with a joint injection specialist if you have joint pain and swelling.