Millions of people in this country suffer from joint pain, particularly arthritis. But they don’t have to suffer in silence. The first step is to let their orthopedic doctor know so he or she can recommend some approaches that will help alleviate their pain and get them back to functioning.
You are probably aware of many of these, but some may be new to you. Some are time-tested and proven pain relief methods, and some are new, innovative treatments that are proving to be very effective.
A plant-based diet rich in whole foods helps to reduce inflammation around the joints, thereby minimizing pain and discomfort. Foodstuffs like nuts, tofu, fruits, leafy greens, green tea, and whole grains are all effective at preventing or lowering chemical reactions in the body which eventually cause cell damage.
Research has shown over and over that regular activity and exercise help reduce inflammation and pain in the joints. It also triggers the release of more endorphins that supersede the sensation of pain, and instead make the patient feel good. The activity doesn’t even need to be formal exercise – it can be something like going up and downstairs, taking a walk, doing some gardening, or just dancing in the home.
One of the most exciting new treatments for arthritis is laser therapy. Laser treatments use low-level energy, unlike the high-level energy used in surgery. The light beam does not cut or burn the skin but penetrates deep into tissue (for instance around the knee), and triggers chemical changes in the area to help re-grow damaged tissue. It reduces inflammation, speeds healing, and improves blood circulation, thus bringing essential nutrients and oxygen to the area.
Injections of hyaluronic acid
For patients bothered by severe arthritis pain, it may be effective to inject hyaluronic acid into the affected joint. For many people, these kinds of injections help to reduce joint pain, increase joint lubrication, lower inflammation, and inhibit the progress of osteoarthritis.
Heat or ice therapy
This is a popular approach to pain management, although it doesn’t really do much the condition of the joints themselves. Applying heat helps to lower muscle stiffness and helps to warm up the joints before activity. Ice can reduce any swelling, inflammation, or pain the patient might be experiencing.
Strategies for pain relief
Using ice packs, taking supplements, and changing their diet to one which specifically reduces inflammation, might all be simple things a patient can do to improve their condition. On the other hand, when dealing with more severe cases of arthritis, the best approach may be to use the cutting-edge laser technology that surgeons – and now the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons – recognize as a valid and highly effective method of pain relief.
OrthoLazer Orthopedic Laser Centers offer patients and their doctors an innovative and effective alternative pain management option to treat acute and chronic orthopedic conditions. Founded by Dr. Scott Sigman – the original opioid-sparing surgeon – our centers further his mission of providing his patients non-operative and non-opioid treatment options. If you’d like more information about OrthoLazer, please visit our website at ortholazer.com.