Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. It can appear as a result of wear-and-tear, aging, or injury. Other causes include autoimmune disorders, genetics, or weak muscles around the affected joint.
In the United States, about 24% of adults experience some form of arthritis, making it the leading cause of work disability.
Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate the pain of arthritis at our office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Below, we asked Dr. Aashish Jay Kumar, our expert at Spine & Pain Specialists of the Carolinas, how pain can be managed without going under the knife.
Physical therapy can’t cure arthritis. However, it can strengthen the muscles around the joints, which helps stabilize them to reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, during physical therapy, you’ll learn how to use braces, splints, and shoe inserts to prevent pain.
Injections can be used to reduce pain in the joints by reducing the activity of the immune system in the area, decreasing inflammation. The effects of injections for arthritis pain can last for several months. Dr. Kumar offers injections to add lubrication to the joints, preventing pain caused by friction. He also adds injections that help regenerate damaged cells and decrease inflammation.
Electrical nerve stimulation uses low levels of electricity to interfere with nerve pain signals, reducing pain. The treatment uses small patches attached to the skin that send an electrical current through the body. It can be used for both acute and chronic pain.
Some types of arthritis are caused by wear and tear on the joints. You can reduce the amount of pressure on your joints by maintaining a healthy weight.
For people with arthritis, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise per week to strengthen the joints and reduce body fat percentage.
While there’s no miracle food that can beat arthritis, certain dietary interventions can help reduce inflammation in the body. These include increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates, and avoiding trans-fats (often found in margarine, shortening, pre-made foods, and coffee creamer).
If you have arthritis and are unsure what steps to take to manage your symptoms, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kumar specializes in pain management and is happy to examine your painful joints and create a personalized treatment plan that will improve your quality of life.