The goal of pain management is to eliminate or reduce your pain so that you can live a healthy, active, and productive lifestyle. To accomplish this, our pain management doctors may recommend interventional procedures, physical therapy, medication, or a combination of treatments to help you manage and reduce pain caused by a variety of orthopedic or neurological conditions and injuries. For many people suffering through chronic pain and stiffness, arthritis is often the culprit.
Arthritis is a painful condition affecting approximately 350 million people worldwide. The definition of arthritis is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in your joints. While some forms of arthritis are less common, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis (also called wear and tear arthritis) finds a way to creep into the lives of so many people as they move through life. Chronic pain lasts three to six months or longer, and chronic arthritis pain can last a lifetime.
When you live with chronic pain, in this case due to arthritis, you are the only one who can know how it truly feels. Pain can be hard to describe because it is subjective, invisible, and personal. According to arthritis.org, in a recent Arthritis Foundation survey, more than half of the respondents said they had trouble talking about their pain. If you can’t put into words how much pain you are in, or how it is affecting your lifestyle, your doctor won’t be able to administer the right treatment for you.
Therefore, if you are experiencing arthritic pain, such as burning, stabbing, muscle pain, sharp, throbbing pain, try to describe exactly where you are hurting, the intensity of your pain, and how it is affecting your life. This is where the pain scale comes in. Your doctor will ask you to “rate” your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the least pain, and severe pain being 10. The doctor will use this assessment, along with any necessary diagnostic procedure, to help diagnose and manage your pain.
Early pain management treatment of both common types of arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis – is essential to prevent further complications. For osteoarthritis, patient treatment may include exercises to strengthen your muscles, physical therapy, medication, or injections. In cases of severely damaged joints, a joint replacement surgery might be the last resort. Treatment for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may also include physical therapy, and will often include medication to reduce inflammation, and prevent joint and organ damage.
To learn more about different pain management options for treating arthritis, call Lynx Healthcare at (509) 591-0070 or at (509) 321-4575 to request an appointment.