Three Surgery-Free Solutions for Arthritis

Three Surgery-Free Solutions for Arthritis

At least 54 million American adults are living with arthritis, the leading cause of disability. When you have arthritis, your joints and the tissue surrounding your joints become inflamed, causing symptoms such as pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion. When arthritis becomes severe, surgery can help provide relief. However, avoiding the need for surgery is a priority when it comes to managing arthritis. Learn about treatments that can help bring relief from arthritis symptoms without surgery and discuss them with your doctor.

Understanding arthritis

The term arthritis refers to a group of rheumatic diseases characterized by joint inflammation. Joint stiffness, swelling, and pain are the most common symptoms. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis the most common. This form of arthritis, known as wear-and-tear arthritis, typically affects middle-aged adults.

Osteoarthritis is characterized by a progressive breakdown of cartilage and a deterioration of the structures such as ligaments and tendons. The knees and hips are the most commonly affected areas. As with other forms of arthritis, the goal of treatment is to reduce your pain and improve joint function.

Platelet-rich plasma

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a nonsurgical arthritis treatment that can bring fast and lasting pain relief. It’s the only treatment that may slow or halt the progression of your arthritis.

Plasma is the liquid component of blood, while platelets are tiny blood cells that function as normal components of blood. PRP is a therapy derived from your own blood. The concentrated platelets are injected into the affected joint. Benefits include:

Platelet-rich plasma contains growth factors and other substances that promote healing. This is believed to be responsible for the therapeutic benefits. PRP therapy can slow the progression of osteoarthritis, stimulate the production of new cartilage, introduce proteins that reduce pain and increase the production of fluid that naturally lubricates joints. These features work to improve overall joint function and reduce the symptoms of arthritis.   

Steroid Injections

Corticosteroids are man-made hormones that closely resemble the hormone cortisol that the body makes naturally. Among its many functions, cortisol can inhibit the immune system and reduce inflammation. Corticosteroid injections can help treat arthritis associated pain. Therapeutic injections with corticosteroids can quickly reduce inflammation and provide fast pain relief for people suffering from arthritis. Your provider can deliver the steroids directly to the affected area to help you feel better.

Steroid injections can be added to your treatment plan along with other nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs).

Hyaluronic acid injections

If you fail to obtain arthritis relief from NSAIDs and other conservative treatments like corticosteroid injections, you can discuss other options such as hyaluronic acid injections. Because corticosteroids can raise blood sugar, your doctor may recommend HA injections if you have diabetes.

Hyaluronic acid is a substance similar to a fluid found naturally in your joints, where it acts as a lubricant and shock absorber. In people with osteoarthritis, the joint fluid becomes watery and doesn’t do a good job lubricating the joints. HA injections help restore natural joint lubrication to help your joints function better.

A single round of treatment, which may consist of 1-3 injections, can provide months and sometimes up to a year of pain relief.

Minimally invasive, nonsurgical arthritis treatments can help banish joint pain and inflammation to keep your arthritis symptoms under control. For more information on arthritis treatment at Nexclin Medicine, call our Roswell, Georgia, clinic today to schedule your appointment or book online.

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