Non-Surgical Treatment for Joint Pain

Many patients ask what can be done for a sore joint such as a knee or shoulder.  Specific recommendations depend on the underlying diagnosis – such as an injury – as well as many other factors.  However, a number of general non surgical therapies are often recommended for joint pain.  Below you will find a list of possible treatment alternatives for joint pain.

  1. NSAIDs: Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are considered first line therapies, but should be used with caution because of risks to the digestive tract, cardiovascular system and  kidneys.
  2. Cortisone Injection: Cortisone injection delivers a similar but more potent anti-inflammatory directly into the targeted joint with less systemic effects.  However, there are other concerns including joint or tendon damage, infection, bleeding, etc.  There is also a limit as to how many injections per year is considered safe.
  3. Topical Therapy: Topical therapies such as Capacazin applied 2 to 3 times per day interfere with pain transmission and are most helpful when the pain is close to the skin.
  4. Vitamins and Supplements: Glucosamine sulfate at 1500 mg per day may take up to three months to be effective, but has little if any side effects and is inexpensive.  Omega 3 fish oil also seems to have a mild anti-inflammatory effect.
  5. Pain Medication: Narcotic pain medication are quite effective, but are usually used as second or third line because of the risks of dependence, tendency to increase pain over time and side effects such as constipation, sedation, nausea and itching.
  6. Physical Therapy: Modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, stretching, ice or heat and strengthening of the adjoining muscle groups to support the affected joint are other helpful non surgical therapies.

If you have chronic or acute joint pain, these treatments may help to relieve your symptoms.  Schedule an appointment today to find out which treatment would best benefit your diagnosis.

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