Dealing With Joint Pain. When to Seek Aggressive Treatment


Do you deal with chronic joint pain on a daily basis? If so, now is the time to take things a step further and seek the appropriate treatment. If you’ve already been to your doctor, but you feel like your issue isn’t being resolved, it may be time to seek other treatments to find some relief.

Here are a few causes of joint pain and what you might be able to do to remedy the problem:

Hip Pain

If you’ve been having problems walking and experiencing some pain when you do, you may have an underlying hip issue. Your hip is a ball and socket type of synovial joint. It’s a major component in your skeletal system. It is the connecting point between the pelvis and the femur and supports both the upper and lower body. Any type of disruption in muscle flow or impingement on nerves can trigger pain and severe discomfort. In some cases, it can even impair your ability to walk properly. To diagnosis a hip issue, your doctor will do a physical exam. From there, he may recommend radiology such an x-ray, CT scan or MRI in order to pinpoint a diagnosis or rule out any abnormalities.

In cases of severe degeneration, a partial or total hip replacement may have to be done. The typical hip surgery recovery time ranges from a few weeks up to a couple of months before you’re pain-free and able to be completely mobile again.  This can help significantly improve your quality of life and reduce your pain levels too.

Shoulder and Your Range of Motion

If you’ve noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to move your shoulder without pain, this can be the sign of a big problem. Your shoulder plays a major role in not only being able to move your arm properly, but it also takes the brunt of the heavy lifting that you do. When it gets hard to move very far, you may have a condition called frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis. This is where the nerves are so sensitive and the stiffness is so great that it can make it difficult to move in any direction without experiencing extreme pain.

Cortisone injections and physical therapy are some of the main treatments for a frozen shoulder but are often only temporary. Your orthopedic doctor may also recommend anti-inflammatory medications as well to help you get a grip on your shoulder pain. Shoulder joint degeneration may also be a contributor to your pain. A torn rotator cuff in your shoulder can also be a cause of severe pain. In most cases, physical therapy will help with a bad rotator cuff, but you may have to meet with an orthopedic surgeon for a surgery consult.

Wrist Discomfort

Have you been having problems with your wrist? Maybe there is numbness or tingling? Or maybe you’ve found yourself suddenly dropping things without warning? Those symptoms accompanied by pain in the wrist areas can be the sign of a serious underlying issue. One is carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the muscles in your arm and wrist are being overused or used in a repetitive manner. Your doctor may have you wear a wrist brace to help add support and eliminate further wear and tear on muscles and tendons in the area, and he may recommend an ergonomic mouse if you work on a computer all day.  For extreme cases, or those cases in which the pain is out of control, surgery may be the only option for complete repair and pain relief.

Ankle Problems and Old Injuries

Do you have an old ankle injury that doesn’t seem to have healed completely? If so, it may come back to aggravate you years down the road. If you’ve been noticing swelling in your ankle or discoloration of the skin, it may be that the original injury didn’t heal properly. Even if you’ve followed up with your orthopedic doctor or general practitioner, there can still be some damaged tissues that were affected. This can lead to instability of your lower leg and ankle.

Sometimes, ankle injuries can take several years to heal and recover from. Consult with your doctor about re-examining the old injury or looking into it further in case you re-injured yourself. An exam and a closer look at radiology imaging may be able to determine what the underlying cause of your ankle pain is.

Deciding whether or not to get surgery done is a significant step. Start with seeing if you can resolve the issue through pain management and physical therapy, if that fails, surgery may be the only option.