Tearing a ligament or tendon when playing sports is a common cause of acute joint pain, while arthritis is the primary condition responsible for chronic pain. If joint pain reduces your mobility and quality of life, talk to fellowship-trained Dmitriy Buyanov, MD, and his team at Premier Pain Consultants in San Antonio, Texas. They offer cutting-edge treatments like joint injections and radiofrequency ablation that relieve symptoms long-term. Call Premier Pain Consultants or book a consultation online today to benefit from the most effective joint pain treatments.
Joint pain is a common problem with three main forms:
Acute pain strikes suddenly when you injure yourself. Sprains (stretched or torn ligaments) and strains (damaged tendons) are common acute joint injuries. The cartilage in your joints can also tear — the labrum (a ring of cartilage that secures ball-and-socket joints) in the shoulders and hips, and the meniscus cartilage in the knees often suffer acute injuries.
Repetitive strain, where you frequently make the same movements over long periods, can result in overuse injuries. These typically affect your joints’ tendons and bursae (fluid-filled cushioning sacs). Both tendinitis and bursitis develop when overuse irritates the tissues, causing gradually worsening inflammation and joint pain.
Chronic joint pain’s primary cause is arthritis. This disease has multiple forms, but the most common is osteoarthritis, which develops after decades of joint wear-and-tear. An immune system malfunction causes rheumatoid arthritis, while a buildup of uric acid crystals (most often in the big toe joints) causes gout.
Osteoarthritis pain is aching and throbbing, often causing swollen joints. The affected joints become increasingly stiff and weak and may start to twist. Pain typically flares up during cold, wet weather, when you’re feeling stressed, or if you do any unusual activities.
Joint pain diagnosis begins with a physical exam where your provider looks for abnormalities, painful areas, and loss of function. They also analyze your medical history and ask about your symptoms.
Sometimes, patients need X-rays or other diagnostic imaging procedures. These help your provider assess the joint’s interior structures, confirm the diagnosis, and determine the condition’s severity.
Acute injuries typically require rest, the regular use of ice packs, and a supportive bandage or brace. Anti-inflammatory medication helps to control pain and inflammation while the joint heals. With overuse injuries, you must also avoid the actions causing tissue irritation.
If you have rheumatoid or other autoimmune forms of arthritis, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) help to ease pain and slow symptom progression. Joint pain can also benefit from physical therapy and steroid injections into the joint.
If these treatments don’t control joint pain, advanced options include radiofrequency ablation, ketamine infusions, and peripheral nerve stimulation.
Call Premier Pain Consultants for an expert joint pain assessment or request an appointment online today.