You Don't Have to Live with Joint Pain

You Don't Have to Live with Joint Pain

Like the local joint down the street where folks get together to socialize, the joints in your body are the places where your bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles meet and mingle. Under healthy circumstances, they all get along. But, if one or more of them are impaired, there can be a “brawl” in the joint. 

By far, the most common factor causing joint problems is arthritis. Arthritis is an umbrella term that covers more than 100 diseases that attack joints and cause chronic stiffness, inflammation, and pain.

About 15 million arthritic Americans suffer from severe joint pain — that’s one in every four adults. While that number may seem to suggest a certain inevitability, you can fight back against the pain if you partner with the right medical team.

Dinash Yanamadula, MD, at Princeton Pain & Spine Institute in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, offers cutting-edge treatments that can relieve joint pain and restore mobility and function. 

The many causes of joint pain

Osteoarthritis, which wears down the protective cartilage in your joints, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that damages your joints, are the two most common types of arthritis, and they account for the pain most people experience as they age.

But arthritis isn’t the only culprit. Other things can cause joint pain as well, such as the following:

Knowing the cause of your joint pain is critical to the treatment process. In general, the approach you should take will depend on if the condition is curable or incurable.

For example, if you injure ligaments or tendons, treating the injury should cause your pain to subside. Or if you have an infection, treating it should resolve the joint pain. In short, the focus should be on healing, while pain management can play a supporting role if needed.

However, if the source of your joint pain stems from an incurable disease, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, you should focus on slowing its progression, protecting your joints, and relieving the pain. 

Treating joint pain

When pain management is the goal, Dr. Yanamadula offers several advanced, minimally invasive treatment options that can help you stay comfortable and function more freely. 

Viscosupplementation

If arthritis is causing your joint pain, you may be a good candidate for viscosupplementation. Osteoarthritis wears away your cartilage and robs your joints of the slippery, viscous substance called hyaluronic acid, which allows your bones to rub against one another smoothly. 

Viscosupplementation replaces the missing hyaluronic acid. Dr. Yanamadula first numbs the area, then he injects the fluid into the space in your affected joint to lubricate the joint and reduce the rubbing. This treatment is most effective in knee osteoarthritis. 

Joint injections

Whether you’re recovering from an injury, a surgical procedure, or an infection, severe joint pain can hijack your rehab efforts. 

Joint injections, which contain a local anesthetic called lidocaine and a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation, provide temporary pain relief. This relief may help you get through the worst of the pain so you undergo physical therapy as your body heals.

Genicular nerve blocks

Similar to a joint injection, a genicular nerve block contains lidocaine, but it doesn’t contain the steroid, and we don’t inject it inside your joint. The goal of this treatment is to target the genicular nerves around your knee outside the joint. 

Using fluoroscopy for guidance, Dr. Yanamadula anesthetizes the nerves that are sending pain signals to your brain. Genicular nerve blocks provide immediate, albeit temporary, pain relief.

Genicular nerve ablation

If the nerve block works for you, Dr. Yanamadula may recommend genicular nerve ablation for longer relief. This procedure uses radiofrequency technology to heat up the affected nerves, thereby disabling them so they can no longer function.

Doing this prevents the nerves from sending pain signals for a period of time. This treatment is often effective for at least six months. 

Platelet-rich plasma therapy

If you have soft-tissue damage in your ligaments or tendons, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy can reduce your joint pain and speed up the healing process. Dr. Yanamadula takes a sample of blood from your arm and spins it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the rest of your blood’s components.

He then injects the solution into your damaged tissue. Instantly, your immune system recognizes the presence of platelets and sends a flood of macrophages (white blood cells), which flush away damaged cells and facilitate healing. This creates an ideal environment for your body’s stem cells to repair the damage and generate new tissue.

These are just a few of the many potential treatment options you’ll find at Princeton Pain & Spine Institute. Dr. Yanamadula customizes your treatment based on your unique symptoms and physical condition.

Regardless of what’s causing your joint pain, you don’t have to live with it. To find out which treatment option is best for you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Princeton Pain & Spine Institute today.

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