Effective treatments for the relief of osteoarthritis pain in Encinitas, CA
There are several different types of arthritis, but when most people talk about “arthritis,” they are referring to osteoarthritis. This degenerative joint disease can be incredibly painful and severely impact your quality of life, which is why Dr. Peter Lloyd at Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center in Encinitas, CA specializes in helping patients with rheumatic diseases like osteoarthritis find relief from their pain with effective treatment options.
When it comes to treating osteoarthritis, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Dr. Lloyd works closely with each patient to determine what factors are causing their symptoms, as well as the best approaches to treat their pain. Below are some of the most common treatment options that we recommend at Seaside Rheumatology. Many patients benefit from a combination of therapies and lifestyle modifications.
Weight loss and lifestyle modifications
Osteoarthritis symptoms tend to be worse in patients who are carrying extra body weight. This is because the additional weight places more stress on the joints, which can exacerbate inflammation and pain. Even a small amount of weight loss can reap big benefits when it comes to osteoarthritis pain. Adjusting your diet to reduce pro-inflammatory foods and increase anti-inflammatory foods can also help reduce your symptoms.
Regular exercise can help keep your joints lubricated and the surrounding muscles and bones strong and healthy. Walking, bicycling, and swimming are great exercises that are gentle on your joints, and they are terrific for your cardiovascular system and endurance as well. Movement therapies such as yoga and tai chi can also provide tremendous benefits to patients suffering from osteoarthritis, and they have wonderful stress-relieving effects as well.
Physical therapy and occupational therapy
Some of the pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis can be due to the way you move your body and the stresses that are placed on it with everyday activities such as walking, brushing your teeth, and typing on the computer.
- A physical therapist can provide you with strength training and range of motion exercises that can be beneficial in not only reducing your pain but also improving your flexibility and strength
- An occupational therapist can provide you with tools and tips for doing your daily tasks with less pain; for example, you may benefit from a bench in your shower if your knees hurt while you are standing, and an occupational therapist can also help you learn how to move your body in the best way to protect your joints during activities such as bending over, getting in and out of the car, or walking around your house
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, a variety of oral medications are available that can help reduce your pain. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium can typically relieve mild to moderate pain. Cymbalta (duloxetine) is a prescription drug that was originally indicated for depression but has also been approved by the FDA for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain.
Injections can provide relief from pain for up to several months at a time. At Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center, we use ultrasound guidance with every injection for enhanced precision and your comfort. The two most common types of injections are:
- Corticosteroid injections: Corticosteroids reduce inflammation at the cellular level and can provide relief from both acute and chronic pain. Because corticosteroids can have negative long-term effects, it is typically not advised to have more than three injections per year.
- Viscosupplementation injections: Also sometimes referred to as lubrication injections, these injections contain hyaluronic acid, a gel-like substance that is naturally found in the body and is similar to the fluids in your joints. In osteoarthritis, the fluid surrounding your joints becomes more watery and contains less hyaluronic acid than healthy joints, so viscosupplementation injections can be used to help restore the natural consistency of the joint fluid. The injections also help coat the nerve endings in the joints and help with shock absorption.
Surgery is used as a last resort when other more conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief from osteoarthritis symptoms. The most frequent surgical procedures used for osteoarthritis are joint replacement surgery, where the damaged joint is replaced with an artificial joint, and surgery to realign bones to shift body weight away from the affected joints.
Pain relief is within sight – call us today!
If you are suffering from osteoarthritis pain, it is never too late to seek treatment. Dr. Peter Lloyd evaluates each patient individually and provides customized treatment plans for effective pain relief. Call Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center today at 760-452-2080 to schedule your appointment.