Non-surgical Treatments for Pain Management
At East Metro Rheumatology, we treat rheumatologic conditions with non-surgical treatments for pain management. We use methods of infusion therapy, intraarticular joint injections for joint pain, and soft tissue injections to relieve muscle tension. We also do physical therapy, and can prescribe medication if necessary. Our treatments include:
Steroids are similar to natural substances produced by the body (hormones) that help reduce inflammation. Intra-articular corticosteroids or steroids are medicines injected directly into the joint space of a painful, inflamed arthritic joint. For people with rheumatologic conditions, steroids may be used to reduce inflammation in tendons and ligaments in osteoarthritic joints. Your doctor may give you a local anesthetic (a numbing medicine) before the injection so you feel very little pain.
With joint and soft tissue injections, a needle is used to take out fluid or to put in medicine to relieve pain and inflammation. These injections can be used to diagnose or treat many different conditions. Soft tissue injections are injected right into the soft tissue space (such as the space between a muscle and a bone. Your doctor may give you a local anesthetic (a numbing medicine) before the injection so you feel very little pain.
One effective treatment for rheumatoid diseases and other autoimmune disorders is infusion therapy. Infusion therapy provides patients with medication administered by IV. It is a safe and effective alternative when a patient’s condition is severe and oral medication is not an option, or has not worked. Your rheumatologist will give you instructions to follow beforehand, and IV infusions are normally done in office.
Living with a rheumatological condition can be a very daunting and painful experience. Many of the rheumatic conditions require good medical management and good physiotherapists to reduce the impact of these diseases on your life. Physiotherapy is a comprehensive treatment that helps patients regain the abilities they had prior to injury. Physiotherapy can also reduce the amount of pain you experience from chronic pain. A customized physical therapy program can help individuals return to their prior level of functioning, and encourage activities and lifestyle changes that can help prevent further injury and improve overall health and well-being.
Depending on your condition your rheumatologist will prescribe the right medication for you. There are many effective pharmaceutical options for treating rheumatic disease, depending on your condition.
When you have arthritis, your body is in an inflammatory state. What you eat may not only increase inflammation, it can also set you up for other chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Arthritis is a general term encompassing conditions that share joint pain and inflammation. Typical treatment involves pain-reducing medication.
Common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, caused by wear and tear on the joints; rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own joints; and gout, caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. Regardless of the type of arthritis you have, research suggests that including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet and limiting foods that may trigger joint pain may help alleviate the pain and swelling. Here are 5 foods to avoid if you have arthritis:
1. Fried and Processed Foods: Cutting back on the consumption of fried and processed foods, such as fried meats and prepared frozen meals, can reduce inflammation and actually help restore the body’s natural defense.
2. High-Calorie Foods: Obesity is directly linked to osteoarthritis, especially of the knees, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Every pound of excess weight puts 4 pounds of extra stress on your knees. And fat itself creates chemicals that can aggravate inflammation, which explains why obese people are also at higher risk of arthritis in the hands. Obesity is linked to rheumatoid arthritis and gout, as well.
3. Dairy Products: Dairy products may contribute to arthritis pain due to the protein that these products contain. For some people, this protein may irritate the tissue around the joints. Some sufferers of arthritis pain have success switching to a vegan diet, which contains no animal products whatsoever.
4. Foods with High Salt Content: Many foods contain excess salt, which can often cause inflammation of your joints. Less salt may help you manage your arthritis, so avoid prepared meals. Though they’re convenient, microwavable meals are often very high in sodium.
5. Refined Sugars and Sweets: While certain carbohydrates are an essential part of our diets, refined sugars and sweets are not, as much as we may enjoy them. Refined sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup, provide empty calories devoid of any nutrients and detrimental to our bodies. Cutting down on refined sugar is even more important for people with rheumatoid arthritis because it helps reduce chronic inflammation.
There is no established arthritis diet plan. What works for one person may not work for someone else. Trial and error will determine which foods you need to eliminate. Your rheumatologist can suggest the necessary nutritional methods to help you reduce pain.
Rheumatic diseases affect your bones, joints, and muscles. Some conditions, such as osteoarthritis, are the result of wear and tear. Others, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are immune system problems. These can all be addressed and treated by an experienced rheumatologist. Your treatment plan will likely include some mix of medications, regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress management, and rest. Dr. Baloch at East Metro Rheumatology can help you find the best ways to manage your condition.
At East Metro Rheumatology, analysis of a blood sample can provide important information about rheumatologic conditions, which are marked by inflammation in the joints, muscles, connective tissues, and other structures. Blood tests are commonly performed to detect or evaluate rheumatic disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), scleroderma, blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis), gout, and different types of arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis).
X-rays are helpful in diagnosing and monitoring the effect that rheumatic diseases have on the body. Individual features, such as joint space narrowing, erosions, new bone formation, and deformity, may identify joint disease. In diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, the presence of erosion on hand X-ray gives a valuable measure of disease progression and response to therapy. At East Metro Rheumatology, we have an X-ray machine available to help us diagnose patients and document the progress of their disease, and most importantly to see if the administered treatment is working.
Pain is an uncomfortable feeling that tells you something may be wrong in your body. Your spinal cord and nerves provide the pathway for messages to travel to and from your brain and the other parts of your body. Pain medicine and non-drug pain treatments can block these messages, or reduce their effect on your brain. Although pain can protect us by forcing us to rest an injury or to stop doing something, the experience of being in a state of uncontrolled pain is horrible, frightening, and can have a profound effect on our quality of life.
When a person is in pain, stress levels are high, blood pressure rises, and the body enters a state of distress. With a proper pain management treatment plan, this stress and frustration can be alleviated. While there still may be some discomfort, the patient will work to regain their range of motion and increase their mobility. The more they are able to participate in physical activity, the better they will feel.
Patients who play an active role in the development of their treatment plans are often more likely to resume physical activity much quicker and attempt to regain their range of motion and improve their mobility at a much faster pace. At East Metro Rheumatology, we pride ourselves on helping our patients find ways and methods to help control their pain.