According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 30 million Americans are living with osteoarthritis, which is also a leading cause of disability. At Thrive Pain Management in Irving, Texas, Teddrick Dunson, MD, offers extensive experience in diagnosing and treating this common type of arthritis. If you or a loved one is searching for great arthritis care and management path, schedule a consultation today to begin the process. You can book online or by phone, so don’t delay.
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. To understand this condition, it helps to think about how your joints function.
In most joints, a rubbery, firm material called cartilage covers the ends of the two bones. That material serves to create a smooth surface for the joint to move and also cushions the two bones. Osteoarthritis occurs when your cartilage breaks down or wears away. Cartilage does not regenerate on its own, so the process continues over time.
Bone spurs can develop, and small bits of cartilage or bone can break loose and float within your joint, triggering nerves and causing pain.
Your body reacts to these joint changes with an inflammatory response. Cytokines and enzymes develop and accelerate the destruction of cartilage. Eventually, most of the cartilage is gone, and the bones are left to rub against each other during joint movement, which can cause severe pain.
There are several ways to address osteoarthritis pain. At Thrive Pain Management, Dr. Dunson begins by assessing your joint health and determining the extent of the damage. He may take in-office X-rays to assess your arthritic joints.
Medications may play a role in treating osteoarthritis. Over-the-counter medications can reduce mild to moderate pain. It’s important to note, however, that even over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause problems with your stomach, kidneys, liver, and cardiovascular system.
Physical therapy and occupational therapy can help by teaching you how to strengthen your joints and shape your daily routines in a way that does not exacerbate the problem. After working with a skilled therapist, you can care for your joints on your own.
Cortisone injections are another option and work by reducing swelling and improving joint mobility. Injections of hyaluronic acid can help by cushioning your joints.
To explore these and other treatments for osteoarthritis, call Thrive Pain Management, or schedule a free consultation online.