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Joint Care

Over 47 million Americans suffer from debilitating joint pain. Joint pain is a leading adult disability, but if it is detected early, sufferers can receive joint pain management and joint pain relief that'll help minimize permanent damage and disability. Below is a list of common types of pain, followed by common treatments:


Bursitis is an example of non-arthritic joint pain. Repetitive movement and extreme pressure may produce pain in elbows, knees, hips and shoulders. These prolonged movements may inflame a joint's bursa with pain. The inflammation associated with bursitis pain can also be caused by a bacterial infection of the bursa. This is a serious condition that should receive immediate medical attention since the infection can spread to the blood and throughout the body.


Arthritis is the number one cause of joint pain, though the exact cause can be one of over 100 different types of arthritis. Some types include fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as rare varieties such as ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma. Arthritic joint pain is generally a chronic condition. Unlike acute pain which is temporary and strikes immediately, chronic pain is persistent and may linger for weeks or years.


The most common type of arthritis, Osteoarthritis affects more than 20 million people. This type of joint pain strikes joints throughout the body. Generally, joints which have experienced an injury are susceptible to this type of pain, as it triggers a breakdown in cartilage with subsequent discomfort and stiffness.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

It's estimated that about 1% of the US population, 2.1 million people, have rheumatoid arthritis. It's found two to three times more often in women than men. In this form of arthritis, the lining of various joints becomes inflamed (the word "arthritis" means join inflammation). Rheumatoid arthritis also affects the blood, lungs and heart. Besides pain, the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis can produce stiffness, swelling and redness. Over time, joints may become so damaged that normal movement is impaired. This is a prolonged form of arthritis which can go into remission for periods of time and them suddenly flare up.

Joint Pain Treatment

With an early diagnosis, treatments can be started that not only provide pain relief and management, but help slow the progression of arthritis. The most frequently used joint pain treatments are medicine, surgery, and alternative therapies.

Joint Pain Management and Joint Pain Relief Medications

Pharmaceutical treatments for joint pain range from over-the-counter medicines like aspirin to prescription drugs. Pain relievers like acetaminophen may be helpful to osteoarthritis sufferers since their condition involves little inflammation.

For people with rheumatoid arthritis, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which include ibuprofen, aspirin and newer drugs like are helpful. NSAIDs with COX-2 specific inhibitors that block an enzyme known to cause an inflammatory response are often prescribed by medical doctors for joint pain management and relief. However these drugs carry with them the risk of side effects like heart disease, digestive disorders, ulcers and liver damage.

Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers who don't respond to NSAIDs are often given DMARDs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. These drugs are believed to correct immune system deficiencies contributing to rheumatoid arthritis. They include Arava and methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, penicillamine, and gold injections, all of which may cause side effects if not monitored closely..

Another, newer class of drugs known as biological response modifiers, reduce rheumatoid arthritis joint pain by blocking an immune system protein involved in an inflammatory immune system response.

Medical doctors may also prescribe corticosteroids for joint pain. While these hormones may temporarily treat the pain, they carry with them serious health risks and may potentially be life threatening side effects. They may be taken orally or through an injection directly into the affected joint. However, this therapy should only be administered once or twice a year due to the risk of permanent cartilage damage.

Another disadvantage of using medications for joint pain relief and management is the risk of addiction over an extended period. Medications can't cure degenerative arthritis, they're prescribed for the management of its inflammation and pain.

Joint Pain Surgery

If medicine and physical therapy fail to bring relief, joint surgery is often thought of as a last resort for joint pain management. Typically large joint replacements last 8 to 10 years before a repeat surgery is required. The failure rate is higher for smaller joints like wrists, fingers, toes and ankles. Joint fusion is a surgical option for relief of joint pain in these smaller joints. Unfortunately, it sacrifices movement in these joints and may not eliminate pain.

Alternative Methods

Tri-City Pain Associates offer a wide variety of alternative treatment methods. Click the links below to view an educational video.

Cervical Procedures:

› Epidural steroid injection
› Transforaminal injections
› Facet Joint injections
› Diagnostic Medial Branch nerve injections
› Radio Frequency Rhizotomy
› Discograms
› Stellate Ganglion/sympathetic blocks
› Discography

Thoracic & Lumbar Procedures

› Epidural steroid injection
› Transforaminal injections
› Diagnostic Medial Branch nerve injections
› Radio Frequency Rhizotomy
› Discography
› Vertebroplasty
› Percutaneous Disc decompression
› Facet Joint injections
› Diagnostic Medial Branch nerve injections

› Dekompressor Discectomy
› Percutaneous Disc Nucleoplasty
› Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection
› Lumbar sympathetic block
› Celiac plexus block
› Hypogastric plexus block
› Percutaneous Lysis of adhesions (mechanical and chemical)
› RACZ Caudal Neurolysis


› Implantation, Programming and Management
› Pyriformis Injection
› Spinal Cord Stimulators trials and implantations, cervical and lumbar areas
› Spinal Cord Stimulators Programming and Management
› Intrathecal Pump Implant


› Peripheral nerve blocks: Suprascapular, Occipital, Ilio-inguinal, Intercoastal, Supratrochlear, Supraorbital, Infraorbital, Mental, Genitofemoral, etc.
› All joint and bursa injections (Hip/Shoulder/Knee/Sacroiliac, etc.)
› Botox and Myobloc Injections For Pain
› Gassarian Ganglion Blockade
› Scar Neuroma Injections
› Occipital Nerve Blocks
› Piriformis block