Joints are the connective points were two bones meet. The human body has 360 different joints. At each of those points, there is a potential for inflammation, deterioration of connective tissues, and other issues that can lead to discomfort and pain. Knee pain is among the most commonly reported type of joint discomfort and is closely followed by shoulder and hip pain. That said, joint pain can come into play anywhere within the body; it is a condition that can have a significant negative impact on a patient’s normal daily activities. As individuals age, joint pain can become more pronounced. Fortunately, a number of treatments are available to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with joint issues.
Each and every patient has a unique set of needs when it comes to treating joint pain. For some, physical therapy can be a very effective course of treatment. The primary goal of physical therapy is often to strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joint. This serves to stabilize the joint and allow the patient to have a normal range of motion without experiencing discomfort or pain. Physical therapy, combined with a program of increased physical activity and, in some cases, weight loss, can be a powerful means of getting a patient back on track. This approach appeals to many patients who want to try a noninvasive, medically directed type of therapy that can be continued at home on an as-needed basis.
For patients who do not achieve lasting results through physical therapy alone, the next step often includes steroid injections. Administered by a medical professional, steroid injections are an effective way to reduce swelling related to arthritis, joint disease and other conditions that lead to painful joints. Relief often lasts between 3 to 4 months. Time-released cortisone is another injection option, and many patients report lasting relief from pain using this type of therapy.