Pain medications offer temporary relief for joint pain, but they may not be a good solution for a chronic joint condition. They generally mask the pain and reduce swelling without treating the underlying cause for your pain. Let’s consider why you should wean off of pain medications as soon as possible and seek better longer term pain-control options.
Long term use of pain medications can cause gastric ulcers and bleeding, liver damage, kidney failure, and interfere with the action of your other medications. There is also the possibility of developing tolerance, dependence, and addiction to the pain medication. Alternatives to pain medication that can lower your need for them and be effective for long term pain control include:
Physical Therapy: There are many different physical therapy options to reduce pain. These include following a special exercise program to strengthen the muscles that support your joint, massage therapy, application of ice packs or warm compresses, and the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units.
Arthroscopic Surgery: This is a minimally invasive procedure which allows you surgeon to look inside your joint through tiny puncture incisions using specialized instruments. Removal of bone debris or repair of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage can be performed with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Joint Replacement: For severe joint pain due to end stage, bone-on-bone arthritis, joint replacement is considered the best treatment. Most patients that have undergone a joint replacement report satisfaction with the procedure, less need to take pain medication once they recover from surgery, and wish they had the procedure done sooner.
For an in-depth evaluation of your pain as well as a discussion on the non-surgical and surgical treatment options that may be best for your bone and joint condition, please call (405) 424-5426 or request an appointment online.
Dr. Jacob brings cutting edge techniques and technology to the Oklahoma City area. He has extensive training in minimally invasive, rapid recovery joint replacement as well as robotically assisted hip and knee replacement. Dr. Jacob is a pioneer in outpatient joint replacement allowing some patients to go home the same day as their procedure and recover in the comfort of their own home. The cornerstone of Dr. Jacob’s practice is to have the recovery process be easier, faster and less painful allowing his patients to get back into the game of life. Dr. Jacob is committed to bringing the highest level of orthopedic care while treating each and every patient like a family member. Providing you with patient centered care you can trust.