Joint pain in your upper body can be debilitating and take a toll on day-to-day living. Combing your hair, shaving, lifting and typing can be a difficult task if you are living with joint pain. When chronic pain in your shoulders, elbows, wrists or hands makes it hard to move, it’s time to learn more about your treatment options.
If you have been living with pain for several weeks and it hasn’t resolved with rest and ice, something may be wrong. Most joint pain is caused by injury, overuse or arthritis.
Do You Have Arthritis?
Often, joint pain is caused by osteoarthritis, a chronic condition that worsens with age and overuse. According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 27 million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis. It can occur in any joint, but it is common in the small joints of the hand and wrist, as well as the complex joint of the shoulder.
Osteoarthritis develops as the cartilage in your joint wears away. It can affect different areas of your joint, so you should write down when and where you feel the pain so you can talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
Common signs and symptoms of arthritis, include:
- Aches deep in the joint.
- Joint pain that affects your movement and restricts range of motion
- Joint stiffness in the morning that improves with movement.
- Pain that worsens with activity.
- Pain that gets worse throughout the day.
- Pain that goes away with rest.
- Pain that interferes with daily activities.
- Swelling in the joint.
- The feeling of bones grating or catching on something when moving.
Do I Need Surgery for Joint Pain?
Joint pain doesn’t always mean surgery. The doctors at St. Elizabeth Healthcare will often try non-surgical solutions first before recommending you for surgery. Some injuries may only need physical therapy and rehabilitation to reduce pain and increase shoulder mobility. Non-surgical treatments for joint pain, include:
- Injections and medications to reduce inflammation and pain
- Education for injury prevention and care
- Physical therapy and aquatic physical therapy to improve mobility and function
When Surgery is Necessary
If non-surgical treatments are no longer working, it may be time for surgery or a joint replacement. St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the orthopaedic surgeon from OrthoCincy Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine practicing at St. Elizabeth Healthcare offer some of the most advanced orthopaedic surgeries available in the country, including same-day shoulder replacement, rotator cuff sparing surgery and thumb joint replacement.
Join us for a FREE Living with Limits educational session on Tuesday, Sept. 3, to find out how to end upper extremity joint pain. Dr. James Baker and Dr. Michael Greiwe from OrthoCincy Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, and St. Elizabeth Healthcare Physical Therapist Jacqueline Listerman will discuss medication management, rehabilitation and surgery options to relieve your symptoms, including total joint replacement and same-day joint replacement. You don’t have to live with upper body joint pain—learn how to end your joint problems and get back to fully enjoying life.
Space is limited at our Living Without Limits seminar and reservations are required. Doors open at 6 p.m., presentation is from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at FIVE Labs Midwest, 4123 Olympic Blvd., Erlanger, KY. Register for this event today.