Arthritis Pain Management

We Care About You and Your Pain

At Desert Care Network, we know how hard it can be for people with arthritis to carry out day-to-day tasks such as walking up the stairs or doing moderate to high-intensity exercises. If you’re suffering from this condition, the good thing is, our orthopedic physicians in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley area are experienced in arthritis pain management, treatment and prevention. We are eager to help you get back the life you deserve.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is an umbrella term for different types of joint-related conditions which can affect people of all ages. In fact, more than 54 million people in the United States have arthritis, and it is considered the leading cause of work disability in the country. Arthritis comes in many types, but two of the most common ones are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is also known as “wear and tear” arthritis or degenerative joint disease. As the most common type of arthritis, it usually affects the hips, knees and hands. The cartilage within the joint of people with OA breaks down. This causes the bone underneath to slowly change and get worse over time which may lead to reduced function or worse, disability.

Osteoarthritis does not “spread.” However, it may also affect other joints, especially if you change your gait or walking pattern to compensate for pain and lack of motion.

Signs and Symptoms of OA

The signs and symptoms of OA may come and go, and may also range from mild to severe. These may include the following:

  • Pain or aching
  • Limited range of motion or decreased flexibility
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling

Risk Factors for OA

The following factors may increase a person’s risk of having OA:

  • Family history of OA
  • Joint injury
  • Gender (women are more likely to have OA than men)
  • Obesity
  • Old age

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune and inflammatory condition. This causes your immune system to incorrectly attack healthy cells in the body which may then lead to inflammation, pain and/or swelling in the affected body parts. RA usually affects the knee, hand and wrist joints. It may also affect other body tissues and cause complications in crucial organs such as the heart, eyes and lungs.

Signs and Symptoms of RA

Patients with RA may experience times of flare (when symptoms get worse) and times of remission (when symptoms get better). The common signs and symptoms of RA may include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain or aching in more than one joint
  • Stiffness in more than one joint
  • Swelling and/or tenderness in more than one joint
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

Risk Factors for RA

The following factors may increase a person’s risk of having OA:

  • Family history of RA
  • Gender (women are two to three times more likely to have RA than men do)
  • Obesity
  • Old age
  • Smoking
  • Women who have never given birth

How Is Arthritis Diagnosed?

If you experience arthritis symptoms, whether it’s OA or RA, please schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic physicians in Palm Springs or the Coachella Valley area. Aside from reviewing your symptoms, your doctor may also conduct a physical exam and/or request an X-ray and some laboratory tests to understand the cause of your arthritis pain and to provide the best treatment options possible.

What Are the Treatment Options for Arthritis?

Unfortunately, there is still no cure for arthritis, but your doctor may offer treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help relieve your symptoms, keep them from getting worse and prevent further complications. Your doctor may also recommend strategies for arthritis pain management at home. These may include the following:

  • Losing weight
  • Medications (i.e., prescription drugs and over-the-counter pain relievers)
  • Physical therapy with muscle strengthening exercises
  • Slowly increasing joint-friendly physical activities
  • Surgery (i.e., hip or knee replacement)
  • Use of crutches or canes or a walker for support

How to Prevent Arthritis

Truth be told, some factors could make it hard for you to prevent arthritis. These may include your family medical history, age and gender (as mentioned, arthritis is more common in women). However, you can develop some habits that can help reduce your risk of developing arthritis pain and help manage your symptoms such as the following:

  • Consuming a healthy diet
  • Getting enough exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Practicing a healthy posture
  • Seeing your doctor regularly
  • Preventing joint injuries

Our Advanced Joint Replacement Program

Whether you’re experiencing mild, moderate or severe arthritis symptoms, our orthopedic physicians and staff at Desert Care Network are ready to provide the compassionate care and treatment you need to live a normal life. We usually recommend conservative treatment options first, such as pain medications, weight loss, physical therapy and exercises that can help keep your muscles strong and joints flexible.

If these are not enough, our physicians may recommend joint replacement which is designed to restore the function and eliminate the pain associated with arthritis of the , hip, knee or shoulder. This program offers minimally invasive surgical techniques and enhanced anesthesia approaches that lead to shorter hospital stays and faster recovery time.

Are You a Candidate for Joint Replacement?

Your doctor may recommend joint replacement surgery if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Joint damage as shown in X-ray results
  • Severe pain when doing routine activities such as standing and walking
  • Pain that keeps you awake at night

Why Choose Desert Care Network?

Desert Care Network is a healthcare leader for arthritis pain management and total hip and knee replacements in Palm Springs and Coachella Valley. Desert Regional Medical has received specialty certification from the Joint Commission for its program in Hip Replacement and Knee Replacement. But more than being recognized for its commitment to compassionate care and excellence, we are proud of how we genuinely care about our patients.

You’re not meant to live in pain. We’re here for you. Call 888-572-0084 to start get started.

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Dislocation and Treatments

What Is Dislocation?

A joint is an area where two or more bones connect. A dislocation occurs when an external force knocks the bones of a joint out of position. Joints include your jaws, shoulders, fingers, elbows, ankles and knees. A fall, blow or playing contact sports causes joint dislocation.

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body. It can turn in many directions, which makes it also the most commonly dislocated joint. Aside from playing sports, studies show that young males and older women are at a higher risk of suffering from a dislocated shoulder joint. Women aged 80 to 90 years old suffer from dislocated shoulders due to falls at home.

How to Tell If Your Joint Is Dislocated?

A dislocation tears ligaments or tendons. For example, the most common dislocation in the shoulders is when the joint slips forward (anterior instability) and the arm bone is moved forward and down out of its joint. Dislocated joint symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Bruising

How to Treat a Dislocated Joint

A dislocated joint is an emergency. While you wait for medical care, you may apply the following initial treatment to the affected joint:

  • Let the joint rest. Do not attempt to move or jam a dislocated bone back. Sudden movement can damage blood vessels, muscles, ligaments and nerves.
  • Put an ice pack on the area around the joint to ease swelling and pain.
  • Take pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Your doctor will perform a process called closed reduction on your dislocated shoulders. The process involves placing your humerus back into the joint socket to stop the pain and put the shoulder joint back in place.

The sore area can benefit from cold compress post-recovery. Your doctor may recommend a sling or other device to immobilize your injured joint for several weeks following treatment temporarily.

Your doctor may recommend rehabilitation exercises for you once the pain and swelling subside to help restore your joint’s range of motion and strengthen the muscles. Dislocation may become a recurrent problem. Wearing a brace can help, but if therapy and bracing fail, your ligaments may need to undergo surgery for repair.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

If you have a dislocated joint, see an orthopedic doctor right away or call 911. It is important to remember that once you dislocate a shoulder or kneecap joint, you’re more likely to dislocate it again. Always wear protective gear to prevent future dislocations if you play contact sports.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons