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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Why Is My Ankle Hurting?

Injuries, infection, chronic medical conditions and even wearing shoes that are too tight can be the source of ankle pain. Depending on the cause, the pain may feel like a sharp, tingling, shooting pain or a dull ache on the inside or surrounding areas of your ankle.

Ankle pain is so common that it affects people of all ages and can sometimes send people to the hospital. Here are common symptoms of conditions that can make your ankles hurt as well as some helpful tips to manage your pain.

What Can Cause Ankle Pain?

  • Sprain - a common cause of ankle pain that occurs when the ligaments that connect the bones in the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. Symptoms include pain, swelling and bruising. Most sprains can be treated with rest and ice at home.
  • Fracture - when there is a break of one or more of the bones in the ankle. Symptoms include sudden sharp pain that can radiate throughout the lower leg, swelling, a popping or snapping sound during the injury and difficulty walking.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – a long-term, autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissue. Symptoms include morning stiffness that can last for more than one hour, pain and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis can get worse over time. Medication may help with relief.
  • Osteoarthritis - the most common joint disorder due to aging and natural wear and tear. When the protective cartilage in the ankles breaks and wears down, it causes the bones to rub against each other, leading to pain and instability. Symptoms include growth of bony areas over the ankle joint, stiffness and swelling. The pain tends to get worse after exercise or when you put pressure on the joint.
  • Gout – a type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals form in the joint and cause painful inflammation in the foot, ankle or a person’s big toe. Symptoms include pain that is usually worse at night or immediately upon waking up, swelling around the ankle and warmth over the ankle joint. A person with a family history of gout is more likely to have this condition.
  • What Is Best for Ankle Pain?

    Rest and raise your ankle above the level of your heart when you can.

    Put an ice pack wrapped in a towel on your ankle for up to 20 minutes every two to three hours.

    Wear wide comfortable shoes with a low heel and soft sole.

    Wrap a bandage or put a brace around your ankle to support it.

    Use assistive tools, such as crutches or a cane to avoid putting much weight on your ankle.

    Try regular gentle stretching exercises.

    Take paracetamol for pain. Do no take ibuprofen for the first 48 hours after an injury.

    When to See A Doctor

    Please seek emergency care if you continue to experience the following symptoms despite lifestyle modifications, home remedies and over-the-counter medications:

    • The pain stops you from doing normal activities
    • The pain gets worse or keeps coming back
    • The pain has not improved after treating it at home for 2 weeks
    • There is a tingling or loss of sensation in your foot
    • You have diabetes and foot pain

    Our team of compassionate and experienced orthopedic doctors and staff are here to support you every step of the way. Schedule an appointment with us so we can help you find the right solution to your condition.

    American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
    National Health Services UK
    Medical News Today