Pain can be debilitating. When it is accompanied by a loss of mobility and worsening quality of life, the impact is not only a physical one but also mental and emotional. For many people with degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, the pandemic has led to an increase in symptoms due to missed routine appointments and lengthening waits for treatment.
If you are experiencing pain, there are things you can do to manage your pain and improve your quality of life. Here are our six recommendations:
- Get a proper diagnosis – If you are experiencing pain, it is important to get a proper diagnosis so you understand what is causing it. Depending on the severity and location of the pain, you may be offered different types of diagnostic scans. An X-ray is normally used to confirm a suspected fracture or dislocation, while ultrasound may be used to examine organs, bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as for certain types of treatment. CT scans may also be used for diagnosis as they produce very detailed cross-sectional images and an MRI scan may be used to diagnose many different conditions affecting the bones, joints, soft tissues and spine. In some cases, you may be given an injection of contrast dye to help pinpoint the exact location and cause of pain. This is called a diagnostic arthrogram injection.
- Take painkilling medication and anti-inflammatories – This may sound obvious but keeping on top of your pain by taking over the counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen can help you to manage day-to-day activities and stay active.
- Exercise – Although you may feel like cuddling up on the sofa if you are in pain, exercise is important to keep joints lubricated and flexible. Try a low impact activity like swimming, walking, yoga or pilates. Getting out in the fresh air is good for your mental as well as you physical health.
- Therapeutic injections – These are injections into the affected joint using ultrasound to guide the needle into precisely the right place. There are different types of therapeutic injection including:
- Corticosteroid injections: Injecting steroids into the joint or surrounding soft tissues helps to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and other conditions like bursitis.
- Dry needling: This involves repeatedly injecting an abnormal tendon using ultrasound to guide the needle. Doing this creates mild trauma in the tendon and causes localised bleeding. Blood contains growth factors and proteins that are believed to promote cellular regeneration and help the tendon to heal.
- Hyaluronic acid injections: This helps to lubricate joints and provide temporary pain relief. Hyaluronic acid is a synthetic compound that is chemically similar to natural joint fluid. When injected into a damaged joint it acts as a shock absorber and lubricant.
- Maintain a healthy body weight – Even carrying a few extra pounds can increase the pressure on damaged joints, particularly weight-bearing hip and knee joints. This can lead to increased pain and loss of mobility. Eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising regularly can not only help you to lose weight but also helps to keep you fit and well and keeps joints flexible and well lubricated.
- Discuss your treatment options – While therapeutic injections can provide effective short-term relief from pain, they are not a cure for degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, talk to your doctor about short-term, medium-term and long-term treatment options. If your symptoms are mild to moderate, you should be able to manage them with painkillers, lifestyle changes and less invasive treatments like therapeutic injections. However, as it becomes more advanced, you may need to undergo surgical treatment, such as a joint replacement, to manage the worsening symptoms.
If you have suffered a sporting injury, whether due to an accident or as a result of long-term damage, contact W27 for specialist advice and diagnosis.
SPORTS INJURY TREATMENT | MANCHESTER, LONDON, CHESHIRE + MORE
W27 provides fast, accurate diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal symptoms and conditions using the latest state-of-the-art imaging facilities.
For your appointment there is a choice of locations:
The OrthTeam Centre Ohm Building – 168 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M20 2AF
Euxton Hall Hospital – Wigan Road, Euxton, Chorley, PR7 6DY
MedSerena Upright MRI Centre Manchester – 26-28 The Boulevard, Manchester, M20 2EU
The John Charnley Wing, Wrightington Hospital – Hall Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9EP
The Spire Manchester – 170 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2AF
MedSerena Upright MRI Centre London – 114a Cromwell Road, Kensington, London, SW7 4ES
HCA The Wilmslow Hospital – 52 Alderley Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 1NY
Information about our Fees can be found here.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options with a specialist, please contact the team to book an initial consultation.