What is the Best Knee Treatment for My Arthritis?
December 09, 2020
Are You Having an Arthritic Knee Flare Up?
When you have your first arthritic flare up, you might be confused by the symptoms. Why are you suddenly having stiffness, swelling, pain, and reduced range of motion in your knee? Why does the pain also make you so tired? You might think back over the previous day’s activities, wondering if you’ve injured your knee. But by the time you have a second or third flare up, you realize those symptoms might keep coming back.
What is arthritis exactly? While it typically causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and inflammation, arthritis manifests itself in over 100 subtypes, so the symptoms are not universal. Therefore, the treatments are not universal either. Some types of arthritis are caused by overuse, while others are caused by immune system activation. Let’s take a look at what type of flare up you’re having to determine the best course of knee treatment.
See a Joint Pain Specialist Near Me for a Diagnosis
If you suspect you have arthritis based on chronic or recurrent symptoms, it’s important to get properly diagnosed. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition that stems from erosion of cartilage through wear and tear. It might be localized to a single knee or affect another joint like your hip. OA is more common as we age and can worsen over time, particularly if you are overweight or obese. So, it’s best treated early and at the source.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), on the other hand, is an autoimmune, inflammatory disease in which the immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. It causes painful inflammation in affected parts of the body and is rarely localized only to the knee. In fact, it doesn’t only affect joints. It can also affect organs and even the eyes. Treatments for the two types of arthritis are quite different, even though some symptoms are the same. And bear in mind, these are only two of the types of arthritis, which is why an accurate diagnosis is essential.
Do You Have Osteoarthritis Knee Swelling?
If you have arthritic swelling, how do you know if it’s OA versus RA or even another condition altogether? If you’ve already been diagnosed with OA, and the symptoms feel identical to previous OA flare-ups, then it’s likely the culprit. Swelling with OA is not usually symmetrical. It might only occur in one knee. And when it occurs in both knees, it might be worse on one side than the other.
RA, however, presents symmetrical swelling, and often the inflammation is systemic, affecting several joints at once. The swelling of RA stems from fluid accumulating near your joint when the immune system attacks, whereas the swelling with OA is from friction and wear and tear with overuse. So, before you assume osteoarthritis knee swelling is at play, consult a qualified joint pain specialist near me.
Can You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis in Your Knees?
Much like OA, you can experience knee pain from RA. But quite unlike OA, Rheumatoid Arthritis is not located in your knees. Knee pain with RA is caused by the immune system mounting a response that attacks the soft tissue around your joints, treating it like an invader. So, while you can have symptoms of RA in your knees, the knees themselves aren’t to blame. RA can attack healthy knee cells, whereas the pain of OA comes from inadequate amounts of cartilage and cushioning in the knee.
Have You Received a Rheumatoid Arthritis Knee Diagnosis?
Before attempting to relieve RA symptoms, secure a distinct Rheumatoid Arthritis knee diagnosis. If your pain is only in one knee, rather than both knees or multiple joints, it might not be RA. It is rare to have Rheumatoid Arthritis in a knee and nowhere else. In addition, RA often has additional symptoms like fever, fatigue, and problems with other organs. Often, another symptom like tiredness presents before pain with RA.
Looking for Knee Pain Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief?
If you’ve been properly diagnosed, you might be wondering where to find knee pain Rheumatoid Arthritis relief. Since RA can affect multiple parts of the body, you need a doctor with a broad scope of expertise. Pain management doctors understand pain from all angles, including location, causation, and manifestation. They understand how the body refers pain to other areas and how each patient feels pain differently. Partnering with an interventional pain medicine doctor is your first step to determining how to target RA pain.
Does Ibuprofen Help with Joint Pain?
Some patients try to treat arthritic pain themselves by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine like Ibuprofen. However, these NSAIDs aren’t recommended for all patients or all symptoms. The inflammation of RA stems from the immune system, not nerves or structural parts of the knee. As such, Ibuprofen might temporarily reduce inflammation and pain, but it won’t stop the autoimmune attack.
Additional treatments are often required to calm RA, like corticosteroid injections, arthrocentesis, and immunosuppressive medicines. As for OA, Ibuprofen might have a temporary impact on pain and swelling, but the long-term goal should be reducing the wear and tear and supporting the degenerated areas. Viscosupplementation, lubricant injections, steroid injections, physical therapy, exercise, and weight loss are other great tools to combat OA.
Does Advil Help Joint Pain?
Some people think different drug brand names indicate different outcomes. Advil is simply a brand of Ibuprofen, just like Motrin. These are all in the same category of analgesic anti-inflammatories, and the brand name has little to do with efficacy. You’ll want to check the expiration date and additional or inactive ingredients of all over-the-counter medicines you buy. You should also take note of the concentration per dose. NSAIDs have a recommended number of milligrams per day, beyond which you risk damage to your stomach and intestines. But as for the main ingredient, Ibuprofen and Advil are no different when it comes to joint pain.
Which OTC Meds for Joint Pain Actually Work?
In addition to NSAIDs, some people use analgesics like Tylenol for pain that don’t have anti-inflammatory properties. These are advised over NSAIDs for patients with recent abdominal surgery, bleeding in the stomach, allergy to NSAIDs, and GI disorders. Tylenol will help your brain regulate the pain, but it won’t reduce inflammation or swelling. So, if you’re wondering which OTC meds for joint pain work best, it depends on your type of arthritis and your individual medical history. In many cases, other solutions like steroid injections, weight loss, and exercise alleviate joint pain better than OTC meds.
Arthritis Relief Center Smithtown NY vs. PTS
For best results, skip the self-diagnosing and OTC pain meds and seek knee treatment from a board certified knee pain doctor. However, don’t choose an arthritis center as your first destination. Many conditions present much like arthritis, and those doctors are only trained in treating arthritis. In addition, the wear and tear of arthritis can lead to additional complications like fractures, nerve pain, and bony outgrowths.
So, choose a pain management expert like Pain Treatment Specialists (PTS) who can attack your arthritis from all angles, over a clinic like Arthritis Relief Center in Smithtown, NY. Our doctors accept most insurance plans and our procedures are typically fully covered, unlike some treatments at arthritis centers.
Visit the Innovative Arthritic Joint Pain Doctor Near Me
For the best care for Osteoarthritis of the knee or Rheumatoid Arthritis knee pain, head to Pain Treatment Specialists. Our award-winning practice is led by Harvard-trained doctors with innovative solutions for knee pain. From hyaluronic acid injections and corticosteroid injections, to genicular nerve blocks and Viscosupplementation, we offer a full range of knee treatment options for arthritic joint pain.
Our treatments produce relief in 5-10 minutes, much faster than the 20 minutes or 60 minutes it takes for OTC meds to kick in. We also offer tips for improving your daily life with arthritis. Whether it’s losing weight or working with a physical therapist, we’ll customize a care plan just for you. Trust Pain Treatment Specialists for comprehensive arthritic knee treatment.
Harvard Medical School
Director of Pain Management
Dr. George Hanna is a nationally recognized pain management specialist and Double Board Certified in anesthesiology and pain management medicine. Dr. Hanna is currently available at Pain Treatment Specialists in Manhattan and Clifton, NJ. He is now accepting most major medical insurances, including Medicare.
Harvard Medical School
NY & NJ PAIN SPECIALIST
Dr. Volney is double board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine by the American Board of Anesthesiology. He is currently seeing patients at our Pain Treatment Center in Manhattan and Clifton, New Jersey. Most pain treatments are covered by all major medical insurances and Medicare.
Harvard Medical School
NY & NJ Pain Specialist
Dr. Michael Nguyen is world renowned in Pain Medicine. Dr. Nguyen completed his residency and advanced Pain fellowship training at Harvard Medical School. During his tenure at Harvard, Dr. Nguyen was awarded the “Mentor of the Year” and also “Teacher of the Year” award.
Harvard Medical School
NJ PAIN SPECIALIST
Dr. Lombardi specializes in the treatment of back, neck, and joint pain. By using a range of minimally invasive modalities as well as advanced procedures, she helps patients achieve a pain free life without the need for surgery. Dr. Lombardi will be offering her pain treatment services in Clifton, New Jersey.