Chronic Joint Pain: Causes and Treatment Options

Posted by Andy Thomas ● October 7, 2019

If you experience aches and pains on a regular basis, you may have chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts at least 12 weeks. It can vary in levels of severity or intensity, and it can come and go or remain steady. Chronic pain can affect almost any part of the body, but joint pain is one of the most common types of chronic pain.

What causes chronic joint pain?

There are many different causes of joint pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Joint pain can be discomfort, pain or inflammation arising from any part of a joint — including cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons or muscles."

  • Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder of the joints. The cartilage or connective tissue that cushions the joints breaks down over time, leaving the bones to rub against each other. This movement causes pain and reduced movement in the joint and, left untreated, can result in permanent joint damage.
  • Sacroiliac joint inflammation, sometimes referred to as SI joint inflammation, is a common disorder that all too often goes untreated because sufferers aren't aware there is treatment available. There is a sacroiliac joint on either side of your spine in your lower back which can become inflamed a number of different ways. Pregnancy, unbalanced form during walking, arthritis in the joint, and overexertion can all cause inflammation in the SI joint that triggers pain. A typical symptom is a dull ache that begins in the lower back when you stand that then radiates through the buttocks, thighs, and groin.
  • Tendinitis is known by several more symptom-specific names including golfer's elbow, pitcher's shoulder, swimmer's shoulder, and tennis elbow because it commonly strikes in the tendons associated with those activities. Technically, tendinitis is the inflammation of any of the ligaments that connect the muscles to bones. It causes pain in the area surrounding the affected joint and, despite the catchy names, can occur in the tendons anywhere in your body.  
  • Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition where sufferers experience a range of symptoms that include painful joints and body aches. This disorder can be triggered by an injury, surgery, or traumatic event.

While the causes of joint pain may be chronic, they are by no means a sentence to a lifetime of pain. Many sufferers find relief through appropriate care from their chiropractor and other medical professionals.

Is there a non-prescription treatment for chronic joint pain?

Many people begin treating their chronic joint pain with pain relievers, very few people find that to be a sustainable long-term treatment plan. The good news for people suffering from joint pain is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Although the conditions are chronic, there are several non-addictive, highly effective treatments that are known to help.

  • Cold laser therapy. During cold laser therapy, a low-intensity laser is directed to the painful area. The light is absorbed, stimulating the healing of damaged cells. The treatment is painless, and, although multiple treatments are needed for long-term relief, many patients report an increase in mobility and a decrease in pain at the end of the first treatment.
  • Electrical muscle stimulation. Electrical muscle stimulation relaxes tight muscles by delivering targeted electrical pulses to the affected area. The electrical stimulation helps to reduce pressure on joints by relieving muscle tension, reducing inflammation, and calming muscle spasms. In addition to relieving pressure on the joints, according to www.arthritis.org, the electrical pulses stimulate the nerves to decrease pain sensations.
  • Massage therapy. Much like electrical muscle stimulation, massage therapy encourages healing by decreasing the pressure on inflamed joints, reducing stiffness, and improving overall range of motion in the joints.
  • Knee Traction. Adding the Knee on Trac traction system to the treatment plan for your knee pain can increase mobility and range of motion while eliminating the need for needles and surgery. By using targeted decompression over a series of appointments, the specialized chair gently stretches the joint, increasing the amount of space between the bones and allowing more space for the fluid that helps to lubricate the joint. 

When you trust your care to Village Chiropractic, Dr. Andy Thomas will evaluate your condition, explain your options, and design a treatment plan with your goals in mind. To take the first step down the road of relief from chronic pain, contact us to request an appointment .  

Topics: pain prevention