Part of the value proposition of Chronic Pain Awareness Month is the opportunity to draw attention to the significant, and problematic spectrum of chronic pain types. Last week we took a closer look at the pain associated with our digestive tract. This week, we’re going to focus on chronic pain caused by arthritis – both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid. Further to that, we’ll look at how PRP can be leveraged to treat the soreness caused by these diseases.
To get the conversation started, let’s break down the difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis:
Osteoarthritis (OA): a disease that mainly impacts the cartilage and bone, Osteoarthritis is most common in those with a family history of OA, previous joint injuries, or abnormal limb and joint development. Pain is caused by the deterioration of cartilage, and emerges as joint pain, stiffness, and a decreased range of motion. Unlike other forms of arthritis, the joints are the most commonly problem-area with Osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): an autoimmune disease with symptoms including warm, painful and swollen joints. Unlike OA, RA is the result of one’s immune system attacking the joints, causing inflammation and the thickening of the joint capsule. The root cause is unknown, but is believed to be both genetic and environmental in nature.
So! We’ve identified some of the chronic pain symptoms associated with OA and RA – how do those dealing with their form of arthritis find a reprieve? There are several ways to mitigate pain, from warming the joints to full-on treatment. The objective is to identify which is right for you.
From home, the best way to reduce pain is the use of hot and cold therapy. Rely on hot baths and heat pads to keep the joints loose and ease stiffness. When you feel pain setting in, use ice packs directly on the problem area for quick relief in the moment.
For long-term chronic arthritis pain management, PRP is an ideal treatment. It capitalizes on the blood’s natural healing properties to repair the damage caused by arthritis, by injecting the affected joint, which tends to see very limited blood flow, with some much-needed platelets. Most commonly used in treating Osteoarthritis in the knee, PRP is actually applicable to anyone suffering from arthritis, and boasts a great deal more longevity than the short-term alternative treatments.
Every patient is different, and the beauty of PRP is that the varying stages of OA advancement are all suitable candidates for PRP treatment. A less common treatment for RA but nevertheless effective, regular medical observation and a routine of relaxation and meditation will relax the muscles and reduce pain as well.
It’s important to keep in mind that there is no definitive cure for the chronic pain caused by arthritis. However, there are many services designed to reduce pain and empower those persevering through it. For questions on chronic pain, or to book a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us.