At Arthritis Relief Centers, all of the conditions we treat are arthritis-related, and we focus our efforts upon pain relief for those ailments. If you are experiencing any symptoms listed below, schedule your appointment with us today, and we will start creating a treatment plan that will relieve your pain!
The most common type of arthritis leading to joint pain, osteoarthritis is the wear-and-tear type of arthritis that affects most of us as we age.
Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage inside a joint begins to thin, much like brake pads on a car or like rubber on a tire. As the cartilage wears down, the natural ability of the cartilage to withstand weight bearing and activity also wears down, which causes pain and limitation with certain activities.
As a degenerative condition that becomes worse with time, osteoarthritis presently has no cure. As the ailment progresses, the cartilage in your joints becomes more and more damaged due to the wear and tear caused by our daily life, walking, exercising, and working. As that cartilage continues to wear away, the treatment and management of the symptoms become more challenging and the symptoms become worse.
Degenerative disc disease is a progressive condition that will affect nearly all humans at some point in their life. This condition refers to the spinal discs that sit between our spinal bones, as they slowly age as we age.
A healthy spinal disc is more than 80% fluid, but after the age of 23, the spinal disc slowly dehydrates causing the disc to flatten over time. The outside of the disc is a thick multilayer of cartilage called the annulus that maintains the shape and strength of the disc. The inner material called the nucleus-pulposis is a thick gel-like material made of water.
Over time, the nucleus loses water concentration, and the outer annulus can also begin to break down, while the rings of cartilage responsible for maintaining the shape of the disc can tear and loosen. This process can cause neck and back pain.
A herniated disc and bulging disc are similar and often used interchangeably by many physicians. In a normal disc, the outer annulus of the disc is responsible for holding the disc together so that it maintains its strength and shape. A herniated disc occurs when this outer annulus tears, letting the gel-like nucleus ooze out. The protruding gel can pinch the nerves and even spinal cord, depending on the severity of the tear. Pain may or may not radiate to the arms or legs, depending on if the disc herniates straight back or off to the side.
Disc herniations can be caused from lifting injuries, sport injuries like CrossFit or football, car accidents, repetitive injuries, and even just aging. Statistics show that, if you viewed a MRI of 100 relatively pain-free patients, 50 would have herniated and bulging discs with no pain or symptoms at all.
Disc herniations are not always painful and symptomatic, but when they are, the following conditions are typical:
Sciatica is a common condition affecting the largest and longest nerve in the human body – the sciatic nerve. This nerve is derived from nerve roots in the lower spine that look like tree branches funneling into a long trunk that runs the entire length of the leg from the buttocks to the foot.
Sciatica symptoms usually begin when a nerve root in the spine becomes irritated due to pressure from a bulging or herniated disc. Nerve roots are very sensitive, and direct pressure can cause irritation and eventual inflammation. This is what often results in radiating or shooting pain down the leg, even down to the foot.
Determining which nerve root level is affected depends on what part of the leg you may feel pain. The L5 distribution may cause symptoms along the side of the calf and even into the big toe, whereas the S1 distribution could cause pain in the rear of the hamstring and back of the calf. Numbness and tingling and even weakness could be related, with or without sciatic pain.
Cervical radiculopathy occurs when a nerve root in the neck is irritated or pinched, often by bulging or herniated discs. This condition usually feels like a sharp or aching pain down the arm, sometimes to the hand and fingertips. A person may also experience tingling or numbness in the arm, hand or both.
Weakness can be associated with more severe compression of the nerve root in the neck. In more extreme cases, you can have radiating pain both arms, which could be related to spinal cord compression from a larger herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal where the spinal cord lives. Our vertebrae are made with an opening that runs the length of our spines from the base of the brain all the way through our tailbone. The diameter of the canal can sometimes shrink due to degeneration of the spinal joints called facets, herniated or bulging discs, thickening of ligaments, or a combination of these factors.
On occasion, people can be genetically born with a small diameter spinal canal, and the symptoms usually appear around 30 years of age when the spine begins to naturally show some signs of age.
Facet Joint Syndrome refers to back pain caused exclusively by the small facet joints of the spine. Each vertebrae of the spine has 2 facet joints that articulate or move with the vertebrae above and below. These joints aid mobility of the spine.
Like any other synovial joint in the body, these joints can become arthritic and cause pain. The pain usually feels like a deep back pain that worsens from movement like bending side-to-side or extending the spine rearward.
Sacroilitis refers to inflammation of the sacroiliac joint. Located between the tailbone and the pelvis, this joint is often overlooked by many physicians as the source of a patient’s lower back pain. When the joint becomes inflamed due to arthritis, injury, or repetitive micro-trauma, the joint can become tight or fixated, causing a tremendous amount of pain and disability.
Tendonitis means inflammation of a tendon – the tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. Tendons can become inflamed with injury and repetitive movements that cause irritation, which then slowly leads to inflammation.
Tendonitis can be challenging to treat in many instances because tendons have a very poor blood supply. Blood is needed to carry vital healing cells to the area to rid the tendon of the inflammation and repair the damaged tissue. PRP and Amniotic Regenerative Tissue injections are some of the most effective treatments when rest and simple medications do not alleviate the pain.
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammatory condition of the protective tissue surrounding the muscles of the bottom of the foot. This condition can result from wearing shoes with an improper fit or not enough arch support. It can also start after long periods of walking or from long-distance running.