Joint pain is common and becoming more prevalent as our population grows older. Joint pain may be a symptom of a wide variety of conditions. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of joint pain. Osteoarthritis pain is actually a rather complex form of pain with peripheral neuropathic pain, central sensitization, and local inflammation all contributing to the experience. The degree of pain is often not correlated with the pathology or degeneration seen on scans.

 

Joint pain can affect any part of the body, for example:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Foot and ankle pain
  • Wrist, hand and finger pain

Joint pain can be associated with significant functional impairment and can impact a person’s lifestyle a great deal.

 

There are many conditions apart from osteoarthritis that can lead to either localised or generalised pain in or around joints:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Tendinosis or Tendonitis
  • Sprains and strains
  • Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

For certain inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to consult a rheumatologist as modern disease-modifying drugs might be suitable.

 

Management

When joint pain becomes chronic or is too severe to live with, you may need some help from the specialists at QPain.

QPain specialists are able to diagnose your pain and tailor a treatment program to suit you specifically.

This may involve:

  • Non-procedural treatments:
    • Pharmacotherapy (medications)
      • Current drugs used in the treatment of joint pains either target the cause or mask the pain. Pain killers (analgesics) frequently fail to provide adequate relief, or cause adverse effects. Future treatments for osteoarthritis pain are expected to be more specifically targeted at the underlying osteoarthritis pain pathophysiology (cause).
    • Physiotherapy/Physical Activity
      • Physical activity or exercise is one treatment that is almost always appropriate for chronic joint pain.
    • Psychology
  • Procedural treatments:
    • Including non-surgical treatment and minimally invasive surgery.
    • In cases of mechanical knee pain, genicular nerve procedures can reduce or eliminate the pain signals (nociception) from the knee joint.
    • In cases of mechanical hip pain, obturator and femoral nerve procedures can reduce or eliminate the pain signals (nociception) from the hip joint.
    • In cases of mechanical shoulder pain, suprascapular nerve procedures can reduce or eliminate the pain signals (nociception) from the shoulder joint
    • Some cases of ongoing hand, foot or limb pain may in fact be CRPS and may respond to DRG stimulation or Spinal Cord Stimulation.
    • Some cases of joint pain may be due to systemic illnesses and require referral to and coordination with other specialties including rheumatology or rehabilitation medicine.

Often the best treatment is a combination of all of these and can be termed multimodal or multidisciplinary treatment. You may benefit from involvement in a pain management program to improve quality of life and function. QPain specialists can arrange a program for you.