Arthritis Treatment in South Carolina | Palmetto Bone and Joint (2024)

Living with arthritis pain in your hands and wrists can be challenging, impacting daily activities and overall quality of life. Finding effective arthritis treatment is crucial to managing symptoms and improving joint function. At Palmetto Bone and Joint, we specialize in comprehensive care for arthritis, offering the latest advancements in medication, physical therapy, and surgical interventions.

In this blog, we’ll explore various strategies for managing arthritis pain, from non-surgical approaches to advanced surgical techniques, providing practical advice to alleviate pain and enhance joint health.

Types of Arthritis & Their Symptoms

Arthritis in the hands and wrists is a common condition that can significantly impact daily activities. The two most prevalent types of arthritis affecting these areas are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the term for when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling. This type of arthritis is typically associated with aging and repetitive stress on the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the synovium, the lining of the membranes around your joints. This causes inflammation, eventually resulting in joint deformity and bone erosion. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include tender, warm, and swollen joints and, in severe cases, joint deformities.

Common symptoms of arthritis in the hands and wrists include persistent pain, stiffness, swelling, reduced range of motion, and difficulty performing tasks that require fine motor skills, such as writing or buttoning a shirt. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to managing these symptoms and preventing further joint damage. Consulting with an orthopedic specialist can help you determine the most effective treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Non-Surgical Arthritis Treatments

Medications & Injections

For many individuals, managing arthritis pain in the hands and wrists can be successfully achieved through medications and injections. Pain relief medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. These medications are taken orally or applied topically to the affected area. In some cases, doctors may recommend acetaminophen for pain relief if NSAIDs are not suitable.

Corticosteroid injections are another option for managing arthritis symptoms. These injections deliver powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into the affected joint, providing quick and potent relief from pain and swelling. The effects of corticosteroid injections can last from several weeks to several months, making them a valuable option for individuals with moderate to severe arthritis.

In addition to these traditional treatments, newer medications are available that target specific pathways involved in the inflammatory process, like disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologics. These medications are often prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis to slow disease progression and reduce joint damage. They work by suppressing the immune system’s overactive response to reduce inflammation and prevent further joint damage.

Physical Therapy & Exercises

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in managing arthritis pain and improving joint function. A physical therapist can design a customized exercise program tailored to an individual’s specific needs. Typically, this program will focus on strengthening the muscles around the affected joints, increasing flexibility, and improving overall hand and wrist function.

One of the primary goals of physical therapy is to reduce pain and inflammation. Techniques such as manual therapy, heat and cold therapy, and ultrasound treatments can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Additionally, therapeutic exercises can enhance joint mobility and prevent stiffness, allowing individuals to perform daily activities with greater ease.

Specific exercises for the hands and wrists may include range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises, and stretching routines. For example, gentle finger stretching, wrist flexion and extension exercises, and resistance training using putty or hand grippers can help maintain joint flexibility and strength. These exercises should be performed regularly and consistently to achieve the best results.

Incorporating physical activity into daily routines can also significantly impact arthritis management. Activities such as swimming, tai chi, and yoga can improve overall physical health and reduce arthritis symptoms. However, it’s essential to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise to avoid overloading the joints.

Surgical Options for Severe Arthritis

When Surgery is Necessary

In cases where non-surgical treatments fail to provide adequate relief, surgery may be necessary to manage severe arthritis in the hands and wrists. Surgical intervention is typically considered when pain and dysfunction significantly impair daily activities and quality of life. Indicators that surgery may be required include persistent pain despite medication, significant joint deformity, and loss of joint function.

Various surgical options are available depending on the type and severity of arthritis. Common procedures include joint fusion (arthrodesis) and joint replacement (arthroplasty). In arthrodesis, the bones in the affected joint are fused to reduce pain, and in arthroplasty, the damaged joint is replaced with an artificial implant. Tendon repair and synovectomy (removal of inflamed joint lining) are other surgical options that may be considered.

Post-Surgery Recovery & Care

Recovery from arthritis surgery requires a comprehensive rehabilitation plan to ensure successful healing and restoration of function. Post-surgery care typically involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and a gradual return to activity. Immediately following surgery, the affected hand or wrist is usually immobilized with a splint or cast to protect the surgical site and facilitate healing.

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the recovery process, helping to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion. A physical therapist will design a tailored rehabilitation program that includes exercises to improve joint mobility and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Following your rehabilitation plan diligently is important to reach the best possible result.

Living Well with Arthritis in Hands & Wrists

Living with arthritis in your hands and wrists doesn’t have to mean constant pain and limited functionality. With the right combination of treatments, you can manage your symptoms effectively and maintain a good quality of life. From medications and physical therapy to advanced surgical options, numerous ways exist to alleviate pain and improve joint function.

Consult with healthcare professionals who can tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs. Don’t let arthritis control your life—seek expert care and take proactive steps towards better joint health.

Expert Orthopedic Care in South Carolina at Palmetto Bone & Joint

Discover expert orthopedic care for arthritis at Palmetto Bone and Joint in Chapin, SC. Our dedicated team provides comprehensive treatments to manage arthritis pain and improve joint function. Let us help you find relief and regain your quality of life with our specialized arthritis care services. Reach out today or call us for more information or to schedule a consultation.

Arthritis Treatment in South Carolina | Palmetto Bone and Joint (2024)
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