Three Nonsurgical Solutions for Joint Pain

Surgery, even when it’s designed to help improve pain levels and function, can be a scary prospect. Don’t avoid an orthopedic evaluation for aching shoulders, knees, or hips because you’re afraid the recommendation for treatment will be surgery. Here at North Jersey Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute, Dr. Russonella offers a number of nonsurgical solutions to address your joint pain.

He’ll do a thorough evaluation of your pain and joint health to determine whether you’re a good candidate for these therapies.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy

Platelets are a component of your blood that contains numerous healing proteins and growth factors. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy takes advantage of these natural healing mechanisms to ease your joint pain in an effective, safe and nonsurgical manner.

To create platelet-rich plasma, an experienced member of the staff at New Jersey Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute draws blood from your arm in a normal procedure. This blood is spun down in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelet count. Dr. Russonella then injects the platelet-rich plasma into your painful joints to encourage your body to naturally repair tissue and ease pain.

PRP is a state-of-the-art treatment for painful joints, and each person’s body reacts differently. You may need several treatments before you see improvements in function and pain levels, but PRP does allow you to avoid going under the scalpel.

Corticosteroid injections

Corticosteroid injections ease the inflammation causing your pain in joints affected by issues such as bursitis or arthritis. Cortisone is a man-made steroid that mimics the effects of the natural hormone, cortisol, that your body uses to overcome pain. Injecting the cortisone directly into a painful joint can give you nearly immediate relief. You typically feel better within 24-48 hours.

Corticosteroid injections are a short-term solution when you have a flare-up of pain. Dr. Russonella recommends that you not get more than two or three shots per year, however, because recurrent use can break down the cells that make cartilage.

While the injections cannot cure the underlying condition causing your dysfunction, they can alleviate pain so you feel better and can even undergo healing physical therapy. Even if surgery is necessary in the future, cortisone injections can help delay that surgery date.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy works to alleviate pain and restore range of motion in painful joints. The exercises can build strength in the muscles that surround a painful joint, so you take pressure off painful regions and achieve better function. In many cases, physical therapy can help you learn how to manage joint pain so surgery is unnecessary.

At North Jersey Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute, Dr. Russonella offers onsite physical therapy. He works together with your physical therapist to craft a program that can help relieve stiffness and prevent long-term disability. Exercises vary widely and are recommended depending on your pain levels and ability. They may include exercises that use your body weight, as well as treadmill work, exercise balls, and free weights.

Don’t just live with joint pain or resign yourself to surgery as your only solution. Explore alternative pain solutions with Dr. Russonella and our experts at North Jersey Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute. Call our office in Clifton, New Jersey, to make an appointment or click the online scheduler to get started.

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