Variety of treatments available for joint and muscle pain

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special to the herald-leaderAugust 31, 2013 

Many of us suffer aches and pains. Some of our discomfort is simply a result of aging, but more persistent pain might be caused by stress put on muscles and joints from overuse. Athletes and laborers are especially susceptible to joint and muscle troubles at a younger age.

Chronic joint pain also could be a sign of other conditions, such as arthritis or bursitis. While there is no cure, many of these conditions can be managed through treatments such as osteopathic manipulation and joint, bursa or trigger point injections.

Osteopathic manipulation

Osteopathic manipulation is a type of hands-on, holistic care. Physicians literally lay their hands on patients in order to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions. After doing a complete structural evaluation, physicians employ a variety of treatments, including the manual manipulation of muscles and joints.

Joint injections

These injections can be used as both a diagnostic and treatment tool. Under local anesthesia, fluid may be drained if necessary from a joint and steroid medication injected. Draining a large joint can provide pain relief and improved mobility. The fluid removed can be sent to a lab for analysis.

Injection of medication into a joint may result in a complete or short-term relief of symptoms. Risks are minimal but can include an allergic reaction to the medication injected.

Bursa injections

These injections can diagnose the source of pain and provide relief by delivering a local anesthetic and steroid medications into bursa sacs. Bursa sacs are filled with fluid and provide a cushion between bones and tendons or the muscles around a joint. They help reduce friction and are found around most major joints. Bursa injections reduce inflammation and can result in long-term pain relief.

Trigger point injections

Trigger point injections are commonly used to treat painful areas that result from tight knots in muscles that fail to relax through massage or normal activity. Trigger points may irritate nerves around them and cause pain that is felt in another part of the body. These injections are used to treat a variety of muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back and neck. Trigger point injections can also be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches.

Consult with a health care provider to determine which treatment option might be right for you.

Dr. Ann Rodden is with Saint Joseph Primary Care Associates, part of KentuckyOne Health.Dr. Ann Rodden is with Saint Joseph Primary Care Associates, part of KentuckyOne Health.

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