Arthritis is a very common problem affecting people of all ages. Now, the odds are pretty good a decent number of you did a double-take upon reading “people of all ages” in conjunction with arthritis, but let’s look at this quickly before we discuss treatment options, including laser therapy to relieve arthritic pain.
Arthritis may be commonly associated with old age, but the reality of the situation is that there are many kinds of arthritic conditions. In fact, there are actually over 100 different conditions considered to be forms of arthritis.
In all fairness, a likely explanation for the misconception is explained by the facts that A) “arthritis” literally means “joint inflammation” and B) the most common form is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can be reasonably described as being the “wear and tear” variety of arthritis that develops over time. As such, the majority of osteoarthritis cases (but not all!) are seen in older patients.
Given its commonality, we provide arthritis treatment for many patients. Some of the options we may incorporate into our treatment plans include:
- Medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, and duloxetine (Cymbalta) are medicinal options that might be prescribed or recommended to reduce pain and swelling in affected foot and ankle joints.
- Physical therapy. Physical and occupational therapies can be used to strengthen muscles, improve range of motion and flexibility, and even reduce bodyweight (which places less force on affected joints in the lower limbs). We realize the thought of exercise may seem intimidating when you have a condition causing stiff and pained joints, but it is one of the best possible treatment methods for osteoarthritis.
- Cortisone injections. For some patients, we may recommend corticosteroid injections to relieve pain, but this should be done on a limited basis.
Those can all be outstanding options (depending on the case), and we are proud to provide another nonsurgical treatment that is proving to benefit many patients – laser therapy.
Laser therapy has been reported to provide substantial therapeutic efficacy in threating various forms of arthritis (including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis). The results are often quite encouraging and, even better, laser treatment has no known side effects. This can be a potential alternative if you are concerned with side effects that some people experience from medications like NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
So how does laser therapy relieve arthritis pain?
Well, the laser light penetrates through outer layers and interacts with deeper tissues of the body, including those found in our joints. Once at the targeted site, photons interact with specific parts of the cells (the cytochrome c complex within mitochondria) to increase cellular metabolism and reduce inflammation and painful symptoms.
Some particular benefits of laser treatment for arthritis include quick sessions, long-lasting pain relief, and the fact treatments simply feel good (there is a gentle, soothing warmth).For more information about arthritis pain treatment options, including laser therapy, contact Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida today. Call 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if calling from Lake County)!