Joint Pain Doctors in Torrance, CA at Rolling Hills Medical

Joint pain treatment in Torrance

At Rolling Hills Medical, we believe no one should have to live with joint pain. Fortunately, you can find the help you need here at Rolling Hills Medical from our joint pain doctors in Torrance CA.

We offer an extensive range of treatment options for joint pain and arthritis to help you regain your mobility, stability, and comfort. Movement is such a natural thing for the human body that we tend to take our mobility for granted -- until we're suddenly denied that mobility. If the simple act of bending your elbow, putting weight on your knee or hip, or twisting your body causes you pain, you may find everyday activities all but impossible.

When you visit us for diagnosis and treatment, we rely on an effective variety of surgical and nonsurgical pain relief treatments to improve joint health, range of motion and quality of life. Surgery is always considered a last and final option when we develop your personalized pain management program.

In addition to non-surgical therapies including steroid injections, orthopedic care and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections, we also offer minimally invasive spine surgery for relief of spinal joint pain caused by degenerative conditions and spinal cord stimulators that safely block pain signals from reaching your brain.

Causes of Joint Pain

bad lifting habits lead to herniated discs

Joint pain can stem from many different causes, partly because the joints themselves are complex structures involving lots of working parts. A typical joint may include, not just the bone ends, but also ligaments, tendons, muscles, cartilage (to cushion the bone ends from each other), bursa (fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction), and a lubricating fluid called synovial fluid. Any or all of these parts can sustain damage due to acute injuries, constant/recurring stresses, or degenerative conditions. Our joint pain doctors can help with common causes including:

  • Osteoarthritis - This common source of joint pain usually occurs due to age-related degeneration of the cartilage within the joints. But excessive joint stress can accelerate its development.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune issue in which the body attacks its own joint structures, causing bouts of pain and swelling.
  • Gout - Gout is actually considered a form of arthritis. Accumulation of uric acid causes intense joint pain, most commonly attacking the toes.
  • Facet joint syndrome - When degenerative disc disease causes your spinal discs to lose some of their height, the collapse in the spinal column puts extra stress on the facet joints that connect your vertebrae to each other. This stress can cause joint inflammation and lead to spinal osteoarthritis.
  • Bursitis - Overuse of a joint can cause the bursa to become inflamed. This produces pain and stiffness in the joint.
  • Sprains and strains - When a joint ligament is stretched or torn, the resulting painful injury is called a sprain. When similar damage occurs in a joint tendon or muscle, the injury is called a strain.
  • Sports injuries - Sports activities place extreme demands on the joints. Examples of common sports-related joint problems include rotator cuff strain, shoulder bursitis, runner's knee, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome (from gripping a racket or club).
  • Nerve damage - A pinched or damaged spinal nerve can refer pain signals to a joint.

5 Possible Causes of Pain In Multiple Joints

Joints ache due to inflammation of soft tissues comprising the joint, bones are scraping against each other because of tissue deterioration or a combination of both conditions. While everybody experiences aching joints occasionally, normal joint pain should gradually diminish and disappear altogether after a few days of rest. Chronic joint aches may indicate a more serious condition requiring diagnosis and treatment at Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance.

1. Bursitis

Thin, fluid-filled bursa sacs (bursae) provide cushioning between joint bones and soft tissues to prevent friction and facilitate movement. Inflammation of bursae caused by an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, a musculoskeletal injury to the joint or infection is called bursitis. Initial symptoms of bursitis such as pain, tenderness and some swelling may worsen after physical activity. Your Torrance physician at Rolling Hills Medical diagnoses bursitis using x-rays, aspiration of bursae fluid for microscopic examination and/or blood tests to determine if diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis is contributing to bursitis.

2. Osteoarthritis

Deterioration of knee, spinal, finger or hip cartilage often leads to osteoarthritis, a painful condition more commonly diagnosed in people over 50. Signs of OA include joint stiffness, tenderness, pain and increased inflammation following use of the affected joint. Joint aspiration of fluid, x-rays and MRIs may be used to diagnose osteoarthritis.

3. Rheumatoid Arthritis

An autoimmune disorder producing symptoms similar to osteoarthritis, rheumatic arthritis may also cause low-grade fevers, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and weight loss. Your doctor will examine painful joints and administer blood tests like the rheumatoid factor test to diagnose RA.

4. Gout

High levels of uric acid in the bloodstream will generate formation of tiny, sharp crystalline structures in joints. Made of sodium urate, these gout crystals irritate and inflame joint tissues, restrict joint flexibility and cause joint pain and swelling. Skin surrounding gouty joints may develop a reddish-purple hue due to intense inflammation. After a gout attack subsides, skin may flake, peel or itch. People at risk for gout include those who eat a diet rich seafood and meat, are overweight and have high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease.

5. Gonococcal Arthritis

Gonorrhea doesn't just make it painful to urinate but can also affect joints if not treated promptly and correctly with strong antibiotics.  Some people do not experience symptoms of gonorrhea until they have had this sexually transmitted disease for several months or even years. If gonorrhea bacteria infiltrate joints via the bloodstream, symptoms such as fever, joint pain, wrist and hand pain due to inflammation of the tendons and eruption of a skin rash composed of pus-filled sores will require immediate treatment provided at Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance.

Treatment: Conservative Care From Our Torrance Joint Pain Doctors

Sciatica Doctors discuss Treatment in torrance

Whether your joint pain is acute or chronic in nature, rest assured that many causes of joint pain can be addressed non-invasively. Our Torrance joint pain doctors will use X-rays and other imaging techniques to get a detailed view of the joint's interior, looking for any visible signs of soft tissue damage, joint misalignment, or bone and cartilage degeneration. We also note any exterior signs of trouble such as redness or swelling. An evaluation for your symptoms and your pain-free range of motion can help us determine the severity of your condition.

Once we understand what's happening in that painful joint, we can develop a comprehensive joint pain treatment plan, starting with non-surgical pain management techniques such as:

  • Physical therapy - Physical therapy exercises can help injured joint tissues rebuild themselves and regain their former flexibility. Exercises can also be extremely helpful for keeping arthritis symptoms at bay.
  • Steroid injections - We can inject a combination of steroids and anesthetic into a joint suffering from severe chronic pain. These injections can be delivered to facet joints as well as extremity joints.
  • Radiofrequency ablation (rhizotomy) - This technique applies electrical current to deaden pain from a pinched or damaged nerve for months at a time. It is often used in conjunction with facet joint injections.

What Kind of Injections are Given for Arthritis & Joint Pain?

Injections for relieving different types of joint pain and arthritis are meant to reduce inflammation of soft tissues comprising the joint. Chronic joint inflammation is caused by a variety of conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type 1 diabetes, gout and bursitis. Our joint pain doctors offer several safe and effective joint injections to relieve pain, inflammation and stiffness of muscles, tendons and ligaments involved in joint movement and stability.

Corticosteroid Injections

A class of medications related to a steroid called cortisone, corticosteroids are substances that reduce inflammation and pain rapidly. The term "cortisone" and "corticosteroid" are used to indicate the same kind of anti-inflammatory medication. Prednisone is the most widely prescribed corticosteroid injection while Prednisolone is an oral form of cortisone. 

Corticosteroid injections provide powerful, almost immediate relief of inflammation and pain. Unlike ibuprofen, aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications, injections do not irritate your stomach lining, increase blood pressure or cause other unwanted side effects. In addition to quick pain relief, cortisone injections have a high success rate with people suffering a variety of conditions affecting joint function and health.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is made from your own blood plasma and platelets. Containing water, glucose, nutrients, antibodies and proteins, plasma is the mostly liquid part of your blood that makes it easier for white and red blood cells to travel through the bloodstream.

Platelets are cell-like components of the bloodstream that secrete proteins and growth factors essential for regulating cell division and stimulating tissue healing and regeneration. For over 20 years, platelets have been used in hospital operating rooms to accelerate wound healing and promote new bone formation following spinal fusion surgeries. Ongoing research into the many benefits of PRP injections have led this type of pain relief therapy to be applied to arthritic conditions, tendonitis, knee osteoarthritis, tennis/golf elbow, plantar fasciitis and various muscle/ligament injuries.

Hyaluronic Acid Injections

Naturally produced by your body, hyaluronic acid (HA) is critical to supporting skin, joint and moist tissue health (eyes, mouth, nasal passages). HA is an excellent water absorber and retainer and acts like a "shock absorber" to enhance flexibility and elasticity within joints and their ligaments.

Hyaluronic acid injections are commonly used to relieve knee joint pain caused by osteoarthritis when the pain is too chronic and severe to respond to over-the-counter pain relievers. Osteoarthritis is a sub-type of arthritis attributed to simple wear and tear. It is not caused by a disease or disorder.

Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs)

Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs) reduce pain and inflammation caused by nerve root compression. Nerve roots are sensitive areas of nerves originating and extending from the spine into all areas of your body. Compression of nerve roots is commonly seen in people with bone spurs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, herniated discs and degenerative disc disease.

The epidural area of your lower back lies above nerve roots and outer layers of tissue surrounding your spinal cord. Epidural steroid injections go into this small space located above inflamed nerve roots. ESIs contain substances mimicking the effects of hydrocortisone and cortisone, two hormones effective at reducing inflammation and pain.

The Last Resort: Joint Pain Surgery

Shoulder & Knee Arthroscopic Surgery Doctors

Joint pain surgery remains a valid option if conservative techniques aren't effective. In many cases, minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery can resolve a joint problem. On the other end of the scale, we can perform a full joint replacement surgery to relieve severe degenerative joint pain and restore your mobility. 

Schedule an Appointment at Rolling Hills Medical

Joint pain can make you feel imprisoned by your physical limitations -- but Rolling Hills Medical can free you from that nagging discomfort. If you know what is causing your joint aches and pains or need to be diagnosed for a painful joint condition, we are here to help you achieve your pain management goals as noninvasively as possible. Call our Torrance CA clinic today at (424) 267-2491 to schedule an examination and get started on a joint pain treatment plan.

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