Is Arthritis Reversible?

Mar 14, 2024
Is Arthritis Reversible?
If you struggle with arthritis pain and stiffness, you might wonder if there’s a way to reverse the joint damage that causes it. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for arthritis — but there are ways to manage it effectively. Learn more here. 

Arthritis joint pain and stiffness can be debilitating. It can get in the way of daily activities like making meals or going for a walk, and stop you from carrying out simple tasks, like opening a jar. Most types of arthritis cause periodic symptom flares that intensify joint pain and stiffness, limiting your range of motion and mobility.   

At Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio in San Antonio and Live Oak, Texas, Dr. Sergio Alvarado and our expert team specialize in arthritis management and joint pain relief. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, we may recommend physical therapy, activity modification, OTC pain relievers, anti-inflammatory injections, or other modalities.  

Arthritis is chronic and incurable

Arthritis is an umbrella term for over 100 conditions that cause joint damage and inflammation. Symptoms typically include pain, swelling, and heat in your joints. 

The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and gout. Each arthritis type has different symptoms.

Getting the correct arthritis diagnosis is vital because that’s what dictates your treatment plan. For example, OA treatments might include over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, or anti-inflammatory injections like platelet-rich plasma (PRP). RA might include disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). 

There’s no cure for arthritis, but there are many treatments for managing your pain symptoms, and in some cases, slowing disease progression.

Arthritis is also controllable 

Once your arthritis has been diagnosed, our expert team can tailor an arthritis pain management program suitable for you. Treatment options include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory medications 
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Weight management
  • Steroid injections 
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) 
  • Ketamine for pain management 

The approach that works for you depends on the type of arthritis you have, how advanced it is, and your overall health.

For example, OA pain stems from the protective cartilage wearing away from the bones that form your joints. As the cartilage thins, your bones grind against each other, causing pain.  

Once your joint has sustained OA damage, it’s a matter of managing the resulting pain with physical therapy, NSAIDS, corticosteroid injections, or other modalities — including an eventual joint replacement. 

With an autoimmune disease like RA, the immune system attacks the joints. It can cause fatigue coupled with pain, and we treat it with DMARDs, injections, and other options. 

Gentle exercise and weight management can help with many types of arthritis. Losing excess weight reduces joint pressure and strain — especially on your hips and knees. Maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce inflammation, which also helps with pain relief. 

Stretching improves circulation, which can ease joint pain, too. Stretching and gentle exercise also improve your range of motion and flexibility. Whether you join a neighborhood walking group or follow along with stretching videos online, there’s an exercise program suitable for everyone.

If you need to build up strength around an affected joint, we may recommend physical therapy as part of your arthritis pain management program. 

Simply put, while arthritis isn’t reversible, there are ways to manage your symptoms to improve your quality of life — and our team at the Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio can help. Give us a call today, or use our online booking feature to schedule an appointment at your nearest office in San Antonio or Live Oak, Texas, anytime.