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Osteoarthritis Specialist

Houston Pain Specialists

Hui Kang, MD

Pain Management located in Houston, TX

Millions of aging adults develop pain and inflammation in their joints due to osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease caused by joint wear-and-tear. While there’s no way to reverse the damage, Houston Pain Specialists in Houston can help you identify and manage your discomfort and slow the progression of the condition. To find out if you have osteoarthritis and then start treatment, call the clinic or book your appointment today using the online tool.

Osteoarthritis Q & A

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a common, degenerative form of arthritis. In fact, it’s the most common condition that affects your joints. It occurs when the smooth cartilage in your joints wears away, causing your bones to rub together as you move and leaving you less functional.

Osteoarthritis can affect any one of the 360 joints in your body. It’s most common in your:

  • Fingers
  • Knees
  • Hips 
  • Neck
  • Lower back

It’s difficult to diagnose the condition before you start feeling its effects. If you notice pain in your joints or decreased mobility, seeking treatment quickly could keep your joints functioning longer.

What are some common symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis can manifest differently depending on the person or specific joint that it affects. Beyond joint pain, you might experience:

  • Stiffness
  • Decreased mobility
  • Popping or cracking as you move the joint
  • A grating or rough sensation
  • Hard lumps called bone spurs
  • Swelling around the joint
  • Sensitivity to pressure or touch

These symptoms usually get worse with time. Because of this, the disease is rated according to severity on a scale from zero to four, with four indicating a complete lack of cartilage in the joint.

What are my treatment options for osteoarthritis?

If you have osteoarthritis, your provider at Houston Pain Specialists helps you make specific lifestyle changes to strengthen your joints and ease the pain. Exercising, particularly stretching, is immensely helpful in easing the stiffness in your joints from osteoarthritis. Your provider also helps you learn to stretch your affected joints to your advantage. Getting adequate sleep can also ease your symptoms.

If your condition calls for more involved treatment, your provider may recommend:

  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Steroid injections
  • Lubrication injections
  • Bone realignment

Your treatment plan largely depends on which joints are affected. Your doctor will likely start with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications before progressing to stronger treatments.

Am I at risk of getting osteoarthritis?

Although anyone can get osteoarthritis, a few factors can increase your risk. They include:

  • Being 65 or older
  • Obesity
  • Past joint injuries
  • Genetic factors
  • Stress on your joints (e.g. sports, physical labor)

If you meet one or more osteoarthritis risk factors, your doctor can guide you to prevention strategies to reduce your chances of getting it.

If your joints aren’t what they used to be, don’t hesitate to call Houston Pain Specialists or book your appointment online for osteoarthritis assessment and treatment today.