Difference between Joint Pain and Arthritis

Arthritis impacts approximately 1 in 4 U.S. adults, and it is the leading cause of work disability in America. Whether you’ve recently developed joint pain or you’ve suffered with it for decades, there are solutions available to reduce or eliminate your discomfort. The key here is to understand what’s causing the pain and how to best address it at the root.

Let’s explore the difference between joint pain and arthritis to better outline your treatment options.

What Is Arthritis?

The CDC defines arthritis as “inflammation or swelling of one or more joints.” There are more than 100 types of arthritis, but the most common forms are rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, lupus, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is the most prevalent form of this condition. It results from persistent wear on joint cartilage, which causes bones to rub against each other. Weight, laborious work, age and family history all contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.

RA and gout are forms of inflammatory arthritis, which happens when the immune system attacks the joints by accident. A healthy immune system will fight off disease and infection, but in this case, the immune system is working in overdrive. This can cause heavy inflammation and joint erosion.

Is All Joint Pain Considered Arthritis?

Most forms of joint pain are the result of arthritis or they result in arthritis, but that isn’t always the case. For instance, soft tissue tears may yield targeted pain in the joints, but the pain doesn’t come from the joint itself. Bone cancer and Lyme disease often cause joint pain, and that pain may or may not develop into arthritis.

In short, arthritis and joint pain are interlinked, but there are times when joint pain is not arthritis.

Joint Pain Treatment and Arthritis Pain Treatment Methods

Joint pain management and arthritis pain treatment overlap in many ways. The goal with any of these procedures is to figure out what’s causing the pain and determine the best way to address it. Here at Macomb Pain Management, we specialize in interventional pain management methods. This means that we treat the actual source of the pain, not just the symptoms.

Joint pain treatment may include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Over-the-counter pain medicine (NSAIDs)
  • Cortisone injections
  • Facet joint injections
  • Sacroiliac joint injections (SI pain treatment)
  • Peripheral nerve blocks
  • Minimally invasive lumbar discectomy (MILD)
  • Ablation treatments
  • Prescription pain medication (not ideal for most patients)

A pain management specialist can help you identify the most effective way to treat your chronic joint pain or arthritis. They’ll evaluate your symptoms and previous treatment paths to create a personalized care plan for the future.

Work with a Join Pain Management Clinic near You

If you’re in need of joint pain or arthritis treatment, look for a join pain specialist near you. The board-certified specialists here at Macomb Pain Management have more than 15 years of experience, and we offer cutting-edge spine and joint procedures. We would be happy to review your circumstances and pave the path toward long-lasting pain relief.

Macomb Pain Management
8152 25 Mile Rd Suite B
Shelby Township, MI  48316

Contact us at (248) 844-8281 to schedule an appointment at our pain management clinic.