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Dr. Gary Stein, SRO Orthopedic Surgeon, Discusses the Latest Advances and Treatments of Joint Pain
Date:6/24/2013

be most effectively treated and prevented without surgery.

Non-Surgical joint pain can be treated with physical therapy, steroid injections or supplements. Depending on the cause of the joint pain, certain exercises and healthy routines can minimize the pain and help to prevent any further injuries. Water aerobics or stretching in a pool can minimize strain on joints. Make sure to stretch 3-4 times a week in order to feel the full effects. Certain dietary factors can impact joint health, especially those with arthritis. Increase your intake of dietary fiber and reduce refined carbohydrates. Fiber can reduce inflammation so look for breads with at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. Eat more fruits and vegetables as well as healthy fats, including those containing monounsaturated and omega-3 fats.

A doctor may recommend that along with regular exercise and a healthy diet, joint injections may be necessary to reduce pain. These include corticosteroid injections that can offer rapid relief, usually within 24 to 48 hours but the relief is usually short term. Hyaluronic Acid is another fluid injection that can significantly help those with osteoarthritis. This treatment has been shown to relieve pain and inflammation on a long-term scale (depending on the patient) and may be repeated at six to twelve month intervals.

New medical advances in joint repair, a key step in a minimally invasive procedure, may be able to regenerate injured hips, knees and other body parts. Research has demonstrated that stem cells turned into a gel can regenerate cartilage-like tissue. Cartilage does not naturally regenerate like that of skin so this process may someday provide an alternative for patients with arthritis joint damage. In this method, stem cell fluid is injected into the damaged tissue. Overtime, the stem cells multiply to form new cartilage and build around the injured tissue. This innovative approach will need further evaluation to see if it becomes a
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