Uncovering the Sources of Osteoarthritis Pain

Uncovering the Sources of Osteoarthritis Pain Blog

Determining the Causes of Osteoarthritis and Evaluating Pain That Is Associated With the Condition

Osteoarthritis can be caused by inflammatory enzymes, repetitive movements, decreased blood flow, insufficient levels of vitamin D and a reduced concentration of growth factors in the cartilage. Diabetes could worsen the condition, and a patient may be particularly susceptible to osteoarthritis if the individual is affected by injured joints, worn cartilage, sensitization or weak muscles that negatively influence the person’s movements.

Repetitive Movements

Typically, repetitive motions are able to precipitate osteoarthritis pain because the movements consistently wear down the cartilage. Repetitive movements can eventually cause scar tissue to form in the joints, and consequently, a patient may experience stiffness and substantial pain that occurs when a joint moves.

The Effects of Diabetes and Other Conditions

According to one analysis, diabetes may double the risk of osteoarthritis, and the condition could decrease blood flow to joints that are affected by arthritis. Generally, high levels of glucose can also stimulate the release of inflammatory enzymes and may cause neuropathic arthropathy.

If a patient suffers from hemophilia, the cartilage may not receive an adequate supply of blood, so the joints may have insufficient levels of vitamins and nutrients. The disorder could also decrease the levels of calcium and phosphorus in a patient’s bones.

Enhancing the Activity of Natural Compounds

According to multiple studies, specialists may substantially mitigate inflammation and pain by increasing a patient’s levels of thrombospondins, which are glycoproteins that can heal wounds and stimulate angiogenesis. The additional thrombospondins may also decrease the sizes of osteophytes. Moreover, the experts can lessen the activity of metalloproteinase, and consequently, the specialists may prevent cartilage from degenerating.

Dealing With Sensitization

Various analyses have shown that chronic pain may somewhat modify the central nervous system and the nociceptors, which are receptors that send numerous types of signals to the brain. Consequently, some neurons will deliver additional signals that are associated with pain, and certain nerves can become sensitive to stimuli that are related to motion. Physicians may monitor levels of monocytes in order to thoroughly evaluate the responses of specific neurons. Generally, a patient’s nerves may become sensitized once osteoarthritis has been detectable for at least five years.

Decreasing Inflammation

After repetitive movements or injuries have caused inflammation, the body may release prostaglandins, which are compounds that can precipitate swelling and increase osteoarthritis pain. In order to reduce levels of inflammatory enzymes, a patient could take medications that contain naproxen or ibuprofen. In some cases, a physician may also prescribe corticosteroids, which are able to swiftly decrease pain and to prevent the enzymes from spreading.

Conditions That May Be Exacerbated by Arthritis

Multiple reports have indicated that osteoarthritis can worsen chronic anxiety and depression, and the condition could reduce levels of numerous neurotransmitters. Likewise, the disorder may cause insomnia and might precipitate muscle tension that prevents patients from relaxing.

Analyzing the Signs of Osteoarthritis

The condition can precipitate inflammation for more than 10 years before an affected patient experiences any pain, and most tests will not detect osteoarthritis until the disorder causes the spaces of the joints to become narrower. Before examining the openings in the joints, physicians can predict the progression of osteoarthritis by evaluating genetic polymorphisms, chemokines, cytokines and synovitis.

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

image

Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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