How We Can Help
Arthritis Pain Treatment Information
Our physicians develop personalized treatment plans to help you overcome arthritis pain. Your plan may include one or more of the services below:
- Pain medicines. Non-narcotic pain medicines, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), often reduce pain associated with arthritis. Narcotic pain medicines are not as effective in controlling arthritis pain. Non-narcotic pain relievers are available over-the-counter or by prescription.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy and exercise play an important role in reducing the symptoms of arthritis. Physical therapists use massage, hot and cold therapy, exercise and stretches to strengthen muscles and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. Physical therapy also helps you maintain mobility and range of motion by reducing stiffness in your joints. If you require a walker or cane, physical therapists teach you how to properly use these tools to avoid injury.
- Steroid injections. In some cases, steroids are injected directly into arthritic joints. Steroids reduce arthritis inflammation, which lessens your pain. A local anesthetic is applied to the area around your joint before the steroid is injected so that you remain comfortable. Steroid injections are commonly used for many joints, including the knee, ankle, wrist and the joints in your hands. Steroids provide long-lasting pain relief, but may cause side effects such as high blood pressure and weight gain. Be sure to report any problems to your physician so he or she can help manage any side effects. Steroid injections can be repeated when needed.
- Intrathecal pain pump. In some cases, pain pumps that automatically dispense pain medicine directly into your spine can help with arthritis pain. Pain pumps control pain throughout the day and can be used long term. Because pain medicines are dispensed into your spinal cord, you can take lower doses, reducing your risk for side effects. To implant a pain pump, you will undergo an outpatient surgical procedure under general anesthesia. The pump is placed in your torso. A thin tube from the pump to your spinal cord allows medicine to be dispensed at scheduled times. If you no longer need a pain pump, it can be removed easily.
Arthritis Pain Locations & Physicians
Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.
Find a Specialist
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Arthritis Pain Support Services
Explore the websites below to learn more about arthritis and your treatment options:
A Sampling of Arthritis Pain Support Services
IU Health Arthritis & Rheumatology
Learn how our board-certified rheumatologists care for patients with every rheumatic condition.
IU Health Orthopedic & Sports Medicine
Learn how our orthopedic specialists treat arthritis with the latest surgical and nonsurgical procedures.
Find out the truth about arthritis myths and facts. You can also find information on research as well as arthritis support and resources.