JOINT PAIN

What are joints, exactly? Joints are the parts of your body where two or more bones meet. Most of our joints are mobile and constructed to allow for different degrees and types of movement. The precise number of joints in the human body varies, depending on several factors, but the estimated number is between 250 and 350.

 Joint pain is a common ailment, causing discomfort, soreness, and achiness. 

 WHAT CAUSES JOINT PAIN? 

From illness, overuse, injury, or arthritis, there are several causes and conditions that can cause joint pain:

  • arthritis
  • bursitis
  • fibromyalgia
  • gout
  • infection of the bone or joint
  • lupus
  • overuse 
  • osteoporosis
  • rickets
  • sarcoidosis
  • tendinitis

 COMMON AREAS OF JOINT PAIN

 HIP PAIN

Your hip joints experience a lot of repetitive motion throughout your life. They are your body’s largest ball-and-socket joints, allowing fluid motion with walking and running and providing needed stability to bear your body weight when sitting and standing. 

 Common Causes

There is a pad of cartilage in the socket that aids in the ball-and-socket fluid motion. As we age or from an illness, and inflammation or injury, this pad of cartilage can become thin or damaged. The hipbone and hip muscles are vulnerable to deterioration, overuse, and fracture, particularly from a fall or trauma. 

 Signs and Symptoms

Hip pain manifests itself differently depending on the cause of the pain. You might feel pain or soreness in your thigh, groin area, buttocks, or inside or outside your hip joint. You might also have pain that seems to be in other areas of the body, like the back but then radiates forward, causing hip pain.

 Pain may get worse with physical activity or sitting for a prolonged amount of time. Chronic pain may even cause a limp and instability with a limited range of motion.

 Risk Factors

The deterioration of cartilage is usually caused by aging but can also be caused by an injury or fall. Other factors include arthritis and muscle tightness, and weakness, particularly in the lower back. Hip pain can also be caused by incomplete rehabilitation from a previous injury or being overused in a sport.

 Preventative Measures

Maintaining hip mobility and flexibility through regular, moderate exercise programs are good ways to prevent stiffness and pain. Stretching throughout the day and especially before and after exercising helps avoid injury to the hip area. Workouts like Pilates, which is appropriate for all ages, are designed to keep the hip joint lubricated, helping slow the signs of aging in the hip joint.

 Hip Pain Therapy and Treatment Options

Healing from hip pain requires a multidisciplinary treatment approach. At Orange County Wellness Physicians Medical Group, we customize individual plans to fit your needs. We focus on your specific overall care and develop a comprehensive pain management program that stops the pain and focuses on long-term lifestyle and wellness goals.

 Proper diagnosis to determine the cause of hip pain is key in a successful treatment program. Your pain relief treatments may include:

  • Active Release Techniques (ART)
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Joint Injections
  • Massage Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pilates
  • Spinal Decompression
  • Sports Medicine
  • Trigger Point Therapy

 At Orange County Wellness Physicians Medical Group, we provide not only state-of-the-art treatments that offer the latest in pain management and recovery but the illness-preventing holistic wellness programs that ensure a high quality of life for years to come.

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 SI JOINT PAIN

Sacroiliac joint pain, known as SI Joint pain, is a specific type of back pain that’s common but can be difficult to diagnose, often mistaken for other causes of lower back pain. Most patients with SI joint pain feel a twinge of lower back pain when they stand after prolonged sitting or while climbing stairs. 

 Everyone has two sacroiliac joints in their lower back, situated where your lower spine and pelvis connect. The SI joints’ job is to carry the weight of the upper body when standing and walking. When you sit, the SI joints have an active role in shifting your upper body’s weight to your legs.

 Common Causes 

Pain in the SI joints can be sharp or dull. You may first feel the sensations in your back, but the pain can move, and you might also feel it in your buttocks, upper back, thighs, and/or groin area. The pain can extend down one or both legs. Prolonged standing or stair climbing can worsen the pain.

 There are several reasons why you may experience sacroiliac joint dysfunction: 

  • Arthritis – wear and tear in the joints causes inflammation and osteoarthritis
  • Injury – sports-related causes from running or jogging, traumatic injury, or a sudden impact, such as an auto accident or a fall, can inflict damage on your sacroiliac joint
  • Pregnancy – the sacroiliac joints loosen during pregnancy to accommodate childbirth, plus the added weight can cause additional stress and lead to irregular wear
  • Infection – this cause is rare but can cause SI joint damage
 Signs and Symptoms 

You may feel pain when standing up after a period of sitting and only feel it on one side (but it can be felt on both sides of the body). It also may hurt more in the morning and moderately throughout the day. The pain can vary depending on the cause:

  • Lower back pain – typically felt on one side; it feels dull, aching, and can range from mild to severe.
  • Buttocks and upper back pain – the pain spreads to the hips, thigh, and sometimes the groin usually felt on one side but may be felt on both. 
  • Sciatic-like pain – felt in the buttocks and back of the thighs as a sharp, hot, or stabbing pain, possibly including numbness and tingling. 
  • Reduced range of motion & stiffness – felt in the lower back, hips, pelvis, and groin, making walking upstairs or bending at the waist difficult. 
  • Instability – when standing, walking, or transitioning from standing to sitting, the pelvis may feel like it will buckle or give way.
Risk Factors

The cause of SI joint pain can be difficult to pinpoint, but risk factors include:

  • Scoliosis or gait issues, such as leg length discrepancy, can place uneven pressure on one side of the pelvis, causing wear-and-tear on the SI joint.
  • Pregnancy, recent childbirth, and hormonal changes that cause ligaments in the SI joint to relax (hypermobility) can cause sacroiliac joint pain in women.
  • Prior lower back surgery or hip joint replacement.
  • High-impact sports, regular heavy lifting, or labor-intensive jobs.
  • Arthritis, especially spinal arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Aging and deterioration of cartilage over the SI joint.
 Preventative Measures

If you’re a runner, make sure you notice any sign of back pain and taper your running accordingly to give your joints some rest. If you are pregnant and start noticing lower back pain, tell your physician. Strength training and moderate levels of fitness can help prevent back and joint pain and deterioration for everyone. Working with one of our physical therapists or Pilates instructors will help with strengthening and prevent future injury.

 SI Joint Pain Therapy and Treatment Options

When you schedule an initial evaluation at Orange County Wellness Physicians Medical Group, our pain management team will provide a comprehensive examination and work with you to develop a multidisciplinary treatment plan to manage your SI Joint Pain and its underlying cause. 

 As always, your treatment plan will be tailored to suit not only the injury you have sustained or the pain you’re experiencing but will take into account your medical history, wellness goals, and the latest pain management treatments and therapies we offer in our Centers.

 Your pain relief treatments may include:

  • Active Release Techniques (ART)
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Deep Tissue Laser Therapy
  • Joint Injections
  • Massage Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pilates
  • Prolotherapy – Saline Injections
  • Spinal Decompression
  • Sports Medicine
  • Trigger Point Therapy

 At Orange County Wellness Physicians Medical Group, we provide not only state-of-the-art treatments that offer the latest in SI Joint Pain management and recovery but the illness- or injury-preventing wellness programs that support an active, pain-free lifestyle. 

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 SHOULDER PAIN

Our shoulders are a combination of several joints, muscles, and tendons that control our arms’ mobility. Most of us don’t think about our shoulders much until we try to do simple daily tasks like grabbing for something overhead, brushing our hair, reaching behind to scratch our back. With shoulder pain, these simple movements can feel almost impossible to do. The pain can come on gradually or abruptly, and it may range from mild to excruciating.

 Common Causes

Conditions and causes that lead to shoulder pain typically fall into four major categories:

  • Inflamed tendon
    • Acute Tendonitis, usually a result of excessive overuse or sports that require overhead throwing.
    • Chronic diseases or repetitive wear and tear as you age can cause chronic tendonitis.
  • Torn tendon
    • A torn tendon usually happens because the tendon splits and tears after a sudden injury or naturally due to aging.
  • Arthritis
    • The most common type of arthritis in the shoulder is osteoarthritis. Symptoms include painful swelling and stiffness and usually begin to show during middle age. The pain develops gradually and worsens over time. This can lead to a tightening or stiffening of the joint, creating painful constraints while in motion.
  • Broken bone or a fracture
    • Broken bones or fractures usually involve the collarbone, upper arm bones, and the shoulder blade. They are common in elderly patients and can result from a bad fall. For younger patients, broken bones or fractures traditionally occur after an accident or sports injury. They can cause acute pain, some swelling, and deep bruising around the shoulder.
 Risk Factors

If you fall into any of the below categories, you may be at higher risk for shoulder pain.

  •  A BMI of 35+
  • Previous shoulder injury
  • A job that requires frequent arm motion
  • Competitive sports that require frequent arm or shoulder movements, such as swimming or baseball
 Preventative Measures

If you are in a high-risk category, you can try simple shoulder exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles and avoid injury. If you have already had issues with your shoulder or a recent injury, try to exercise and then use an ice pack to ease the pain and prevent further injury.

 Shoulder Pain Therapy and Treatment Options

At Orange County Wellness Physicians Medical Group, we believe in treating the injury and managing the pain you’re experiencing. We focus on the complete wellness of our patients by developing multidisciplinary treatment plans with the latest medical technology available, as well as simple treatments you can do at home to support your recovery.

 Our expert team provides various treatment options for shoulder pain, including acupuncture, massage therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic massage and adjustment, and specially-designed exercise programs incorporating proven stability and strengthening exercises such as Pilates.

 Whatever the condition, our specialists will tailor an integrative treatment program that is personalized to your needs. Each individual program is geared to heal your pain, prevent future injury, and better your overall wellness.

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 ELBOW PAIN

The elbow functions as a hinge for the arm and controls its motion to perform countless daily activities. With so many important jobs, it’s inconvenient when there is pain located in your elbow.

 Elbow pain can be chronic or acute, depending on the cause of the discomfort and its severity.

 Common Causes

Elbow pain can happen to anyone. Most elbow pain is the result of overuse from repetitive hand, wrist, or arm actions. It can also occasionally be related to arthritis. Typically, the joint in your elbow is much less prone to arthritic damage than other joints.

 Common conditions that can lead to elbow pain include:

  • Broken or fractured bone in your arm
  • Bursitis (joint inflammation)
  • Dislocated elbow
  • Inflammation on the tip of your elbow
  • Osteoarthritis and/or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Repetitive motions
  • Sports injuries 
  • Sprains and tears in a ligament
  • Tendinosis (tennis/golfer’s elbow)
  • Trapped nerves
 Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of elbow pain are pretty straightforward and easy to spot but can vary depending on the cause. Common signs and symptoms include::

  • Trouble bending your elbow
  • A locking feeling or grating sensation in your elbow
  • Visible swelling or discoloration
  • Incapacity to move your elbow
  • Shakiness in your joint
  • Difficulties with your range of motion
 Risk Factors

Any person who routinely uses continual hand motions is at an increased risk for elbow pain and injury. People who work as painters, butchers, construction workers, musicians, and dentists can be at a higher risk. Those who perform repetitive duties on an assembly line or who type on keyboards can suffer from elbow pain.

 Athletes in tennis, baseball, and golf commonly experience elbow pain. 

 Preventative Measures

Most elbow pain is the result of overuse or injury. There are several key strategies you can incorporate to help avoid elbow pain: 

  • Proper alignment, technique, and form while playing sports 
  • Use appropriately-sized sports equipment
  • Warm-up and stretching before and after physical activity
  • Always use proper elbow padding when there’s a fall risk
  • Take breaks when performing repetitive tasks
  • Strengthen your elbow joint muscles with specific exercises
 Elbow Pain Therapy and Treatment Options

Treatments vary for elbow pain and depend on the specific condition or disorder and the range of symptoms you experience. 

 Treatment options for elbow pain generally include rest and ice therapy first, followed by physical therapy exercises that increase joint mobility. Some of the effective treatments we use to reduce or eliminate elbow pain include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Elbow brace or sling
  • Graston technique
  • Joint injections
  • KT taping
  • Massage therapy
  • Orthopedic sports medicine
  • Physical therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma

 At Orange County Wellness Physicians Medical Group, our expert staff will develop a plan for you that begins with a conservative approach and continues with more options if the pain persists. Our office offers a one-stop facility that includes medical providers, the latest advanced technology, and highly-trained therapists. We are here to get you back to living pain-free as quickly as possible.

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KNEE PAIN

Knee pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions and affects people of all ages and fitness levels. The knee is the largest joint in the body and one of the most complex in its movements. The knee relies upon a complex structure that includes cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments because of its varied functions.

 When knee pain occurs, it can be acute or chronic, mild to severe, with various causes and treatments.

 Common Causes 

Knee pain can be caused by injury or strain to one of the following areas: 

  • Bones: The knee has four bones – the patella (or kneecap), the tibia, the femur (thighbone), and the fibula.
  • Ligaments: These fibrous bands are dense and connect the bones to each other. A common but serious sports injury is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL works with the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) to provide front, back, and rotational stability to the knee. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) provide medial and lateral stability.
  • Tendons: Connecting muscle to bone, the two major tendons in the knee are the quadriceps tendon and the patellar tendon. These two are sometimes called extensors because they work with the quadriceps muscle to help you straighten your legs.
  • Cartilage: Menisci provide the knee joint with cushioning, and these cartilaginous structures line the top of the tibia.
  • Bursae: These fluid-filled sacs provide cushioning for the knee in three areas — the patella, the inner side below the knee joint, and under the kneecap.
 Signs and Symptoms 

Knee pain can develop gradually or suddenly from an injury. When your knee hurts, even everyday activities such as walking, standing, climbing the stairs, or getting out of bed can be difficult. 

 Besides pain, you may experience a few other symptoms:

  • Decreased range of motion
  • Crunching or popping noises when bending 
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty walking, straightening, or bending
 Risk Factors

There are a few factors that can increase your chance of experiencing knee pain:

  • Age
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Previous knee injury
  • Sports injury
  • Stiffness/lack of flexibility
  • Weakness in knee
 Preventative Measures

To reduce the risk of developing an acute injury or chronic knee pain, maintaining a healthy weight and good posture are important, avoiding undue pressure on your knees. 

 Daily stretching and mobility exercises are great for keeping your joints in top condition, especially if your job requires lifting heavy objects.

 When participating in sports, ensuring the proper form is important to protect your knees during weight-bearing exercises. Swimming or water exercises offer the ultimate in knee protection because the water supports our weight, rather than our knees doing the work.

 Knee Pain Therapy and Treatment Options

At home, you can treat minor knee pain by using the PRICE method to control inflammation:

  • Protect the knee, so it doesn’t get injured further using padding or splints.
  • Rest your knee to give it time to repair itself.
  • Ice the knee to reduce swelling 2-3 times per day for 20-30 minutes each.
  • Compress the knee with a wrap or brace.
  • Elevate the knee to reduce swelling and aid circulation.

 If the pain is manageable, rest, icing the knee, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications are a good place to start. 

 However, if your symptoms continue after using the above methods, we recommend booking a consultation and evaluation with our expert pain management team. 

 What does OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group do for Knee Pain?

We take a multidisciplinary approach—using advanced, conservative, and trusted tools in our toolbox to manage your pain and get your knee actively functioning again.

 The first step is diagnosis using a hands-on evaluation, medical history, and lifestyle questions to determine the source and cause of the pain. We may also recommend digital imaging (x-ray, CT scan, or MRI) for precise identification. 

 Some of our knee pain treatment therapies include:

  • Chiropractic Care 
  • Knee Support Braces
  • Natural hyaluronic acid injections
  • Orthopedic Sports Medicine 
  • Physical Therapy, Stretching
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Weight Loss Program

 We know how frustrating immobility can be, and we’ll get you back in the game—safely and as soon as possible—while working with you on a plan to prevent re-injury. People with knee problems can be active as long as their exercise programs are carefully managed in consultation with professionals.

 ANKLE AND FOOT PAIN

Foot and ankle discomfort are often connected and can include pain in the ankle area, foot muscles, and up through the calf. There are many causes of ankle and foot pain, with ankle sprains being one of the most common injuries in America.

Our feet and ankles support us each day and serve as the foundation of the body. When you experience pain in these areas, it can literally stop you in your tracks and diminish your daily activities.

 The causes of foot pain vary greatly, including but not limited to diseases, deformities, improper footwear, and injuries.

 Common Causes 

Injury to any of the ankle bones, ligaments, or tendons and several types of arthritis can cause ankle and foot pain. Common causes include:

  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Arthritis (Osteoarthritis & RA)
  • Bursitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Broken foot
  • Bursitis (joint inflammation)
  • Gout 
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Poor Blood Circulation
  • Nerve Damage
  • Sports Injury
  • Sprained/Strain
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tendinitis
 Signs and Symptoms

Depending on the cause of your ankle and foot pain, you may feel the following:

  • Bruising
  • Tender to the touch
  • Swelling, stiffness, warmth
  • Dull or sharp pain when you move
  • Trouble putting weight on your feet, moving, walking, or climbing stairs
  • Pain doesn’t dissipate after resting or elevating 
 Risk Factors

Anyone may experience some foot or ankle pain at some point in their lives, especially from an injury. But there are some key risk factors to keep in mind:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High heels
  • Flat feet or high arches
  • Improper walking gait
  • Standing for long periods
  • Previous injuries that didn’t heal properly
  • Engaging in certain sports without good training and conditioning
 Preventative Measures

To help prevent ankle and foot pain, there are several good practices to follow. Whether you play sports, stand on your feet all day, or have one of the above risk factors, it may help to:

  • stay physically active each day 
  • practice healthy eating habits
  • wear supportive, proper fitting footwear
  • daily stretching to maintain flexibility and a good range of motion
  • keep healthy body weight to lessen stress on the joints
 Ankle & Foot Pain Therapy and Treatment Options

The initial step is diagnosing the cause of the pain with a comprehensive exam. If the cause is not immediately known (sprain/twist/strain), our medical doctors will examine you for swelling, tenderness, stiffness, tightness in all parts of the foot, ankle, and calf. We may recommend a digital x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI scan to see what is happening internally in the area of pain. 

At OC Wellness Physician Medical Group, we take a comprehensive approach to pain management and healing. After a proper diagnosis, our team will create a customized treatment plan with you that may include one or more of the following treatment modalities, depending on your situation:

  • Chiropractic Care: we’ll ensure your spine and pelvis are in proper alignment, and may adjust the feet and ankles too for good balance and symmetry.
  • Physical Therapy: in-office stretching and mobility as well as at-home exercises to strengthen the weakened areas.
  • Acupuncture: used to treat nerve pain and help with circulation.
  • Orthotics: additional foot support may be needed for your condition.
  • KT Taping: application of athletic tape to certain muscles can help provide support during movement.
  • Trigger Point Injections: relax severe knots in your feet, ankles, or calves for immediate relief.
  • Medical Services: If needed, anti-inflammatories can help with pain and healing.

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 HAND AND FINGER PAIN

We use our hands and fingers for just about every activity. When they don’t function properly, mobility is compromised, or you experience pain, it can negatively impact your daily life. 

Human hands contain 27 bones with intricate muscles and joints that allow for strong, precise, and dexterous movements. However, they are vulnerable to injury.

 Common Causes

Possible causes of finger and hand pain include injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendon conditions, arthritis, ganglion cysts, and infections. 

 There are many ways that hand and finger pain can originate. They can show up in different parts of the skeletal structure, including the:

  • bones
  • joints
  • connective tissues
  • tendons
  • nerves

 Hand and finger pain can stem from:

  • arthritis
  • inflammation
  • nerve damage
  • repetitive motion injuries
  • sprains and fractures
  • several chronic health conditions
  • injuries – falling on your hand, jamming a finger
  • overextending the fingers or bending them too far backward
 Signs and Symptoms

Depending on the condition that is contributing to your hand or finger pain, the following are sensations to be aware of: 

  • decreased grip strength
  • tingling or numbness
  • small cysts on the end of fingers
  • pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints
  • dull or burning pain in joints of fingers or wrist
  • one or more fingers stuck in a bent position
  • difficulty feeling the difference between hot and cold
  • pain after overuse (heavy gripping or repetitive motion)
  • warmth at site of the affected joint (resulting from inflammation)
  • sensations of grinding, grating, or looseness around finger joints
  • feeling like fingers are swollen even when no swelling is present
  • a popping or snapping feeling as you straighten and bend your finger
  • stiffness and inability to straighten your finger in the morning
 Risk Factors

Anyone can sustain a hand or finger injury from a fall or overexertion. But some risk factors contribute to chronic conditions and pain in these areas:

  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fracture or previous injuries
  • Repetitive motion (keyboard work, assembly line work)
 Preventative Measures

Leading a healthy lifestyle with moderate exercise, restorative sleep, and a wholesome eating program helps keep some inflammatory conditions at bay. 

 Remembering to take breaks when doing strenuous or repetitive activities is important to give your hands and fingers needed rest.

 Mobility exercises keep the ligaments and tendons in your hands and fingers flexible and increase movement of the needed fluid in your joints to keep them pliable and lubricated. It can also help relieve current pain and stiffness. Try practicing simple exercises like bending, flexing, wrist circles, and finger touching to keep the hand and fingers limber. 

 Hand & Finger Pain Therapy and Treatment Options

As with any painful condition, our initial step is a proper diagnosis to determine the condition’s cause. At OC Wellness Physician Medical Group, our goal is to provide pain relief as quickly as possible. At the same time, we get to the root of the problem. 

 We use non-invasive treatment modalities to provide the relief you need and a comprehensive approach to correct any structural issues in as natural a way as possible.

 Our expert team will create a customized treatment plan with you that may include one or more of the following treatment modalities, depending on your particular situation:

  • Chiropractic Care: relieving pinched nerves in the arms, shoulders, hands, and wrists can alleviate numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain
  • Physical Therapy: can help increase mobility, strength, and flexibility in the muscles and tendons in the arms, necks, hands, and wrists. 
  • Massage Therapy: loosening up tight muscles and ligaments can soothe the areas and help provide pain relief.
  • Acupuncture: helps stimulate circulation and treat nerve pain and help with circulation.
  • Regenerative Medicine: an advanced natural option if you have permanent muscle or nerve damage.
  • Medical Services: If needed, anti-inflammatories can help with pain and healing.

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