Heritage Regenerative Medicine
John E. Stavrakos, MS, MD
Sports Medicine Clinic & Wellness Center serving The Greater Charlotte Area
Joint Pain Q & A
What are the causes of joint pain?
Joint pain can occur as a result of acute injuries, overuse, and chronic degenerative conditions. Frequent causes of joint pain include:
Fractures, dislocations, and injuries like tears or ruptures in the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage in your joints can cause immediate and often severe pain.
Examples include anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, Achilles tendon ruptures, ankle sprains, rotator cuff tears in the shoulder, and meniscus or labral and other joint cartilage tears.
There are many varieties of arthritis that affect the joints, but the most common is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a wear-and-tear condition that arises from the breakdown of articular cartilage covering the bones in your joints. Without protection, the raw bones rub together, triggering inflammation, pain, weakness, and stiffness in the affected joints.
Making the same movements repeatedly for long periods can cause irritation and inflammation in the connective tissues.
Bursitis and tendinitis are common overuse conditions, causing problems like trochanteric bursitis in the hips, golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis), and tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).
How is joint pain diagnosed?
To diagnose joint pain, Dr. Stavrakos starts by looking at your medical history and current symptoms and performing a physical examination. In conventional practice, you would also undergo diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays or an MRI/CT scan.
The most important difference between the standard of care at Heritage Regenerative Medicine and most conventional practices is that Dr. Stavrakos takes a hands-on approach to diagnose joint pain instead of relying solely on an X-ray or MRI.
Dr. Stavrakos finds that the results from these imaging tests can at times be misleading and don't account for the concept of biotensegrity.
Biotensegrity is the view that what happens to your joints is unlikely to occur in isolation. In most cases, joint pain develops in relation to other structures in your body that need examining and addressing. A thorough physical examination to determine what structures are tender/painful, and which ones are loose or unstable, and how they affect adjacent structures gives the best clues as to what area(s) of the body need treatment.
What treatments can help with joint pain?
The treatment Dr. Stavrakos recommends for your joint pain depends on the cause of the pain and which joints are involved. For many patients, rest and physical therapy are effective solutions, but if these aren't working for you, Dr. Stavrakos offers a range of potential therapies, including:
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
- Stem cell therapy
- IV therapy
- Birth tissue products
- Wharton's jelly
- Hyaluronic acid injections
- Ozone therapy
Dr. Stavrakos focuses on finding effective, natural options for joint pain healing. These treatments can often help you avoid the need for surgical interventions to treat joint pain.
To find out which treatment is best for your joint pain, call Heritage Regenerative Medicine today or book an appointment online.
Sports Medicine Clinic & Wellness Center located in the greater Charlotte, NC area