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January 12, 2013: Chronic Arthritis Pain

Chronic Arthritis Pain

This week, Dr. Cassaro discussed Chronic arthritis pain.

Q- How does arthritis cause pain?

A- It's important to note that arthritis itself is painless. The pain is a symptom of the joint destruction. When joints become arthritic, nerves and other sensitive tissues may be irritated. This is where the pain comes from.

Q- What are some effective treatments for arthritis pain; and in what situations are they applicable?

A- Here are some effective arthritis treatments discussed on the show. Read the information below to better determine which applications suit your arthritis pain best.

Foods to avoid

Foods that make arthritis pain worse include (but not limited to) sugar, grains, starchy foods, pasta, breads, simple carbohydrates, processed foods, refined foods, cured meats/foods, artificial sweeteners, and dairy products.

Vitamin D3

Helps reduce arthritis pain, found in green leafy vegetables, fish, fish oil, and in greatest concentrations when body is exposed to sunlight.

B Vitamins

All b vitamins, especially Vitamin B5 and B6. Find a good quality Vitamin B Supplement.


This nutritional supplement has been studied for years in US and abroad. The conclusive evidence points to this compound as being a miracle support product for arthritis pain. Make sure you buy a high quality brand, or it may have little or no effect.

Fish oil

This naturally occurring nutritional supplement can help to naturally lubricate joints and reduce nerve irritability. It has also been shown to  protect the coating on nerves.


Calcium is important for bone and joint strength. The greatest source is not milk or dairy products, but from fresh vegetables.


Exercises that promote muscle strength, or flexibility have proved helpful in the reduction of pain from arthritis. It not only strengthens the tissues around joints but promotes good metabolic function as well.


Chiropractic care can greatly reduce that level of pain experienced from arthritis. This treatment is especially helpful if the arthritis pain is in the low, mid, or upper back and neck.

Heated pool

For some, the pain is far too great to perform even the simplest exercise. A heated pool is a great way to exercise without heavy impact to the joints and at the same time benefit from the therapeutic nature of warm water. Call your local YMCA or visit a hotel pool for more information.


A simple walk each day can not only help to prevent worse arthritis in the future, but it can greatly reduce current arthritis pain as well. Walking stimulates blood flow, and with it nutrients and healing chemicals to all joints in the body. In addition, it benefits the metabolism and helps it regulate healing and immune system function.


Ask you doctor about getting injections directly into the affected joint(s). Some injections can numb the pain for several months at a time. Other injections apply a gel-like substance that is similar to your natural joint fluid. This helps lubricate rough, worn joints. Other injections apply a substance to the ligaments and promotes the immune system to start the healing/repair process.

Radio frequency treatments

 Radio frequency treatment is a process where low-level microwaves are applied to the nerves surrounding the joint that carry pain signals. This process burns these nerves so they are unable to send pain signals. This allows the person to start exercising, and possibly condition the joint back to a functional state. Talk to your doctor about this treatment.

Topical medications

Your doctor may prescribe topical medications to apply to the joint if the affected joint is close to the surface of the skin. These topical medications soak into the joint and can desensitize the nerves that carry pain signals. A compounding pharmacist can create these topical medications with doctor orders. You may find relief from using over-the-counter topical medications if they contain capsaicin. Another option is MSM lotion; a compound you can make at home. You can get details on how to make this here.

Spinal stimulator

This is an implanted surgical device that sends a disruptive signal to nerves across a wide area of the body. It confuses the pain signal carried by the nerve, so you do not feel pain.

Q- I am being treated for my arthritis pain, but I am still in pain...what should I do?

A. If you are living with arthritis pain, there may be other treatments that can help you. Discuss some of the above treatments with your doctor. If you need additional assistance, you can contact us using the form on this website.