Hip and knee pain can be two of the most difficult forms of joint pain to live with. Not only because of the discomfort they cause, but also because of how much they can impact your ability to be active and mobile. What’s worse is that a sedentary lifestyle can create a negative cycle that makes it harder to find pain relief due to inactivity and mental health problems.
Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Philip Clifford MD, “Dr. Philip” or “Dr. Flip” to his patients, has been helping people find relief from joint pain and related mobility problems for years now. As Medical Director for the Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America (OJRCA,) he and his entire experienced team are dedicated to exceptional and personalized patient care. To help patients who are trying to find lasting relief on their treatment journey, there are some key things Dr. Clifford and the OJRCA team want you to know.
We’re here to help and we encourage you to get in touch with an OJRCA representative if you have any questions or are interested in learning more about your treatment options.
1. Stay Positive and Don’t Lose Hope
The first thing that anyone who has either been recently diagnosed with a condition or injury or who has been living with pain for years should know is that a positive attitude is fundamental to a positive outcome. Too many people make the decision to just “live with the pain,” or don’t want to pursue options, whether it’s physical therapy or surgery because of perceived difficulties.
Millions of people deal with chronic joint pain, so you are not alone. However, every year millions of people are also able to find effective treatments that genuinely improve their quality of life. Believing that pain relief is possible, and that you can achieve it no matter what your situation is, is an important first step to getting there.
2. Pain Relief Is a Process
If you’ve been diagnosed with a degenerative condition such as arthritis or are dealing with an injury that is causing joint pain, it’s important to be patient and persistent. In most cases, the first line of treatment will be basic conservative measures that are designed to relieve symptoms on a temporary basis while you focus on improving function and mobility.
It may take some time to find the right combination of treatments that are right for you, but there are a wide range of options that are worth exploring. Some patients respond to basic treatments such as getting enough rest, taking over-the-counter medication on an as-needed basis and using a combination of heat therapy and cold therapy to relax muscles, improve circulation and reduce inflammation.
Physical therapy should almost always be attempted in some form or another. Whether you attend sessions with a professional therapist or follow instructions for therapeutic exercise given to you by your doctor, physical therapy can help to improve range-of-motion and strengthen the affected area of treatment.
Pain-relieving steroid injections are a form of treatment that can help reduce pain and improve mobility on a medium-term basis. Often, they can help people with severe hip or knee pain attempt physical therapy that may not have been possible otherwise.
One promising form of treatment are regenerative injections that can use the body’s own cells to help promote the natural healing process. Dr. Clifford offers the following options that he discusses with patients based on their specific needs and treatment goals:
By finding the right combination of treatments and keeping a positive mentality, a large number of people are able to find the pain relief needed for a good quality of life.
3. Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle
One sometimes overlooked part of the pain relief journey that a health care professional like Dr. Clifford stresses to patients is combining pain relief treatment with a healthy lifestyle. A very important part of this is managing weight. Extra body weight adds to the stress on our joints with every step, which can accelerate natural degeneration and exacerbate symptoms of arthritis and injuries.
Additionally, low-impact exercise can have substantial benefits for joint health, helping to strengthen supporting muscles and improving blood flow to often under-served joints. Eating a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet can also help reduce inflammation that can be a major contributor to joint pain.
Although healthy lifestyle choices are not a cure in and of themselves, they can be a key piece of the long-term pain relief puzzle.
4. If Surgery Becomes Your Best Option, Set Yourself Up for Success
Surgery can start to become a serious consideration if weeks or months go by and joint pain does not improve, or worsens, despite fully exploring conservative therapies and committing to a healthy lifestyle. When protective joint cartilage degenerates to the point where there is bone-on-bone contact, a surgeon can perform joint replacement surgery to help relieve pain and improve function.
Not all approaches to joint replacement are the same however. Philip Clifford MD and OJRCA utilize state-of-the-art surgical techniques and a proprietary multi-modal pain management and anesthesia protocol to perform hip and knee replacement procedures on an outpatient basis. The OJRCA method is designed to reduce postoperative pain and get patients up and moving to begin the critical recovery phase.
Even patients who require hospitalization due to certain medical conditions can still benefit from Dr. Clifford’s innovative approach to joint replacement surgery.
Learn More About Philip Clifford MD and OJRCA
Dr. Clifford has had ties to the Tampa Bay region for decades and was drawn to the area when he set out to start OJRCA as the preeminent destination to help patients seeking lasting relief for joint pain. A graduate of the prestigious University of Florida Medical School, Dr. Clifford then went on to complete his residency and surgical fellowship at the renowned Duke University Medical Center.
OJRCA is built on a simple approach to care that treats patients like family. People come to see Dr. Philip at every phase of their treatment journey and are met with an individualized approach designed to help them achieve their unique goals for pain relief.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Philip Clifford MD can help you find the pain relief you deserve, contact OJRCA today.