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Is Arthritis Curable?

Jul 17, 2020
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Spoiler alert: Most forms of arthritis aren’t curable, yet, but we’re making great inroads in managing joint diseases of all kinds. Read on to explore how we can help you lead a happy and active life when you have arthritis.

The prevalence of joint disease in the United States is large and growing larger each year as our population ages. The most recent numbers from the CDC show that more than 54 million have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and that number is expected to grow to 78 million by 2040. 

As these numbers grow, medical researchers are redoubling their efforts to find sustainable solutions for arthritis, and progress is being made. In the meantime, we’re able to better manage joint disease using innovative therapies.

At Commonwealth Pain and Spine, our expert team of interventional pain management specialists understands the widespread impact that arthritis can have on your life and we work diligently to restore your pain-free mobility.

To give you a better idea of your options, let’s take a look at what we’re up against when it comes to arthritis and how we can better manage the problem.

The many faces of arthritis

Arthritis isn’t one condition, but a catchall term for more than 100 different types of joint disease. The Arthritis Foundation divides arthritis into four main categories:

  • Degenerative arthritis, including osteoarthritis
  • Inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis
  • Infectious arthritis
  • Metabolic arthritis, including gout

Of these four categories, degenerative arthritis, namely OA, accounts for the majority of cases. In fact, 32.5 million people in the United States report some degree of OA, which is a progressive disease that largely develops on the heels of wear-and-tear.

Why there’s no cure for arthritis

The reason there’s no “cure” for arthritis is complex since there are so many different types of the disease. 

Let’s start with the most prevalent type of arthritis — OA. This form of joint disease occurs when the cartilage in your joint breaks down, which allows your bones to rub together unprotected. This can lead to pain and inflammation in your joint, and the problem can become further exacerbated if debris, including bone chips, build up. The problem with OA is that your cartilage doesn’t enjoy a healthy blood supply, which means it doesn't repair or regenerate itself.

Moving over to inflammatory arthritis, namely rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, these types of joint disease stem from an autoimmune disorder in which your own immune system is attacking your joints. Researchers don’t quite understand this response entirely, but they believe that genetics and environment play significant roles.

The bottom line is that, as of now, there are no magic bullets when it comes to most forms of arthritis, but there are effective steps we can take to offset the pain and stiffness.

Managing arthritis

There are many things you can on your own to better manage your arthritis, such as staying active and losing weight. For our part, we offer several approaches:

Intra-articular injections

This technique allows us to deliver a local anesthetic and steroid into your joint to relieve your pain and restore your mobility.

Nerve blocks

We can prevent pain signaling in certain areas of your body by injecting a blocking agent directly into your nerves.

Nerve ablation

We ablate the end of your nerve, preventing it from transmitting pain signals to your brain.

Regenerative medicine

This area of medicine is showing great promise in helping us rebuild the soft tissues within your joints using stem cells and your own platelets.

Hemp oil

Hemp contains cannabidiol (CBD), as well as other natural properties, that fight inflammation and pain.


Part of your treatment plan may include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and prescription medications designed to address arthritis pain.

While there may not be a cure for arthritis, as you can see by our lengthy list of treatment options, there are solutions.

If you’d like to explore your treatment options for your arthritis, contact one of our 12 locations in St. Matthews, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Crestview Hills, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky; Evansville, Vincennes, New Albany, Carrollton, and Jasper, Indiana; and Carmel, Illinois, to set up an appointment.