Although there is no cure, there are plenty of treatments available to help relieve some of the pain. Physical therapy is always an option that will help strengthen muscles in areas affected to any degree by your arthritis and may also provide joint pain relief. Assistive devices such as braces or canes is a viable option for providing stability while taking weight and pressure off the affected area. Finally, your doctor may prescribe medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce swelling and pain. Cortisone is another drug that offers temporary relief.
Although epidural steroid injections (also called epidural corticosteroid injections) may be helpful to confirm a diagnosis, they should be used primarily after a specific presumptive diagnosis has been established. Also, injections should not be used in isolation, but rather in conjunction with a program stressing muscle flexibility, strengthening, and functional restoration.
Epidural injections and intradiscal injections have been used in the treatment of non-radicular degenerative disc disease with limited success. Proper follow-up after injections to assess the patient's treatment response and ability to progress in the rehabilitation program is essential. A limited number of injections can be tried to reduce pain, but careful monitoring of the response is required prior to a second or third injection.