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Arthritis Specialist

Louisiana Pain Institute

Cathy Zhang, MD

Pain Management & Cosmetics located in Covington, LA & Denham Springs, LA

Arthritis isn’t just annoying — sometimes, it’s downright debilitating. Get help with your arthritis pain today by scheduling a consultation with Cathy Zhang, MD, at Louisiana Pain Institute, with locations in Covington and Denham Springs, Louisiana. Dr. Zhang offers a multimodal approach to your care, fusing holistic recommendations with pain-reducing joint injections. To learn more, contact the practice online or over the phone today.

Arthritis Q&A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of joints, which people often experience as joint stiffness and pain. Other major symptoms of arthritis include redness and a decreased range of motion.

The two primary varieties of arthritis are: 

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that covers the ends of your bones in your joints begins to break down. As the cartilage disappears, your bones start grinding directly against one another, causing pain and damage to bone and connective tissue.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis happens when your immune system mistakenly attacks the synovial lining, a tough membrane that lines all joints. 

As the immune system attacks, the joints become inflamed and swollen. Left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can destroy the cartilage and bone inside the joints. It can also lead to other conditions, like osteoporosis and osteoporosis fracturing.

Other types of arthritis include:

  • Gout
  • Ankylosing spondylitis 
  • Septic arthritis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Thumb arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis


Though arthritis is associated with age, you may also be at risk if: you’re a woman, arthritis runs in your family, you’ve had a previous joint injury, or you struggle with obesity.

How do you treat arthritis pain?

If creams and ointments and/or over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), or acetaminophen (Tylenol) aren’t working for you, you may be eligible for joint injections.

Though she adjusts them based on the location and nature of your pain, Dr. Zhang’s joint injections usually contain a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic. The corticosteroid helps your pain by decreasing inflammation, while the anesthetic blocks pain signals.

To ensure your comfort, Dr. Zhang has you sit up or lie down on your back or stomach before she injects you. She also applies numbing medication to the treatment area and cleans the area with cold soap to prevent infection.

Dr. Zhang uses either X-ray or ultrasound imaging to guide the needle into place for optimal accuracy. As she slowly injects the medication, you may feel a little temporary pressure.

These types of joint injections provide fast relief that lasts about a month. 

Can you treat arthritis-related bone loss in the spine?

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you’re at higher risk for bone loss and fractures. Osteoporosis fractures can affect any bone, including the individual bones that make up your spine.

When this happens, the vertebral body can collapse, fracture, and cause painful spinal compression. If this happens, Dr. Zhang may suggest kyphoplasty. 

During this minimally invasive procedure, she inserts a special balloon inside your fracture and gently inflates it to restore the bone height in your spine. Then, she injects a cement-like material directly into the fracture to stabilize it and, often, provide immediate pain relief.

Is arthritis slowing you down? Reclaim your time with arthritis treatment from Dr. Zhang. To learn more, schedule a visit at Louisiana Pain Institute online or over the phone today.