Arthritis is defined by a series of chronic aches in joints anywhere on the body. The severity of these aches vary in degree however it is not uncommon for some patients to be in so much pain that they are unable to move or perform basic movements. The nature of arthritis is one which progressively gets worse over time and because of this, the best method to handle it is to develop good habits in its earlier stages. The different types of arthritis are knee arthritis, hip arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of Arthritis
As arthritis is a condition that worsens with time, its symptoms also become more pronounced over time as well. Some of these symptoms are:
- Pain in the joints after or during movement or after long periods of inactivity
- Inability to use joint due to loss of flexibility
- Tenderness in the joint after applying light pressure to the area
- Stiffness in the joint after long periods of inactivity
- Swelling might occur in some places
- Rubbing/Grating of bones surrounding the joint
- Bone spurs (hard lumps) might appear around the affected joint.
Causes of Arthritis
The cartilage of a joint is a sturdy but flexible tissue located in the joint that acts as shock-absorbers. When there is higher amounts of strain on the joints, the cartilage degrades faster and thus, arthritis occurs. As there are varying levels of cartilage in the joint, the degree of pain one can experience also varies. When the cartilage’s surface becomes rough, the pain is at most irritation for the patient however; when the cartilage is completely gone, the bones surrounding the joint are rubbing together and being damaged which can be excruciatingly painful. Issues which are believed to degrade the cartilage faster and cause arthritis are factors such as muscle weakness, obesity, genetics, joint stress/injury, and aging.
Diagnoses of Arthritis
A physical examination by a professional is typically conducted to correctly diagnose arthritis in a patient. During this examination, they may test the range of movement the patient can do involving the joint. In cases of severe pain, the patient might first seek the opinion of a rheumatologist which will lead to a faster diagnosis and allows them to begin treatment quickly. It’s also not uncommon for the examiner to remove some of the joint fluid for testing and identifying the type of arthritis by identifying certain types of antibodies such as rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP), and antinuclear antibody (ANA).
Available Treatment Options For Arthritis
Despite the lack of a cure for arthritis, there are treatment methods and medication available which help handle the symptoms and pain of the ailment. These solutions can offer long-term or short-term relief and are as follows:
- Physical therapy
- Regenerative Medicine therapies
- For mild arthritis; Ibuprofen
- For severe or advanced arthritis; corticosteroids
- Low-impact but regular exercise which keeps the lungs flexible
- Surgery, when all other less invasive treatment methods have failed
At Progressive Pain and Rehabilitation, our health experts value the vital importance of your healthy well-being. We provide the best, most innovative treatments, including Regenerative Medicine therapies aimed to ensure you’re back to your best feeling. Contact us today to schedule your evaluation for any of our quality pain management services.