As a condition that leads to a substantial amount of inflammation and swelling within the joints, arthritis can develop in numerous locations within the body. However, it typically starts in the hands and wrists. The most prevalent kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis, where the cartilage breaks down within joints, and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation within the linings of joints. In addition to inflammation, arthritis can lead to pain and discomfort, stiffness, and reduced mobility and flexibility. ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS Several symptoms of arthritis can affect everyday life and impede ability to live comfortably. Some of the most common side effects include:
- Inflammation and pain in one or more joints
- Stiffness that typically occurs in the morning
- Decreased mobility and flexibility
- In severe cases, weight loss, fatigue, or anemia
- Discomfort and pain that can become more intense with long periods of sitting
CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS Arthritis typically occurs over time, making it most common in adults over the age of 65. Osteoarthritis is due to natural wear and tear on joints, weakening the cartilage until there is little left to cushion the bones within a joint. This breakdown of cartilage can be exacerbated by infection or injury to the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the synovium, a soft tissue that produces cartilage and lubricates joints. In both forms of arthritis, there is increased friction within the joint, causing pain. Arthritis is more common in women, in people that are overweight, and in individuals with a family history of arthritis, but anyone can suffer from the disorder.
ARTHRITIS TREATMENT OPTIONS
To determine the severity of arthritis, spine or joint diagnostic imaging tests, such as x-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan, may be performed. For patients with less severe cases, a minimally invasive approach to treatment will be recommended. Possible interventions may include therapy and medications for weight loss. Following a comprehensive exam and assessment, we will develop a treatment plan that is specific to your needs so that you can return to the activities you enjoy! Treatments for arthritis within the shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees, and ankles> may differ.