Have you been experiencing joint pain or have a recent diagnosis of arthritis? There are different types of arthritis, but all of them cause joint pain and a host of other symptoms. There are also several different treatments available. Here is what you need to know.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the general term used for the breaking down of the joints. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (usually from age) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune condition). In osteoarthritis, the cartilage begins to wear away. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the lining of the joints. There are actually over 40 different types of arthritis.
What symptoms you have will depend on what type of arthritis is present. The most common symptoms of any type of arthritis include:
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness or limited range of motion
Most of these symptoms are the result of inflammation that occurs when arthritis is present in the joints. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may also have symptoms of:
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Low grade fevers
You may have some additional symptoms depending on the type of arthritis you have. For example, people with psoriatic arthritis usually have psoriasis present on the scalp or elsewhere on the body.
There are a lot of different available treatments for arthritis. There are many medications that can treat symptoms, including pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroids. Steroids are often used on a sporadic basis to treat intense flares. Physical therapy is another treatment option, and it can often help you maintain range of motion and mobility.
If medications do not control your symptoms or if the joint deteriorates too badly, surgery may be recommended. Before you jump to surgery, however, there are a few other treatments to try. New work with stem cells and platelet rich plasma have given doctors a new avenue for treating arthritis. With these treatments, you may be able to avoid or postpone surgery.
If you have arthritis and are looking for treatments to relieve symptoms, contact us today for more information or to schedule your appointment.