Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation (swelling) of the joints and surrounding tissues.

Arthritis Treatment Specialists

Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints and surrounding tissues. Joints are places in the body where bones come together, such as the knees, wrists, fingers, toes, and hips.

The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful, degenerative joint disease that often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back, or small joints of the hands.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that usually involves various joints in the fingers, thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, feet, and ankles.

Causes And Symptoms Of Arthritis

OA usually develops in joints that are injured by repeated overuse from performing a particular task or playing a favorite sport or from carrying around excess body weight. Eventually this injury or repeated impact thins or wears away the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the joint. As a result, the bones rub together, causing a grating sensation. Joint flexibility is reduced, bony spurs develop, and the joint swells. Usually, the first symptom of OA is pain that worsens following exercise or immobility.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that usually involves various joints in the fingers, thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, feet, and ankles. An autoimmune disease is one in which the body releases enzymes that attack its own healthy tissues. In RA, these enzymes destroy the linings of joints. This causes pain, swelling, stiffness, malformation, and reduced movement and function.

People with RA also may have systemic symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, weight loss, eye inflammation, anemia, subcutaneous nodules (bumps under the skin), or pleurisy (a lung inflammation).

Diagnosis Of Arthritis

Our physicians are board certified, and are dedicated to giving you a comprehensive exam that will aid in diagnosing the cause of your symptoms. Using advanced diagnostic techniques, our doctors will find out the reason for your pain, and then get you on the road to better health right away. Here are a few steps our physicians use when completing their comprehensive exams:

  • We take your complete medical history to identify or rule out possible causes of your pain.
  • We conduct a thorough physical exam
  • We carefully review your symptoms, including how you would describe the pain (burning, achy, dull, etc.) and whether certain positions or activities make the pain feel better or worse
  • We may order diagnostic tests, including x-ray, MRI or CT scan, to help us diagnose your chronic pain

Once we have an accurate diagnosis, we will work together with you to create a treatment plan that will effectively address your pain.

Possible Treatments For Arthritis

We provide a wide range of treatments and therapies for pain caused by arthritis. Treatment is highly individualized and will depend on the underlying cause of pain and severity of symptoms. Available treatments include:

  • Biofeedback
  • Injection therapy
  • Joint Injection and Viscosupplementation
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Trigger point injection
  • Epidural steroid injection
  • Alternative therapies
  • Medication management

Are you or a loved one living with arthritis?

You don’t have to live in chronic daily pain. Pain and Spine Specialists can help—give our board-certified doctors a call today at 301-703-8767 (Maryland) or 724-603-3560 (Pittsburgh area).

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