Arthritis Treatment Specialists

Arthritis is a general term for conditions that effect the joints and surrounding tissues. Our arthritis pain specialists can accurately determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan that fits your needs. Our pain management specialists are located through MD, PA, and VA.

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Arthritis Pain Management

Comprehensive arthritis pain management is vital to a patient’s healing process. Our doctors can thoroughly evaluate your pain symptoms in order to accurately diagnose the cause.

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

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Arthritis Overview

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. 

There are actually over 100 types of Arthritis and an estimated 58.5 million adults in the United State alone suffer from the condition. Arthritis is one of the biggest causes of work disability and is also common in people who deal with other chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.  

There is currently no cure for Arthritis, but it can be treated and managed to the point where a person can reclaim their life and get back to doing the things they enjoy.  

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

Osteoarthritis (OA)

A degenerative joint disease that often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back, or small joints of the hands. Osteoarthritis is the actual wearing down of the cartilage located at the ends of the bones. This causes damage to the joint and bone. Changes that occur usually get worse over time and can lead to stiffness and swelling. Simple movements can be very painful in cases involving Osteoarthritis. About 32.5 million adults in the United States are affected by Osteoarthritis. 

People are more at risk for developing Osteoarthritis if they already have joint damage or tend to overuse their knees, are older in age (risk goes up along with age), are female and over 50, or have family members who have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) 

An autoimmune and inflammatory disease that usually involves various joints in the fingers, thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, feet, and ankles. Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases are those where the immune system attacks itself and the healthy cells in your body. This response leads to inflammation in the parts of the body where this is happening. 

People are more at risk for developing Rheumatoid Arthritis if they are in their sixties (risk increases along with age, but can occur at any age), are female (RA happen 2 to 3 times more often in women than men), have inherited certain genes associated with RA, and/or smoke. 


Other Types of Arthritis

While Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the two types of Arthritis that people are most often diagnosed with, there are other types that people frequently develop, as well. Other types of Arthritis include: 

Juvenile Arthritis: 

Also known as pediatric rheumatic disease, this form of Arthritis affects around 300,000 kids and teenagers in the United States. Juvenile Arthritis is a general term used to describe inflammatory and rheumatic diseases in anyone under the age of 16. It is the most common form of chronic Arthritis in children and teens and can last anywhere from a few months to a few years and can even end up becoming a life-long illness. As is typical with Arthritis, it causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of motion. While any exact causes of Juvenile Arthritis are unknown, it is believed that it can be linked to genes that are activated from a virus, bacteria, or other factors.   

Infectious Arthritis: 

Also known as Septic Arthritis, this is a type of Arthritis that is suddenly brought on by an infection. It can lead to permanent joint damage that is very painful. Infectious Arthritis can result when an infection in another part of the body migrates to a joint and it usually only happens in one joint. Infections are caused by either bacteria, viruses, or fungi and most cases of Infectious Arthritis stem from bacteria. The most common type of bacteria is Staphylococcus aureus, which causes a staph infection. The onset of Infectious Arthritis is very quick and brings intense swelling, fever, chills, and pain. If treated quickly and appropriately, Septic Arthritis can actually be cured and does not have to be a long-term illness. However, if untreated then it has the potential to cause permanent damage to the joint. 

Psoriatic Arthritis: 

This is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints that happens in those with Psoriasis. This type of Arthritis can manifest in any joint in the body and symptoms tend to vary per person. Typically, it involves swelling of the joints and some stiffness when a person first gets up, which clears up as they move around. It can start at any age, although it is most commonly seen in people between 30 to 50 years of age. Psoriatic Arthritis affects about 15% of people with Psoriasis. Most people who develop Psoriatic Arthritis get it between 5 to 12 years after having Psoriasis. Psoriatic Arthritis can present itself as noticeably swollen fingers and toes, fatigue, swollen and tender joints, reduced range of motion, and nails that are pitted or separated from the nail bed. 

Gout: 

A common inflammatory Arthritis that usually develops in one joint at a time, with that joint often being the big toe. Gout flares, a time when symptoms worsen, often last about a week or two then clear up, a period known as remission (this time can last for weeks, months, or even years). With the proper treatment and lifestyle changes, Gout is one of the easiest forms of Arthritis to manage and control. Gout tends to cause pain, swelling, redness, and heat in the affected joint. Gout happens due to a condition called Hyperuricemia, which is when there is too much of a build-up of a substance called uric acid (this substance breaks down purines), and needle-like crystals form in the joint. While there is no cure, Gout can be effectively treated with medical assistance and lifestyle/diet changes. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis: 

Also known as Bechterew's Disease, it is a form of Arthritis that occurs in the spine (other joints can also be affected). Ankylosing Spondylitis causes inflammation of the spinal joints and tissues, which leads to a rigid spine and severe, chronic pain. Generally, people experience mild symptoms but more severe cases can actually lead to Ankylosis. When Ankylosis occurs new bones start to form in the spine and causes the spine to fuse, where it becomes immobile and leaves the affected person in a hunched position. Ankylosing Spondylitis usually occurs in late adolescence to early adulthood, although it can begin at any age.  


Causes

There is no leading cause of Arthritis and causes vary depending on the type of Arthritis. Arthritis can be caused by an injury or continuously re-injuring a joint. Other causes can potentially be immune system dysfunction, genetics, and infections. 


Symptoms

Osteoarthritis (OA) usually develops in joints that are injured by a repeated activity from a favorite sport or constant physical action. Eventually this injury or repeated impact thins and 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 then reduced, bone spurs develop, and the joints swell. Usually, the first symptom of OA is pain that immediately follows physical activity or after periods of immobility. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects various joints. Autoimmune conditions prompt the body to release enzymes that attack its own healthy tissue. In RA, these enzymes destroy the linings of joints. This causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and even malformation. 

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


Diagnosis of Arthritis Pain

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.


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At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 

Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 


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