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Treatment overview and more!
Arthritis is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, from the young to the elderly. Its prevalence is widespread, and it's known for causing discomfort, stiffness, and reduced joint mobility. This condition can impact every aspect of a person's life, from professional endeavors to personal enjoyment.
If you want to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for arthritis pain, use the navigation buttons below. If you are ready to take the next step in managing your arthritis pain, our specialists are available for new patient consultations. Reach out to us by submitting a contact form or by giving us a call.
Our board-certified physicians are here to diagnose your condition and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address your arthritis pain. Remember, early intervention for arthritis pain can significantly improve your quality of life and prevent further joint damage. Don't wait until the pain is unbearable. Reach out today!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this office. I was helping my mom find a place for her arthritis pain, and I explained to them how bad it was. They were able to schedule me the same week! That's almost impossible at any doctor's office...and then add COVID..... I was thrilled. I took my mom, and everyone was absolutely so sweet and kind
- Donyasha B.
Dr. Rao. I can't find the words to tell you how much he has meant to me. I followed him from an old practice to his very new high tech office. They offer so many different areas of assistance to those with issues from nutrition to spinal surgery...and much more. His office is professional.
- Mom To2
Dr. Roa is such an amazing doctor! During my first visit he never tried to rush through my appt., he genuinely listened to all my concerns and then took his time to explain to me in detail all his recommendations and how they would help me.
- Nikki Walker
In the 3 years as a patient of Dr. Rao, it is my opinion that he is a phenomenal and extraordinary doctor. He keeps up to date with the latest treatment options, will sacrifice time no matter how many are in the waiting room to listen and explain. Dr. Rao has treated multiple patients with rare illnesses, and shows more empathy than any Dr. I’ve met.
- Mom To2
I have now been with Dr. Rao for 13 years. He is the most caring Doctor I have ever been to! Dr. Rao makes you feel very comfortable at all times. I would not want to go to any other Doctor... I go to the Hagerstown location, everyone is very nice
- Theresa R.
The entire staff from the folks at the front desk to the Nurse, to the Physicians Assistant to the scribe that records the visit for the doctor - (great idea so the Doctor can focus on the patient!!!)
- NVA F.
Completely the best care you could want the staff is so pleasant and caring and the doctors have true heart for healing, love being a patient here would give 10 stars if I could & absolutely the most caring during my procedure with Dr B
- Cathern C.
Always friendly, courteous, and efficient service. From the ladies, who work the front desk, to the nurses and the doctors. I've always had a good experience with the Harrisonburg office in Virginia.
They scheduled my appointment very quickly so that I can get to help that I needed immediately instead of like most places having to wait two to three weeks to get in I called and was able to be seen the next day
- John H.
After transitioning from a pain and spine doctor in Columbia, MD.. The intake staff member at Pain and Spine Specialist made the scheduling a breeze. They were able to get me in within a week.
Arthritis Treatment Guide
Board Certified Doctors
Patients Seen Within Two Weeks
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 over 100 types of Arthritis, and an estimated 58.5 million adults in the United States 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 by a qualified doctor for joint pain who can help you reclaim your life and restore your functionality.
The most common types of Arthritis
Understanding the specific type of Arthritis you have is crucial for effective treatment and management of your symptoms. Here is an overview of the most common types of Arthritis
A degenerative joint disease often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back, or small joints of the hands. Osteoarthritis is the actual wearing down of the cartilage at the bones' ends, and this causes damage to the joint and bone. Changes that occur usually worsen over time, leading 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 (risk goes up along with age), are female and over 50, or have family members diagnosed with Osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
An autoimmune and inflammatory disease usually involves various joints in the fingers, thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, feet, and ankles. Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases are when 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 happens 2 to 3 times more often in women than men), have inherited certain genes associated with RA, or smoke.
Finding a qualified doctor of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is crucial because early intervention can significantly manage symptoms and reduce joint damage.
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. Here is a list of types of 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 for inflammatory and rheumatic diseases in anyone under 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 even become 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 activated by a virus, bacteria, or other factors.
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, which usually only happens in one joint. Bacteria, viruses, or fungi cause infections, and most cases of Infectious Arthritis stem from bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common type of bacteria, which causes a staph infection. The onset of Infectious Arthritis is quick and brings intense swelling, fever, chills, and pain. If treated quickly and appropriately, Septic Arthritis can be cured and does not have to be a long-term illness. However, if untreated, it can cause permanent joint damage.
This form of Arthritis 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.
What are the first signs of psoriatic Arthritis?
Early signs of psoriatic Arthritis are noticeably swollen fingers and toes, fatigue, swollen and tender joints, reduced range of motion, and nails pitted or separated from the nail bed.
A common inflammatory Arthritis that usually develops in one joint at a time, with that joint often being the big toe. When symptoms worsen, gout flares often last about a week or two and 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 most accessible forms of Arthritis to manage and control.
Gout tends to cause pain, swelling, redness, and heat in the affected joint. Gout happens due to hyperuricemia, 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.
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 spinal joint and tissue inflammation, leading to a rigid spine and severe, chronic pain. Generally, people experience mild symptoms, but more severe cases can lead to Ankylosis.
When Ankylosis occurs, new bones start to form in the spine and cause 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.
Arthritis pain primarily stems from inflammation in the joints. Various factors can trigger this inflammation; some common causes include:
- Gradual wear and tear of joint cartilage: This wear and tear can result in bone grinding, which leads to pain and restricted movement.
- Overactive immune System: An overactive immune system attacking the body's tissues, as seen in rheumatoid Arthritis, causing painful swelling and potential joint deformity over time.
Risk Factors for Arthritis Pain
Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing arthritis pain. These include:
- Age: The risk of Arthritis, particularly Osteoarthritis, increases due to the cumulative wear on your joints.
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop rheumatoid Arthritis, while men are commonly affected by Gout, another form of Arthritis.
- Family History: Genetic factors can make some people susceptible to certain types of Arthritis.
- Obesity: Excess weight puts additional pressure on joints, particularly knees, hips, and spine, increasing the risk of Arthritis.
- Previous Joint Injury: People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to eventually develop Arthritis in that joint.
Arthritis pain manifests in various ways, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Joint Pain: This is typically a dull ache or burning sensation felt inside a few joints, particularly after repetitive use.
- Joint Stiffness: Stiffness in the joint can make it difficult to move and usually worsens after periods of inactivity, like upon waking up in the morning.
- Swelling: Inflammation can cause swelling around the joint, making it appear larger or distorted.
- Reduced Range of Motion: Over time, Arthritis can reduce joint mobility, making everyday tasks challenging.
Variation in Symptoms Based on Arthritis Type
- Osteoarthritis: OA usually develops in joints injured by 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): As an autoimmune inflammatory disease, RA causes enzymes to destroy the linings of joints. This damage 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 (lung inflammation).
Variation in Symptoms Based on Severity
The severity of arthritis pain can significantly influence the type and intensity of symptoms:
- Mild Arthritis: Symptoms are limited and do not interfere much with daily activities. They may include slight stiffness and pain in the joints.
- Moderate Arthritis: Symptoms become bothersome and more persistent, potentially interfering with daily activities. Pain and stiffness could be constant or come and go.
- Severe Arthritis: Chronic pain and inflammation significantly limit daily activities. Constant or intermittent pain, stiffness, swelling, and significant joint damage can occur.
Remember, early detection and treatment can help manage these symptoms effectively. At Pain and Spine Specialists, our Arthritis Care Specialists are dedicated to helping you understand your symptoms and find the best treatment for your unique needs.
Our approach to diagnosing Arthritis is thorough and patient-centered. Our doctors for Arthritis understand that every individual's experience with pain is unique, and we tailor our diagnostic process accordingly.
Review of Medical History: Our diagnostic journey begins with a detailed review of your medical history. We consider any past injuries, the duration and intensity of your pain, previous treatments, and your overall health condition. This helps us understand the root cause of your Arthritis and plan our next steps.
Physical Examination: Our board-certified physicians perform a comprehensive physical examination. This includes evaluating your joint movement, checking for areas of tenderness, and assessing your overall physical condition.
Diagnostic Imaging: To get a closer look at your joints, we use advanced diagnostic imaging techniques such as X-ray, MRI, and CT scans. These images allow us to visualize the affected area and assess the extent of your Arthritis.
Nerve Tests: If necessary, we may conduct nerve tests to determine if any nerve damage has occurred due to Arthritis.
Diagnostic Nerve Blocks: In some cases, if Arthritis affects the nerves around your spine, we might consider diagnostic nerve blocks. These include facet joint injections, epidural steroid injections, SI injections, and medial branch blocks. These procedures can help us identify the exact source of your pain and provide temporary relief.
Our goal is to accurately diagnose your condition and guide you toward the most effective arthritis care plan.
At Pain and Spine Specialists, we're dedicated to providing comprehensive spine Arthritis treatment options. Our multidisciplinary approach allows us to offer a wide range of therapies tailored to your specific needs.
These therapies can provide immediate relief from arthritis pain and inflammation. Depending on your condition, we might recommend:
- Hyaluronic Injections: This treatment can help lubricate your joints, reducing pain and improving mobility.
- Medial Branch Block: A targeted injection that can help diagnose and manage the pain from arthritic facet joints.
- Epidural Steroid Injection: This can reduce inflammation and relieve severe arthritis pain.
Advanced Interventional Procedures:
We offer a range of advanced treatments that can provide long-lasting relief from arthritis pain:
- Spinal Cord Stimulation: This treatment uses electrical impulses to block pain signals from reaching the brain.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: This procedure uses heat to reduce pain signals from the arthritic joints.
Alongside our advanced treatments, we offer traditional therapies such as:
- Medication Management Programs: We'll monitor your medication use to ensure it's providing the maximum benefit.
- Referrals to Physical Therapy: Regular physical therapy can help improve joint strength and flexibility.
We also offer referrals to our sister company, Shakthi Health and Wellness Center, for alternative treatments like:
- Acupuncture: This traditional Chinese medicine technique can reduce arthritis pain.
- Amethyst Biomat: This therapy uses far infrared rays to promote healing.
- Infrared Sauna: Regular sessions can help alleviate arthritis symptoms by improving circulation and relaxing muscles.
The Role of Pain Specialists in Treating Arthritis
At Pain and Spine Specialists, we understand that living with Arthritis can significantly impact your daily life, limiting your mobility and causing persistent discomfort. Our team of healthcare professionals is dedicated to helping you manage your symptoms, regain control of your life, and maintain your independence.
Effective arthritis treatment requires a comprehensive approach, and that's exactly what we provide. We combine traditional therapies with cutting-edge treatments to offer a wide range of options tailored to your needs.
Our injection therapies, such as Hyaluronic injections and epidural steroid injections, can provide immediate relief from joint pain and inflammation. For long-lasting relief, we offer advanced interventional procedures like spinal cord stimulation and radiofrequency ablation.
We also provide conventional therapies, including medication management programs and referrals to physical therapy, to help you manage your arthritis symptoms.
If you're interested in exploring Alternative Therapies, we can refer you to our sister company, Shakthi Health and Wellness Center, for treatments like acupuncture, amethyst Bio-mat, and infrared sauna.
Get Started With an Arthritis Care Specialist
Taking the first step towards managing your Arthritis doesn't have to be overwhelming. Here's how to get started with us:
- Schedule a Consultation: Contact us to schedule an initial consultation at one of our Arthritis treatment centers. During this meeting, our specialists will assess your condition, discuss your symptoms, and learn about your health history.
- Develop a Treatment Plan: Based on your consultation, we'll create a personalized treatment plan to address your needs and health goals.
- Begin Treatment: Once your treatment plan is in place, you'll start your journey toward better health. We'll provide ongoing support, regularly reviewing your progress and adjusting your treatment plan.
We believe in treating the whole person, not just the disease. Contact us today to begin your journey toward a more active and comfortable life.
At Pain and Spine Specialists, we're a team of board-certified physicians specializing in minimally invasive treatments for arthritis pain. With our proven expertise and successful track record, we're here to help turn your chronic pain into relief and recovery.