Arthritis Can Be A Real Pain
One of the most widespread causes of pain in the United States is arthritis, affecting more than 54 million adults. This debilitating condition can develop in any joint in the body, but most commonly occurs when a person performs the same motions repeatedly, such as typing, playing a particular sport that requires a repeated motion. Arthritis can also develop in people who are overweight or obese, as the extra pounds puts additional stress on the joints.
This health issue is so widespread that the CDC, the Arthritis Foundation, and other partners have teamed up to make May Arthritis Awareness Month. Let’s take a closer look at some of the symptoms and a few ways to treat and manage the pain.
Common Arthritis Symptoms
First, it’s good to know that there are essentially two types of arthritis that are most common There are others, but these are two big ones:
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.
Symptoms can vary, depending on the type of arthritis a person has.
OA usually develops when a person’s movements wear away the “cartilage” around the joint bones, as happens from an overly repeated movement. As a result, the bones rub together, causing a painful, 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.
On the other hand, 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).
How To Treat And Manage Arthritis Pain
Because arthritis can take many different forms from person to person, treatment and pain management needs to be personalized to each individual. Here at PASS, we provide a wide range of treatments and therapies for pain caused by arthritis.
Available treatments include:
- Injection therapy
- Joint Injection and Viscosupplementation
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Trigger point injection
- Epidural steroid injection
- Alternative therapies
- Medication management
Of course, there are other, non-medical activities that we often recommend that patients do on a regular basis in order to manage arthritis. This includes:
- Getting enough movement and exercise: We often recommend stretching and movement regimes that help increase strength and provide aerobic exercise.
- Eating anti-inflammatory foods: That includes cutting sugar from your diet.
- Spending time in our infrared sauna, which treats joint and tissue pain relief with a gentle heat
Our board-certified specialists can diagnose the issue and create a personalized treatment plan to help ease any pain caused by arthritis. Please call Pain and Spine Specialists in Maryland at 301.703.8767, or 724-603-3560 in Pennsylvania to schedule a consultation or use the contact form on our website to send us a message.