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 or playing a particular sport that requires a repeated motion. Arthritis can also develop in people who are overweight or obese, as the extra pounds put 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 pain, 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 (lung inflammation).

How To Treat And Manage Arthritis Pain

Because arthritis can take many different forms from person to person, treatment and pain management need 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:

Of course, there are other, non-medical activities that we often recommend that patients do regularly 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 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, in Pennsylvania at 724-603-3560, or in Virginia at 540-433-1905 to make an appointment, or use the form on our site to send us a message.

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