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- Arthritis Treatment
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Arthritis is a common cause of pain, stiffness, and disability in the joints. Arthritis pain can interfere with everyday life, sometimes making even simple tasks difficult to accomplish.
There are different types of arthritis, each with different causes. Proper treatment of arthritis can reduce pain and stiffness, improving joint function.
Types of Arthritis
There are two main types of arthritis: arthritis caused by wear and tear on the joints and arthritis caused by an inflammatory reaction within the body.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of wear and tear arthritis. Over time, the cartilage lining the joints can become worn or damaged through the natural aging process, overuse, or trauma. This type of arthritis is common in weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees. However, osteoarthritis is also commonly found in the shoulder joints of athletes or people with jobs that require repetitive shoulder motions. Because the cartilage damage usually happens slowly over time, osteoarthritis is most common in people aged 50 and older.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the joint tissues, causing the joint lining to swell and produce substances that destroy the joint surface. Because it is an immune system disorder, it often affects more than one joint at a time. It can occur in both large and small joints within the body.
Symptoms of Arthritis
A full examination is needed to properly diagnose arthritis. The following symptoms are common among patients with arthritis, and may indicate the need for a medical examination.
- Pain and/or stiffness in the affected joint
- Weakness in the muscles surrounding the joint
- Reduced range of motion
- Swelling of the joint
- A grating noise or sensation when the joint is moved
There are a variety of treatment options available for arthritis, depending on the location, type, and severity of the condition.
In the early stages of arthritis, nonsurgical treatment is generally sufficient in managing symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended to help with pain and swelling in the joints. Disease-modifying prescription medications may be recommended for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Cortisone injections may also be recommended to help with pain and swelling.
Ice and heat therapy may help with pain and inflammation. Rest and activity modification may be necessary to avoid making pain worse. Exercise is an important component of arthritis treatment. The right exercises will help to strengthen the affected joint and surrounding muscles without causing additional stress. Your doctor may recommend that you work with a physical therapist to develop an exercise program that fits your needs and lifestyle.
If arthritis damage is severe and nonsurgical treatment is not effective in relieving symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Depending on the location and severity of the damage, there are a variety of surgical options available.
If arthritis damage in the shoulder is mild, your surgeon may recommend arthroscopy to “clean up” the joint and remove debris. This procedure will not stop arthritis from progressing in the shoulder, but it can relieve pain. In cases where arthritis is more advanced, shoulder replacement surgery may be recommended. During a shoulder replacement procedure, the damaged portions of the shoulder joint are removed and replaced with prosthetic components. Depending on the bone quality and location of the damage, there are different methods available to preserve as much of the healthy bone and cartilage as possible.
Arthroscopy is not commonly used to treat arthritis in the knees, but a synovectomy may be recommended for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to remove the damaged joint lining in the knees. If arthritis has progressed, knee replacement surgery may be recommended. During this procedure, the damaged portions of the knee are replaced with metal and plastic implants. If damage is limited to one portion of the knee, a partial knee replacement may be an option.
For patients with advanced hip arthritis, total hip replacement is often recommended. During this procedure, the damaged component of the hip joint are replaced with metal and plastic prosthetics.
Arthritis Treatment in Beaumont, TX
Proper arthritis treatment can relieve your pain, improving the quality of your everyday life. The experts at Beaumont Bone and Joint offer a full range of treatment options for arthritis to relieve your symptoms and improve joint function. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please contact our Beaumont office at (409) 838-0346 or our Port Arthur office at (409) 729-5633.