Arthritis is inflammation and swelling that occurs within the joints caused by the absence of normal cartilage. Much like tread on your car tires, cartilage between joints can wear down to eventually cause bone-on-bone contact.
The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main goal of arthritis treatments is to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
The most common signs of arthritis involve your joints. While symptoms depend on the type of arthritis, signs may include pain, stiffness, swelling, redness and decreased range of motion.
Degenerative arthritis is simply caused by wear-and-tear in the joints. The most common avoidable risk factor is body weight. Did you know? For every extra pound you gain, you add four pounds of extra pressure on your knee (and even more on your hip) just when walking. While anyone can contract arthritis, it can also be genetically linked.
Maintaining an active lifestyle, controlling weight and staying in optimal health can not only slow arthritis progression, it can also help treat the discomfort and disability that comes with arthritis.
Ice can help decrease inflammation and heat can soothe sore muscles around your joints. Even compression sleeves, such as a semi-tight knee brace, can lead to significant improvement in pain from arthritis. Over-the-counter medications, such as anti-inflammatories and topical ointments can also provide relief. Of course, check with your doctor before starting any new medicines or treatment programs.
When arthritis pain intensifies or becomes unmanageable, the Bone and Joint Institute is ready to help. All treatments for arthritis must be customized to each patient and can include injections, structured physical therapy or a customized brace. And, if the time is right for you, our team of skilled surgeons are able to have you feeling better in no time. To schedule an appointment, click here.