Understanding Arthritis

By admin
March 29, 2013

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in five people report doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and there may be even more who haven’t sought medical attention.  Despite it being such a widespread condition, many are still unfamiliar with what arthritis actually entails!  Keep reading to find out all about this condition and the current treatment options available.

Causes and Symptoms

There are two main types of arthritis, both being brought about by entirely different factors.

  • Osteoarthritis: The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is caused by general damage to the joint’s cartilage, due to everyday wear-and-tear.  When the cartilage is worn down, the two bones on either side start grinding up against each other, causing the pain and limited movement commonly associated with arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis is the result of the body’s immune system attacking the lining of the joint capsule.  The joint capsule, responsible for enclosing all the different parts of the joint, can become inflamed, destroying cartilage and bone with it.

The symptoms of arthritis are generally present within the joints, and can include stiffness, swelling, pain, limited range of motion, and redness.  If any of these symptoms start to appear, it’s important to talk to an orthopedist to find out if you’re living with arthritis.

Treatments

Currently, there is no cure for arthritis.  There are, however, plenty of treatment options that can help to ease the pain and discomfort.  There are a number anti-inflammatory medications prescribed to those dealing with arthritis, as well as counterirritant creams and analgesic pain medications.  Physical therapy may also prove helpful, and objects like canes and splints can reduce joint stress in arthritic areas.  A healthy lifestyle is typically recommended, and regular exercise may be able to help as well.

If your arthritis is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery.  Joint replacement surgery replaces the damaged joint with an artificial one.  For small joints, joint fusion surgery works to lock together the two bones in the joint, fusing them into one unit.  It’s best to discuss your treatment options with your doctor, as they will be able to guide you through all of your options.

Arthritis Treatment in Napa Valley

Looking to relieve pain or discomfort in your joints due to arthritis?  Contact us today to schedule your consultation.  You can reach our offices at 707.258.2547 for Napa, and 707.446.6206 for Vacaville.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Arthritis

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