Roughly 40 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis — that number even includes children. Before your arthritis pain worsens, see how Tim Urell, DO, of More MD, can help. With state-of-the-art locations in Sierra Vista, Surprise, and Prescott, Arizona, you have a dedicated arthritis specialist nearby. To book your arthritis evaluation, click on the online scheduler or call either clinic directly.
Arthritis is a chronic and degenerative disease that causes the tissues lining the joints to break down over time, and increasing friction between the joint components causes the joints to become inflamed and painful. There are different types of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis which affects millions of people.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints, and it’s much more common among older men and women, as well as some athletes whose joints receive excessive use or strain. Arthritis can also develop following an injury or even after surgery. Another type of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, is caused by an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to malfunction.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system begins attacking the healthy tissue that lines the joints, resulting in tissue destruction and joint deformity. Arthritis can occur in any joint, but the hands, ankles, wrists, knees, hips, and spine are the most common sites of injury. People who are obese or overweight and those whose jobs require a significant amount of joint activity and strain are also at increased risk for the disease, and it’s also more common among women.
The most common symptoms of arthritis are pain, stiffness, and decreased the range of motion in the affected joint. In more moderate to severe cases, symptoms include tenderness, redness and warmth around the joint as inflammation flares up and become more intense. Over time, arthritis can take a major toll on a person’s mobility and their ability to perform even simple daily tasks like tying shoes, buttoning or zipping clothing, walking, or climbing stairs.
Treatment begins with a physical exam and a review of the patient’s symptoms and medical history. Medical imaging like X-rays or MRI may be performed and in some cases, especially if rheumatoid arthritis is suspected, blood work may be ordered.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment for osteoarthritis may include physical therapy to reduce stiffness and improve mobility, medications to reduce pain and inflammation, corticosteroid injections for inflammation, and lifestyle changes like losing excess weight or adopting assistive devices like canes or walkers.
For rheumatoid arthritis, other medications may be prescribed to control the abnormal immune response that’s causing joint destruction. When more conservative approaches aren’t effective in providing adequate relief, joint surgery may be recommended.
If you have arthritis, the team at More MD can help. To schedule your arthritis evaluation, click on the online booking feature or call the location nearest you directly.