The pain and loss of function in your joints caused by arthritis can be hard to cope with, and sadly, there’s no cure as yet. Managing arthritis with a personalized treatment plan is the best approach, and Jimmy Henry, MD, FAAPMR, of Midwest Spine and Pain in New Albany, Ohio, can create a personalized plan for you. Dr. Henry is a double board certified physician who specializes in interventional pain medicine and rehabilitation. If arthritis is making your life a misery, call Midwest Spine and Pain today to schedule a consultation.
Arthritis is a chronic pain problem that affects some or all of your joints. There are numerous kinds of arthritis, most of which are quite rare. Of the more common types, osteoarthritis is the one that affects the largest number of people.
Osteoarthritis develops because of joint wear-and-tear, so it usually affects people from middle age into later life. When you have osteoarthritis, it means the protective coating of cartilage on the ends of your bones has started to wear away.
The cartilage allows your bones to slide comfortably inside your joints, but if it wears away, the bones can begin to rub together. This causes inflammation, pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the next most common form of the disease, but unlike osteoarthritis, RA is an autoimmune problem.
That means your body starts to attack the joint linings in error as though there was an invader present. People tend to develop rheumatoid arthritis at a younger age.
Different types of arthritis have specific symptoms. For example, if you have psoriatic arthritis you also experience severe flaking of the skin. In all cases, however, arthritis causes joint pain and dysfunction.
Arthritis pain is typically a low, throbbing, aching pain that makes your joints feel hot and swollen. It’s usually there all the time, although it can range from background discomfort to a severe, disabling agony during a flare-up.
Many people find the pain worsens at particular times, for example, during cold, wet weather, when you feel stressed, or when you’ve been doing something out of the ordinary.
Over time, joints affected by arthritis become lumpy and misshapen. This is particularly obvious in the hands and fingers, which are often affected by arthritis.
You also begin to lose strength and find your joints won’t work as they should. You might struggle to get up if you have arthritis in your knees, for example, or find you’re losing manual dexterity if you have arthritis in your hands.
There’s no cure for arthritis, but Dr. Henry can help ease the pain and improve joint function with a range of therapies.
The specific treatment you need depends on the form of arthritis you have. For example, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) can help slow down the progress of the disease.
In most cases, pain-relieving medication and anti-inflammatories help you manage the pain caused by arthritis.
Using medications alone doesn’t provide optimal relief of your symptoms, however, so Dr. Henry uses them as part of a personalized rehabilitation program that might also contain treatments such as:
To find out more about effective treatments for arthritis, call Midwest Spine and Pain today.