Health Care

Types and Treatments for Arthritis

Arthritis is a common joint disorder that is a leading cause of disability in the United States. Close to fifty million adults and three hundred thousand children live with the disease. Arthritis affects any joint but is more common in the hands, shoulder, knee, and hip joints. There are many forms of arthritis with different causes and treatments. Arthritis Medford can result from a family history of arthritis, an activity that exacts repeated stress on your joints and certain autoimmune diseases or infections. You are at higher risk of developing arthritis if you smoke, are obese, aging, and inactive. There is no cure for arthritis, but treatments help manage your symptoms.

Types of arthritis

There are many types of arthritis, but the common ones include:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It happens when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Symptoms of osteoarthritis occur slowly and worsen over time and may include joint pain, stiffness, tenderness, swelling, loss of flexibility, and bone spurs. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but you can manage your symptoms through medications, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying active.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It develops when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis damages the lining of your joints, causing pain and swelling that can eventually cause bone erosion and joint deformity. In the early stages, rheumatoid arthritis often affects your smaller joints, especially the hands and feet, and later progresses to the wrist, knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders.

Gout

Gout is complex arthritis that happens when urate crystals build up in your joint. It mostly affects your big toe, where you experience sudden, severe pain attacks, swelling, redness, and tenderness. A gout attack can happen suddenly, usually waking you up in the middle of the night and having a sensation on your big toe. Gout symptoms come and go, but you can manage them and prevent flares.

Treatments for arthritis

Medications

Your doctor can recommend anti-inflammatory and pain medicines to help relieve your arthritis symptoms. Medications like biologics target your immune system’s inflammatory response. Your specialist may prescribe biologics if you have rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.

Physical therapy

Rehabilitation can improve joint strength, range of motion, and overall mobility. Your therapist can teach you how to adjust your routine activities to help reduce arthritic pain.

Therapeutic injections

Corticosteroid injections can temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in your joints. Viscosupplementation can improve arthritis in joints like your knee. It contains lubricants that help joints move smoothly.

Surgery

Specialists recommend surgery in severe cases of arthritis. There are various surgical options for arthritis, including:

Fusion

Fusion surgery involves your surgeon joining two or more bones. Fusion immobilizes affected joints and eases pain resulting from movement.

Joint replacement

Joint replacement involves your surgeon replacing the damaged joint with an artificial one. The surgery helps preserve joint function and movement. Surgeons commonly perform joint replacement in the ankle, hip, knee, and shoulder joints.

Arthritis is a common condition that affects your joints. There are many forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, and gout. Schedule an appointment at Southern Oregon Orthopedics & Paragon Orthopedic Center for arthritis treatment to relieve joint pain.