If you suffer from arthritis, you probably have a lot of questions. As a patient, it is important to be well-informed so you can make educated decisions about your health and treatment options. Read below to learn more about arthritis from the orthopedic specialists at OSG:
What is arthritis?
Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not a disease. It is an umbrella term meaning “joint pain”, which can refer to several different types of diseases.
What types of arthritis exist?
There are currently more than 100 different types of arthritis. Among the most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, and gout.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
The most common symptoms of arthritis are pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints. Symptoms may come and go. They may be mild, moderate, or severe, and can affect virtually any part of your body.
What causes arthritis?
Arthritis can have many different causes, depending on the type. Genetics, behavior and lifestyle choices, and environmental factors can all play a role in the development of arthritis. For many forms of arthritis, the cause is still unknown. Two of the most common causes are:
- Degenerative: wear and tear in the body causes cartilage to deteriorate over time, leaving bone to rub against bone. This is the case in osteoarthritis.
- Autoimmune: a disorder that causes your body’s immune system to attack the soft tissue in your joints. This is what happens with rheumatoid arthritis.
How many people suffer from arthritis?
According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children across the country have some form of arthritis.
Can I prevent arthritis?
Fortunately, certain types of arthritis are preventable. If you take care of your body now, it will reward you with years of pain-free living as you grow older. Some steps you can take to prevent arthritis include:
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Sit with good posture
- Stay well-hydrated
- Avoid cigarettes and heavy alcohol consumption
- Eat a well-balanced diet which includes plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
Are there any treatments for arthritis?
Arthritis is manageable. The main goal of arthritis treatment is to minimize the pain and inflammation. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatment options to achieve the best results:
- Hot or cold treatment
- Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories
- Medication injections
- Physical therapy
If you suffer from arthritis, help is available from Orthopaedic Specialty Group. As southern Connecticut’s largest and most experienced orthopedic practice, our team of doctors can prescribe a wide range of treatment options to alleviate your joint pain. If you live in Fairfield County, call us to schedule an appointment at (203) 337-2600.