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Inflammatory joint ailments collectively referred to as “Arthritis,” can be a perplexing and complex medical issue that causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Arthritis can have a substantial impact on an individual’s standard of life, making it crucial to comprehend the diverse forms of arthritis, as well as their root causes, characteristics, and treatments. If you’re suffering from arthritis pain, the medical team at Be Well Primary Care is here to help. Schedule your primary care visit today to speak with one of our experts.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an umbrella term that encompasses over a hundred distinct medical conditions that can cause inflammation, pain, and rigidity in the joints. This ailment can emerge at any stage in life and is frequently found in older individuals. Various factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and injury, can contribute to its development.
Common Types of Arthritis
There are several forms of arthritis, each with its own set of characteristics and root causes. Some of the most prevalent forms of arthritis include:
A type of arthritis resulting from the breakdown of cartilage and other tissues of the joints over time. Osteoarthritis commonly affects older individuals and can cause pain, rigidity, and difficulty in movement. Common factors that can make you more likely to develop the disease include aging, obesity, injury to the joint, and a family history of osteoarthritis.
An autoimmune form of arthritis that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the joints, rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints, along with fatigue, fever, and a loss of appetite. If you’re experiencing persistent pain and discomfort in your joints, then we encourage you to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss options.
The Initial Indicators of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The first signs of rheumatoid arthritis can be diverse from person to person, but some common symptoms include:
- Pain and swelling in the joints
- Rigidity, particularly in the morning or after a period of inactivity
- Fatigue and weakness
- Reduced range of motion in the affected joints
A type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, gout can cause sudden and severe pain, swelling, and redness in the affected joint. Gout can affect anyone but there are factors that can make you more likely to develop gout. Risk factors include:
- Diet: Diets rich in meat and shellfish, fructose, and alcohol can all increase levels of uric acid which increases the risk of gout.
- Weight: When you’re overweight, your body produces more uric acid leading to a greater risk of gout.
- Certain medications: Aspirin and some medications used for high blood pressure, beta-blockers, and some anti-rejection drugs can increase uric acid levels leading to greater risk.
- Medical conditions: Untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart and kidney disease, and obesity can all increase your risk of gout.
- Family history: If other members of your family have gout, you’re at a higher risk for developing gout.
- Surgery or trauma: Recent surgeries or trauma can trigger gout attacks.
- Age & sex: Gout occurs more frequently in men because women tend to have lower uric acid levels. Additionally, men tend to develop gout earlier, between the ages of 30-50.
A type of arthritis that affects people with psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches, psoriatic arthritis can cause pain, swelling, and rigidity in the joints, along with nail changes and eye problems.
Commonly Affected Areas
Arthritis can affect any joint in the body. Common areas that we observe include:
The diagnosis of arthritis can be intricate due to the many different forms of arthritis and their respective symptoms. To diagnose arthritis, a doctor will usually inquire about the individual’s medical history, perform blood tests, and perform a physical examination, searching for signs of joint swelling, redness, or warmth. Imaging tests, such as X-rays may also be ordered to get a clearer view of the affected joints.
The treatment of arthritis depends on its variant and severity. Some common treatments for arthritis include:
- Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy or exercises to enhance joint mobility and strength
- Healthy eating and weight loss to relieve stress on the joints
- Surgery, in severe cases, to repair or replace damaged joints
Schedule an Appointment at Be Well Primary Care
If you’re suffering from arthritis pain or experiencing persistent pain and stiffness in your joints, schedule an appointment with one of our arthritis specialists today. The specialist can help you diagnose arthritis if needed and help you with a variety of treatment options.
Schedule Your Appointment Now
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