Arthritis is a disease that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the body’s joints – often occurring in more than one joint.

Because there are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, a proper diagnosis is necessary in order to develop a treatment plan.
Arthritis
Common Forms of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis

Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most common form. It is typically caused by aging joints, injury, and obesity. Unlike many other forms of arthritis, this one does not affect other organs of the body.

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain and stiffness. In severe cases, complete loss of cartilage causes friction between bones, causing pain at rest or pain with limited motion.

Gout

Gout is a rheumatic disease resulting from deposition of uric acid crystals in tissues and fluids within the body. It causes sudden attacks of burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe. Over time, these attacks harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues.

Your chances of getting gout are higher if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish that are high in chemicals called purines. Gout is more common in men.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term disease. Its symptoms can come and go, and it’s different for each person. Some people have long periods when their disease isn’t active. They have few or no symptoms during this time. Others feel it for months at a time.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects joints on both sides of the body, i.e. both hands or both knees. This symmetry helps to set it apart from other types of arthritis.

Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks its tissues, causing inflammation, swelling, pain, and damage. Symptoms of this disease include fatigue, joint pain, fever, and a lupus rash.

The causes of lupus are unknown but are believed to be linked to genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors. Patients of this condition may have periods of illness and remission.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain, sleep problems, fatigue, and often psychological distress. Other symptoms may include morning stiffness, tingling in the hands or feet, headaches, migraines, IBS, sleep disturbances, loss of memory, and painful menstrual periods.

Fibromyalgia often occurs with other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which there is inflammation of the tissue that lines the inside of joints in children. Researchers believe it may be related to genetics, certain infections, and environmental triggers.

One of the more common chronic diseases of childhood, juvenile arthritis comes in several forms, including: systemic arthritis, oligoarthritis, polyarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and enthesitis-related arthritis.

Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and using special devices to help you get around can have a big impact on your arthritis.

Treating arthritis really depends on what form of the disease you have. Medication will typically include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen.

Physical therapy is a common part of treatment in people with arthritis. When you’re in pain, the last thing you may want to do is exercise, but it’s actually one of the best things you can do for your joints. Aerobic, strength-training, and stretching exercises can all be helpful. Work with your doctor to learn what exercises are safe for you to do. Regular exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight.

Corticosteroids also dampen the immune response and help reduce inflammation. Corticosteroids for arthritis are most often taken by mouth or injected directly into the joint, which offers speedy pain and inflammation relief, and their effects can last for a few weeks or months.

shoulder-arthritis

If you are suffering with a form of arthritis and haven’t been able to find the proper relief, or if you would like to consult with Dr. Paez about your aches and pains, contact South Lake Pain Institute to schedule an appointment today!