Arthritis, often referred to as joint disease, is the inflammation of the joints that often results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and a decreased range of motion around the joints. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common.
While arthritis most often occurs in older women, anybody can develop this uncomfortable condition, which typically worsens over time if left untreated. Over time, arthritis can cause obvious, noticeable joint changes (like knobby knuckles), though the internal damage can really only be seen on an X-ray.
In most cases, the breakdown of cartilage from normal wear-and-tear is what causes arthritis to develop over time. This is why it’s most often seen in older adults.
Once the cartilage thins out, your bones begin to rub together, causing pain and stiff joints. Your risk of developing osteoarthritis increases if you have a family history of the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your immune system attacks the soft tissues that protect and lubricate your joints. This particular disease is destructive to the bone and cartilage inside your joints, so it’s important that you seek medical help at the first warning sign.
There is no cure for arthritis, but Dr. Dotson can help manage your pain and prevent your joints from any further damage. Your exact arthritis treatment plan depends on the type you are diagnosed with, but there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce pain and stiffness at home. Many patients find that a combination of heating pads and ice packs helps reduce inflammation and pain.
If your case is more advanced, a cane or walker can help take pressure off your aching joints and allow you to better move around. For most arthritis sufferers, a combination of treatments and medications is recommended to reduce pain and inflammation around the joints.
To learn more about arthritis and arthritis treatments, call Mind, Body & Spirit Med Center or book an appointment with Dr. Dotson using the online tool today.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!