According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 24 percent of all U.S. adults have arthritis. It is the leading cause of disability in America. At Arthritis & Osteoporosis Treatment Center in Orange Park, Florida, we believe you shouldn’t have to suffer or experience disability. Our experienced providers can help you find arthritis pain relief.
May is National Arthritis Awareness Month. That makes now the perfect time to learn about arthritis and how you can prevent pain from this common condition. Here are our top tips to manage arthritis and improve your mobility.
Understand the Types of Arthritis
There are several different types of arthritis, which can affect your treatment recommendations. An arthritis doctor can help you identify which form you have. Here are the most common types we see in our patients.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type. It happens when cartilage (soft tissue between joints) wears down, which causes pain and stiffness. This takes place slowly over the years as we age. It may start in one area or side of the body, then gradually affect more joints. Most commonly it affects knees, hips and spine.
This is an autoimmune disease that causes joint damage. When comparing rheumatoid arthritis vs. osteoarthritis, this is the key difference. Because rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body’s immune system, it can come on at any time in life, and attacks can be sudden. It affects both small and large joints. Hands and feet are involved frequently. If it is untreated, this condition can be crippling.
People with psoriatic arthritis also have the skin condition psoriasis. This is another autoimmune condition. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include stiffness, joint pain and swelling, and the red, scaly rashes caused by psoriasis. It can also cause painful inflammation in the eyes. If it is untreated, blindness is possible.
Choose the Right Rheumatologist
To treat arthritis, you need to find the right doctor to help. Patients with arthritis can have very complex cases, requiring detailed examinations and thoughtful physician care. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t give patients the time and attention they need for proper diagnosis.
Importance of Receiving the Proper Diagnosis
If your symptoms are misdiagnosed, you can be placed on the wrong treatments. These may lead to unwanted side effects, not to mention continued pain and suffering. Your arthritis symptoms should get better if you receive the right treatment. In addition, if any inflammatory, rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis is untreated, patients are at higher risk for heart attack or stroke compared to the general population.
At Arthritis and Osteoporosis Treatment Center, we give each patient the individualized care and attention they deserve. You’ll never feel rushed as we work to create your comprehensive treatment plan. It’s our top priority to keep patients mobile and pain-free.
Take the Recommended Medications
Oral medications are one option for arthritis pain relief. But they are not all created equal. Many patients believe they can treat their condition themselves with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), such as Aspirin, Aleve, and Ibuprofen. Keep in mind, you have other options.
Side Effects of NSAIDs
It’s important to know that while NSAIDs may help mask your symptoms, they do not address the root cause of your arthritis. That means their effects are only temporary. They also come with many possible side effects that can be harmful if taken long-term. They can lead to hypertension, kidney disease and ulcers to name a few.
Benefits of DMARDs
When you visit an experienced arthritis doctor, they can prescribe other types of medications that will help you feel better and address the underlying condition. We commonly recommend disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These help put your disease into remission.
Improve Your Diet & Lifestyle
It may seem like common sense, but it still needs to be said—your diet and lifestyle can make a big impact on your arthritis symptoms. At Arthritis and Osteoporosis Treatment Center, we emphasize preventative diet and exercise so patients won’t need bigger treatments down the line.
Eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties can help improve your symptoms. Many of these can be found in the Mediterranean diet, including fish, nuts and seeds, fruits, and green leafy vegetables.
We also always encourage our patients to move. Exercise keeps joints loose, preventing stiffness and swelling. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intense physical activity each week.
Explore Advanced Treatment Options
If medications and lifestyle changes do not help you feel better, there are cutting-edge, advanced treatments that can offer relief. Called biologics, they are more specific treatments that attack inflammatory cytokines. They are self-injectables or given with intravenous infusions.
One option is IV infusion for arthritis. Infusion treatments are a good option for patients who have needle phobia or who can not self-inject.
Biologics are a breakthrough treatment for any autoimmune disease. They give faster relief of your symptoms and stop the joint damage and progression of the disease. Your fatigue, pain, swelling and feeling of well-being improve. You can get your life back, be more productive, and prevent disability.
Keep in mind these treatments affect your immune system. That means there can be some side effects, so discuss this option with your doctor.
Schedule an Appointment for Arthritis Pain Relief
If you are struggling with the symptoms of joint pain, muscle pain, neck or back pain it’s time to find relief. Our rheumatologists, like Dr. Meera Oza, M.D., Dr. Marilu Colon, M.D., and Dr. Shubha Bagley, M.D., are board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
You’ll always see a familiar face at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Treatment Center. Our PA, Pinki Patel, and Maryann Leslie, APRN, have been with the practice for 17 years. They all have the same mission to practice with empathy, kindness and compassion toward our suffering patients. That means taking enough time during appointments, answering questions thoroughly, and being accessible.
Contact our team at (904) 276-0001 to make an appointment at our office in Orange Park, Florida.