How can you tell if you’re developing arthritis? What are the types and causes?
Many people think they may have arthritis, but they don’t talk about it with their doctors. Often older adults with joint pain accept it as a part of the aging process. Younger individuals with joint pain, swelling, and stiffness might not consider that arthritis could be the cause of their discomfort.
No matter your age, practicing good joint health is important. If you believe you may be suffering from arthritis, it is best to discuss it as soon as possible with an orthopedic specialist who can work with you to maintain a good quality of life.
Did you know that there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related symptoms? The affliction can manifest in many ways. It can come on gradually and be mild, or it can begin suddenly and cause intense pain. In addition to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, arthritis may present itself as fatigue or even as a rash.
The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout.
Osteoarthritis is also known as “wear and tear” arthritis and is the most common form of the condition. If you have osteoarthritis, it’s likely that your joint cartilage has broken down over time and you are experiencing joint pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that impacts the joints. Psoriatic arthritis is also an autoimmune disease that can trigger inflammation, joint pain, stiffness, and red, scaly patches called plaques. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that causes pain in the nerves throughout the body; individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by recurrent attacks of a red, tender, hot, and swollen joints; gout pain typically comes on rapidly.
Treatments for arthritis include medication, natural therapies such as hot and cold compresses, electrical stimulation and massage, supplements and herbs, vitamins and minerals, and in some cases, joint surgery.
Start by making an appointment with an orthopedic specialist to talk with your doctor and see whether your symptoms may be attributable to a form of arthritis.
Signature Medical Group’s practitioners are board-certified orthopedic surgeons whose expertise, experience, and leadership in their profession translate into exceptional medical care and treatment for you.
If you live in St. Louis or Kansas City and would like to know more about treatment for arthritis, make an appointment for an evaluation with one of our board-certified orthopedic specialists today.