Arthritis is a condition that is chiefly characterized by joint inflammation, pain, swelling, and stiffness. Rarely, it may be diagnosed by happenstance when you are having an imaging scan done for something else, but the doctor notices arthritis on the scan.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and there are many different treatments designed to address them all. Each type of arthritis is identified by its cause and location.
Let’s talk about some of the most common types of arthritis, their most popular treatment methods, and where you can go for a medical evaluation and treatment that works for you.
Common Forms of Arthritis
Three of the most common types of arthritis treated by physicians are the following:
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis – indeed, when people say they have arthritis, they are usually referring to osteoarthritis. Also called wear-and-tear arthritis, you can develop this when the protective cartilage in your hips, knees, elbows, vertebrae, or hands becomes worn down.
This can result in bone-on-bone scraping when you move the joint, and this can cause inflammation and pain of the bone tissue. You may feel a grinding sensation or hear a popping sound in the affected area.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes your immune system to mistakenly attack healthy elements in your body, beginning in your joints. If left untreated by a doctor, RA can also cause damage to your blood vessels and body organs.
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to also have the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Tenderness in one or many joints
- Joint deformity
Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden and intense joint pain and redness – oftentimes in the big toe. Gout is due to a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint, which is largely believed to be initiated by a diet comprising lots of red meat and animal fats. The solution is to drink plenty of water to dilute the uric acid crystals in your system.
Treatment Options for Arthritis
Most arthritis treatments aim to keep your symptoms under control and thereby improve your quality of life. Alternatively, there are preventive methods to stop you from developing it in the first place.
Pain is the most common symptom of arthritis. Oral over-the-counter and prescription medicines are the easiest way to manage arthritis symptoms.
Physical therapy focuses on restoring your joint mobility as much as possible; your therapist will also show you alternative movements that do not cause the arthritis pain. This treatment method offers a specialized set of exercises and stretches to help keep your joints limber and in good working order.
All types of arthritis have risk factors that you can avoid, such as obesity or smoking. Your physician may recommend lifestyle changes to prevent arthritis or to minimize its effects, such as:
- Eat healthier
- Stop smoking
Consult your doctor to determine the right lifestyle changes for you.
Medical Arthritis Treatment in Tucson, AZ
If you are in or around Tucson, Dr. Robert Lending can help treat your arthritis so you can get back in action. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lending, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (520) 795-4291 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you live pain-free!