When you have arthritis, you can have a variety of health issues that make daily living difficult. This condition can affect the bones and cartilage of the joints, leading to deformities along with chronic pain. If you have this condition, then you may find it difficult to walk, sit or recline without stiffness and discomfort. Along with these symptoms, you may have chronic fatigue or a mild fever. There are numerous types of arthritis, and most types affect mature adults, but children or teenagers can also develop this condition.
If you suspect that you have this condition, then you should visit our team for an examination that may include taking X-rays or collecting blood samples. Unfortunately, there is no cure, and the condition tends to progress, but there are treatments to alleviate pain along with preventing additional damage to the joints. Arthritis is caused by genetics, aging and infections along with wear and tear. An athlete who uses a specific joint more than normal may wear down a joint faster than a person who doesn’t participate in a particular sport. There are several types of arthritis, including:
- Gout – often located in the joints of the feet
- Psoriatic – may include a strange skin rash
- Rheumatoid – causes joint deformities
- Osteoarthritis – includes bone spurs and swelling
- Septic – caused by a major infection in a joint
- Reactive – occurs due to another disease
- Lupus – an inflammation in the body that includes the joints
Within each type of arthritis, there are additional subcategories that are based on the location of the disease in the body or the age of the patient. Children often develop rheumatoid arthritis, but they would rarely develop gout. Millions of individuals around the world have some type of this condition, and with aging, you are more likely to have at least one of the varieties. The stiffness and pain from arthritis can lead to additional health problems such as muscle weakness from lack of exercise or gaining weight.
Finding a specialist with an understanding of treatments for arthritis can prevent major health consequences. If a joint is badly damaged from an infection, then surgery is required to eliminate the infection. In some cases, a surgeon can replace damaged joints, and the most commonly replaced joints are the hips or knees. It is also possible to wear a brace on a joint to stabilize it while it heals naturally. There are medications such as pain relievers, muscle relaxants and corticosteroids to reduce the stiffness or swelling in arthritic joints.
Additional treatments include physical therapy to improve the motion in a joint. To learn more about our treatment options, visit Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates in Plymouth, Duxbury or Sandwich. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!