Rafael A. Guillen, MD, FACP
Internal Medicine located in Bronx, NY
Arthritis can affect a person of any age, but it's most common as a person grows older. The condition can make it challenging to move freely, and it may even stop people from being able to live their lives normally. The good news is that effective solutions for arthritis are available. Dr. Rafael A. Guillén, in private practice at R. Guillén MD PC, located in the Bronx, New York helps patients with arthritis management, allowing them to live pain-free lives and achieve better overall health.
Arthritis Q & A
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is actually a group of conditions characterized by joint inflammation. Arthritis can be very painful and may severely restrict movement for many sufferers. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types of arthritis today. Arthritis can cause pain nearly anywhere in the body, ranging from the hands to the hips to the feet.
Who is at risk for arthritis?
Although the cause of arthritis isn't definitively known, there are some risk factors that have been clearly identified. The risk factors for osteoarthritis include excess weight, muscle weakness due to a sedentary lifestyle, and joint overuse. Age is also a risk factor for osteoarthritis, as the joints endure wear and tear over time. The risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Gender, women have a higher chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis
- Age, arthritis typically starts at age 40-60
- Cigarette smoking
- Family history
What are the indicators of arthritis?
Symptoms can be different from one person to another, but joint soreness and pain is the most frequent symptom for arthritis sufferers. Arthritis sufferers may have movement problems due to pain, as well. Some people who suffer from arthritis become depressed or have anxiety due to their condition, as well.
What is the treatment for arthritis?
Although there isn't currently a cure for arthritis, there are a number of treatments that can allow for very effective symptom management. Non-prescription drugs may be helpful for mild to moderate arthritis soreness and pain. For more serious pain, prescription oral medications can be used to greatly reduce inflammation and therefore alleviate much of the pain. Topical creams, gels, and lotions can also be helpful for arthritis sufferers. These topical medications can prevent pain signals from being relayed to the brain and can provide at least temporary symptom relief.
In some cases, for example when the arthritis sufferer has a major amount of damage to their weight bearing joints, more aggressive measures such as surgery may be taken. This could include procedures like hip replacement or knee replacement in people who have seriously deteriorated joints that are preventing them from walking comfortably or from having a normal range of motion.
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