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.
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:
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.
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.
Medical insurance representative visits the office weekly to help patients enroll in a plan if they do not have one. Please contact us to find out when an Insurance representative will be available in practice.