There are many different kinds of arthritis, and many millions of Americans are living with the pain of the most widespread forms: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Gazelle Aram, MD, at Expert Care Center in Delray Beach, Florida, is a pain management specialist who helps patients living with arthritis by reducing the severity of their symptoms and optimizing their mobility for a better quality of life. For more information, call Expert Care Center or book an appointment online today.
Arthritis isn’t a single disease; in fact, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, although most are quite rare. What they all have in common is that they cause damage to the ends of your bones, making your joints painful and swollen.
There are two types of arthritis that are by far the most common, osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common, is what’s known as a wear-and-tear disease because it develops after the cartilage protecting the ends of your bones erodes from years of use.
Once the cartilage starts to erode, the bones in your joints lose their protection and start to rub together. This starts up a cycle of inflammation, swelling, and pain that generally worsens over time as the cartilage wears away further.
Rheumatoid arthritis, which affects fewer people than osteoarthritis, is an autoimmune disease. This means it’s caused by a fault in your immune system that makes it attack your joint linings.
The key symptoms of arthritis are pain and swelling in your joints. The pain is usually fairly constant, never really going entirely, although it may ease off, then flare up again. Changes in the weather are a common trigger because of the drop in barometric pressure, but a simple change in your normal routine could be enough to make your joints more painful than normal.
Arthritic joints are often throbbing, hot, and swollen, and in time they can start to twist, bend at odd angles, and become generally misshapen and lumpy. As the disease progresses, you’re likely to find it increasingly difficult to grip or use your hands for intricate tasks.
The affected joints become gradually stiffer and more uncomfortable. For example, trying to kneel down when you have arthritic knees can be extremely uncomfortable, as well as being hard to manage.
Managing arthritis is something you need to do with the help of an expert in pain like Dr. Aram. Leading a healthy lifestyle can make a valuable contribution to your ability to manage your arthritis and keep symptoms under control, so taking action to make sure you avoid stress, eat well, and stay active are all important.
Dr. Aram can provide further help with a range of potential treatments such as:
Find out more about the successful management of arthritis by calling Expert Care Center or booking an appointment online today.