Arthritis Treatment, Idaho
Arthritis is an often misunderstood family of musculoskeletal disorders. Two of the most common forms of arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis (OA): When the protective cartilage on the ends of bones breaks down, resulting in joint pain, usually in the hands, knees, hips or lower back.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): The membranes lining the joint become inflamed. This inflammation causes stiffness, pain, swelling and other problems.
Arthritis, in its many forms, can be a serious disability affecting mostly adults, and some children. In fact, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and accounts for nearly a million hospitalizations each year.
About 27 million people in the United States have osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Recognizing the symptoms of arthritis can be important for getting treatment as early as possible, to avoid future complications. If you feel the following symptoms, consult with an orthopedic specialist.
- Soreness and stiffness in the hips, knees and lower back. The soreness can come after inactivity or after the joints have been overused.
- Stiffness goes away after movement.
- Pain in your joints is worse after you’re active, or toward the end of the day.
- Movements are limited.
- Tenderness or pain when the joints are touched.
More than 24 million adults with arthritis are limited in their activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In fact, the percentage of people limited by their arthritis rose from 35.9% in 2002 to 42.8% in 2014.
The most accurate diagnosis of arthritis will occur with evaluation from a medical professional. X-rays are important for accurately assessing the damage the joint has already undergone.
Often, people suffering from arthritis consider the pain they are experiencing to be part of aging, when in reality, measures can be taken to reduce pain and increase mobility.
As arthritis is generally characterized by inflammation of the joints, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can help manage the pain. Examples of anti-inflammatory medication include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.
In other cases, prescription medication might be the better choice. After a physical evaluation and an examination of symptoms to determine severity of the problem, a physician may prescribe a medication. Those patients with existing conditions such as kidney or liver disease, asthma or ulcers are not good candidates for prescription anti-inflammatory medication.
Cortisone injections can serve to temporarily relieve joint pain. This should only be done under the care of an experienced physician, as overly frequent injections can eventually cause damage to the joint.
Arthritis symptoms can sometimes be partially alleviated with physical therapy. This form of treatment can decrease stiffness in arthritic joints, and decrease pain levels. Being physically active can be an important part of relieving arthritis symptoms. Furthermore, going about your daily activities in a modified manner, under the instruction of your physician, may be part of your treatment regimen. These everyday changes can alleviate stress on the pain-causing joints.
The pain can also be relieved through the use of walkers, canes and other supporting devices, also reducing the strain on arthritic joints.
If the pain becomes overly severe and consistent, and daily mobility is heavily hindered, surgery can become an option. Consult with our surgeons at West Idaho Orthopedics to determine if this may be the right course of action. This will be the course of action only when nonsurgical options have proven to be insufficient.
Different procedures are performed for those suffering from severe arthritis and the resulting pain and immobility.
- Bones of the joint can be fused together, preventing pain-causing joint motion.
- The inflamed lining of the joint can be removed.
- The joint can be realigned.
- Total joint replacement.
Read More: AAOS