Arthritis is a chronic condition that impinges joint movement, leading to pain. It can affect any joint but commonly affect feet, hands, hips, knees, and lower back areas. Arthritis Gramercy affects about fifty million adults in the United States and is the leading cause of disability. There are several types of arthritis with different causes, symptoms, and treatments. Arthritis mostly causes joint pain, redness, stiffness, inflammation, tenderness, and degeneration. Anyone can develop arthritis. But you are at a higher risk as you age, are overweight, or practice poor lifestyle habits like lack of exercise and smoking. Although there is no cure for arthritis, your doctor can help you manage the condition through the following treatment options.
Your doctor may prescribe acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are also available as creams or gels that you rub over the affected joints. For rheumatoid arthritis, drugs like azathioprine, golimumab, or sulfasalazine can help preserve joint function. These medications suppress the overactive immune system. If you have infectious arthritis, your doctor may drain the excess infected fluid from your joints and administer large intravenous doses of antibiotics.
Physical activity can help reduce arthritis pain and improve function, mood, and overall quality of life. You can perform low-impact exercises like walking, jogging, and cycling, which do not put too much stress on your joints. Exercising improves sleep, supports bone and brain health, and controls weight. Physical activity also minimizes the risk of developing other chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes and manages the diseases if you already have them.
Corticosteroid injections can help alleviate joint pain and inflammation. You can only use corticosteroid injections for a short period as long-term use can cause thinning of bones. Viscosupplementation can help improve arthritis in certain joints, like the knee. This procedure involves your doctor injecting a lubricant into your joints to help them move slowly.
Doctors may recommend surgery in severe cases of arthritis that do not improve with conservative treatments. Surgery may include:
Fusion involves your provider fusing two or more bones permanently together. Fusion immobilizes your joint and minimizes pain caused by movement. Doctors often perform this surgery on smaller joints like fingers and wrists.
Joint replacement involves your surgeon replacing the arthritic joint with an artificial one. Joint replacement helps preserve joint function and movement. Commonly replaced joints include the knee, hip, and shoulder.
Sometimes, your surgeon can smoothen or realign your joint surfaces to reduce pain and improve function. This surgery is often done arthroscopically, promoting quicker recovery with minimal risks.
If you are obese, reducing weight can help manage your arthritis. Excess fat cells can increase the rate at which your joints break down and worsen inflammation. Also, ensure you eat healthily to maintain an average weight. You can include omega-3, high-fiber, and high-antioxidant foods in your diet as they help reduce inflammation and rebuild your tissues. Avoid foods with excess sugar, refined conventional grains, and wheat products.
Schedule an appointment at DeLoor Podiatry Associates for arthritis treatment to alleviate joint pain.