Joints are points in your body where bones connect to move body parts. You have up to 350 joints in your body to help you perform basic movements, like bending your knees and elbows, flexing your fingers, and rolling your shoulders.
Your joints can become impaired for a number of reasons; arthritis is a very common inflammation that affects your joints, leading to pain and swelling. There are over 100 different types of this inflammatory joint condition, affecting nearly 59 million Americans. While not curable, arthritis can be managed with several methods that don’t require surgery.
Residents in the Medford and Grants Pass, Oregon, areas looking for relief from arthritis can get help from the team of doctors at Southern Oregon Orthopedics & Paragon Orthopedic Center. We offer a variety of treatments for joint pain and many sports injuries using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques.
Let’s take a closer look by examining the different types of arthritis, what symptoms to expect, and what nonsurgical treatments are available.
Osteoarthritis (where your cartilage breaks down and causes your joints to rub together) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune response that attacks healthy joint tissue) are two commonly known types of this condition, but there are many others, including:
This term describes several forms of arthritis affecting children that can cause bone erosion, joint misalignment, and a change in growth patterns.
This is a group of autoimmune conditions that target the tendons and ligaments attached to your bones near your joints.
This autoimmune condition can affect your heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, and brain as well as your joints.
Gout is caused by an overabundance of urate crystals in your bloodstream, causing pain, swelling, and irritation to your big toe and other joints.
Having psoriasis can raise your risk of this condition which affects your fingers and other joints, but can also progress to spinal damage.
These types of arthritis are caused by infections which can trigger immune system dysfunction.
The symptoms most commonly associated with arthritis include pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and decreased range of motion. However, different forms of this illness can create other symptoms as well, such as difficulty sleeping, fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and chest pain.
The risk of the most common forms of arthritis increase with joint injuries, age, obesity, and family history. Specific sexes are at higher risk than others — men are more likely to get gout, and women are more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis.
Most forms of arthritis can be treated with medications and various types of physical therapy:
Nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are an over-the-counter solution to relieve pain and inflammation, and are available as pills, gels, and creams. Menthol or capsaicin ointments can be used to interfere with the pain signals from your joint, and corticosteroids can be used to reduce pain and inflammation, and slow down joint damage.
Exercise can be used to improve range of motion in affected joints and increase your overall mobility. General increased physical activity like walking and stretching can slow down the pace of arthritis.
A weight loss regimen can also help reduce the amount of stress you put on your bones and joints to reduce symptoms. Losing 5-10 pounds can be like removing 50 pounds off of your joints.
A combination of the above treatments along with rest, heat, and cold therapy can help reduce your symptoms of arthritis. If you’re dealing with pain, stiffness, and inflammation in your joints, make an appointment with our team at Southern Oregon Orthopedics & Paragon Orthopedic Center to feel better. Call our office most convenient to you or schedule online today.