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A Guide to Understanding and Managing Arthritis


Suffering from arthritis pain can cause many disruptions to daily life and regular activities, but that doesn’t mean that you simply have to resign yourself to this medical condition. There are both general steps you can try for arthritis relief and more specific treatments you can use with the help of a medical professional. For example, if arthritis in your knees is significantly interfering with your ability to get through the day or enjoy the activities you love, seeing a knee specialist in Atlanta can open many doors for treatments and relief. Read on to learn more about arthritis and how to manage its symptoms.

Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis, rather than being a specific condition, is actually an umbrella term for joint diseases and chronic joint pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, it's the leading cause of disability in the USA, and it can impact people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Arthritis often manifests as swelling of the joints, stiffness, joint pain, and limited range of motion. These symptoms can vary from mild to debilitating and may be constant or may come and go. Physical and visible changes may occur in some cases, and in other people, the disease may be invisible.

Arthritic pain

Managing Osteoarthritis

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, occurs when the cartilage in the joint wears away. This can leave bone on bone friction, pain, loss of strength, decreased range of motion, inflammation, and other symptoms. Certain risk factors increase the changes of this type of arthritis, such as previous injury, obesity, age, and family history of osteoarthritis. To help manage symptoms, people often find success with using heat or cold therapies, maintaining a healthy weight, participating in regular physical activity balanced with adequate rest, taking pain relievers, avoiding repetitive motions, and using assistive devices. In more severe cases, treatment from a medical professional can be beneficial.

Managing Inflammatory Arthritis

In some people, an overactive immune system can mistakenly attack the joints with inflammation, cause joint erosion, or even damage internal organs. Rheumatoid arthritis is a common type of inflammatory arthritis, and prevention and treatment of the disease can help minimize damage. Avoid smoking and seek treatment to prevent further damage, reduce pain, and improve function.

Help with Chronic Pain Management

In addition to treating the underlying causes or specific symptoms of your arthritis, pain management is a major part of dealing with chronic arthritis. Medications, physical treatments, alternative therapies, and other suggestions from your orthopedic specialist in Atlanta can help to track pain and its triggers, improve sleep, and improve overall quality of life.

OrthoAtlanta physicians and staff know the toll that arthritis takes on the bodies of patients afflicted with arthritis, and the frustration it can take on their lives. The good news, treatment options for those suffering from arthritis are many. Most treatments are non-surgical, typically including a combination of physical therapy and medicine(s). Only when conservative treatment is no longer effective is surgery considered. Surgical procedures range from a minimally-invasive arthroscopic cleaning procedure to a complete joint replacement, known as arthroplasty. OrthoAtlanta provides treatment for bones, joints, muscles and spine, including both operative and non-operative therapy and treatment options for arthritis.

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