Arthritis is a common, potentially debilitating disease. Learn about early signs, so you can get the care you need before it worsens.
Some one in four adults has a form of arthritis, making it one of the most common conditions in the United States. It’s also a leading cause of disability.
One positive thing about arthritis is that early diagnosis and treatment can often slow down the disease’s progression. Meanwhile, you’ll hold a lower risk of complications.
Our experts at Physicians Group, with over 20 locations throughout Florida and Minnesota, diagnose and treat joint conditions, such as arthritis, to help achieve and maintain a better life quality.
Read on to learn more about arthritis symptoms to take seriously and ways we can help.
1. Chronic joint pain
Joint pain is a primary symptom of all types of arthritis. Also known as arthralgia, arthritis pain might feel like a burning sensation or a dull ache.
Your pain may flare up the most after you’ve used the joint for a while. If you have osteoarthritis in your knees, for example, your pain might intensify after you’ve climbed a flight of stairs or gone for a jog. Your joints may also feel sore when you first wake due to the position you slept in or hours of keeping them immobile.
Since osteoarthritis stems from “wear and tear” of your joints, these symptoms can start fairly mild and then progressively worsen with ongoing activity over time.
2. Swelling and inflammation
Swelling and stiffness around your joints is another common thread for arthritis sufferers. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), in particular, is linked with inflammation.
When you have this type of arthritis, your immune system mistakes healthy tissue in a joint as harmful, bringing on that swelling and related symptoms like redness and warmth. Over time, RA can destroy bone and cartilage in your joints, most rapidly without treatment.
3. Stiffness and mobility problems
Arthritis can also make it difficult to bend or use your joints due to pain and stiffness. Similar to joint aches, the stiffness may worsen after inactivity and sleep. You might wake up unable to fully stretch your arms or bend your knees normally as you walk.
Joint stiffness may appear as your earliest arthritis symptom, so getting it checked out before it worsens can help prevent additional issues, like intense pain. Along with joint stiffness, you might notice related fatigue, weakness, and a limited range of motion.
Effective arthritis treatments
Once you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, your treatment specifics will depend on factors like your type, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health.
Our experts at Physicians Group can also help determine if your joint symptoms stem from another cause, such as an accident or spill.
Joint pain treatments we may recommend:
- Chiropractic care
- Epidural steroid injections
- Facet joint injections
- Interventional spine therapeutics
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound therapy
- Peripheral joint injections
- Physical therapy
- Radiofrequency neurolysis
- Trigger point injections
- Spasticity management
We usually find that these treatments bring patients significant relief. That said, you may need a more invasive procedure, such as surgery if you have severe symptoms that don’t respond well to conservative options.
To learn more about arthritis or get started with the care you need, call one of our offices or book an appointment through our website today.