Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and destruction of your joints. There are several different types, all of which are painful. Your osteopathic doctor can help. If you suffer from arthritis, you need to know the facts. These are just a few frequently asked questions and answers about arthritis:
What Are the Different Types of Arthritis?
The two most common types of arthritis are:
- Osteoarthritis–caused by wear and tear, overuse, and aging of joints
- Rheumatoid arthritis–caused by an autoimmune condition attacking joints
What Are the Risk Factors for Arthritis?
You have an increased risk of developing arthritis if you:
- Have a family history of arthritis
- Are older
- Are female
- Have a history of joint injuries or broken bones
- Are overweight or obese
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis?
Arthritis affects the joints and your ability to move, so you will experience:
- Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Inflammation and redness in your joints
- Decreased range of motion
Are There Remedies I Can Try at Home To Relieve Arthritis Pain?
For mild arthritis pain, you can:
- Apply hot and cold to your painful joints
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication
- Do gentle stretches and exercises to prevent stiffness and maintain mobility
- Use assistive solutions like canes, walkers, and other devices
How Can My Osteopathic Doctor Help Me Manage Arthritis?
Arthritis is a chronic condition, and the goals of treatment are to reduce pain and maintain flexibility, mobility, and strength. To do this, your osteopathic doctor may recommend:
- Pain relievers like Tylenol
- Anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen
- Topical creams containing menthol or capsaicin
- Anti-rheumatic medications like methotrexate
- Biologic response modifiers like Enbrel
- Corticosteroids like cortisone
Along with medications, your osteopathic doctor may recommend:
- Exercises and stretching, to keep you mobile and flexible
- Bracing or splinting, to add support
- Dietary modifications to reduce joint inflammation
- Thermal therapies to increase blood flow and decrease stiffness
- Therapeutic massage to reduce joint and muscle stiffness
Arthritis doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying an active life. Your osteopathic doctor is an expert at treating chronic conditions, including arthritis. For more information about signs, symptoms, and treatment of arthritis, call your osteopathic doctor today.