Thursday, September 29, 2022

How Do Doctors Know If You Have Arthritis

How Can I Find Relief From My Knee Pain In Atlanta Ga

How to tell if you have Arthritis by Irvine Chiropractor

If you are interested in getting to the root of your knee pain, finding relief, and enjoying your life to the fullest again, the first step is to be evaluated by a qualified, experienced, and skilled professional. Call Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Christopher Williams today, and discover how the solution for living a more comfortable life may be closer than your think!

Dietary Modifications To Consider For Rheumatoid Arthritis

While there is a lot of interest in the role of diet and nutrition in symptom management for rheumatoid arthritis, there is no comprehensive research on the topic nor is there a dietary magic formula to fight RA symptoms.

But some evidence suggests that eating certain foods may help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms for some people, while other foods have been shown to worsen inflammation and related symptoms.

For instance, the ketogenic diet which is high in fats that promote inflammation and low in certain healthy grains, fruits, and vegetables that help fight inflammation is generally believed to be bad for RA symptoms and pain.

Frontiers in Nutrition,

Inflammatory Arthritis Vs Osteoarthritis

Arthritis actually describes over 100 different conditions that affect joints and the surrounding tissue. They fall into two main categories: inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis .

Inflammatory arthritis is a systemic disease in which the mechanisms that normally protect your body attack your own joints and tissues instead. The most well-known example is rheumatoid arthritis , which tends to be symmetrical, meaning you’ll have problems in the same joints on both sides of your body, like both wrists or both knees.

The second type of arthritis and the most common form is osteoarthritis. A degenerative disorder, it’s caused by trauma or age-related wear and tear on your joints over time. OA is most likely to affect weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hip, lower spine or big toe, but it can also cause pain and stiffness in your thumb or finger joints.

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What Are Common Arthritis Treatments

There are many things that help reduce pain, relieve stiffness and keep you moving. Your care may involve more than one kind of treatment. Your doctor may recommend medications but there are many things you can do on your own to help manage pain and fatigue and move easier.

Finding the right treatment takes time. It can involve trial and error until you and your healthcare team or therapist find what works best. Be sure to let your doctor know if a treatment is not working. Your treatment may also change as your arthritis changes.

Treatments for arthritis can be divided into several categories: medication, exercise, heat/cold, pacing, joint protection, surgery and self-help skills. You can do things in each of these areas to help yourself feel better and move easier.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Know if You Have Arthritis in the Knee

RA develops when white blood cells, which normally protect the body from foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses, enter the synovium . Inflammation ensues the synovium thickens, causing swelling, redness, warmth, and pain in the synovial joint.

Researchers don’t know exactly what causes the immune system to invade the synovium, but it’s believed that genes and environmental factors play a role in the development of RA.

Rheumatology

But not everyone with these identified gene variants develops RA, and people without them can still develop it. So, it’s likely that environmental factors often trigger the disease, particularly in people with a genetic makeup that makes them more susceptible to it. These factors include:

  • Viruses and bacteria
  • Female hormones
  • Obesity, which also increases progression of disability for people with RA.Obese patients are less likely to achieve RA remission regardless of the treatment they receive.
  • Severely stressful events
  • Foods

Children up to age 16 who experience prolonged swollen or painful joints anywhere in the body are typically diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis .

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What Are The Stages Of Arthritis Of The Knee

There are five stages of osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis that affects your knees:

  • Stage 0 . If youre at stage 0, your knees are healthy. You dont have arthritis of the knee.
  • Stage 1 . Stage 1 means that youve got some wear and tear in your knee joint. You probably wont notice pain.
  • Stage 2 . The mild stage is when you might start to feel pain and stiffness, but theres still enough cartilage to keep the bones from actually touching.
  • Stage 3 . If youre at the moderate stage, youll have more pain, especially when running, walking, squatting, and kneeling. Youll likely notice it after long periods of rest . You’re probably in a great deal of pain because the cartilage has narrowed even further and there are many bone spurs.
  • Stage 4 . Severe osteoarthritis means that the cartilage is almost gone. Your knee is stiff, painful and possibly immobile. You might need surgery.

Should I See A Doctor

Its common to have aches and pains in your muscles and joints from time to time. This may especially be true if you take part in unusual or strenuous physical activities.

So, how can you tell the difference between the early signs of arthritis and normal pain and stiffness? And, how do you know when you should see a doctor about your symptoms?

If you have swelling or stiffness that you cant explain and that doesn’t go away in a few days, or if it becomes painful to touch your joints, you should see a doctor. The earlier you get a diagnosis and start the right type of treatment, the better the outcome will be.

Here are some other things to think about that might help you decide whether you need to see a doctor:

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How Do I Know If I Have Arthritis

Osteoarthritis: This form of arthritis is also called degenerative joint disease or is commonly referred to as wear and tear arthritis.

  • How does it occur? Over time, the breakdown of protective cartilage within a joint leaves the bones to rub against one another, producing pain. This can happen due to injury, overuse or even because of genetics.

  • What symptoms does it cause? This condition often affects the hips, knees, or lower back. In addition to general joint pain, it causes stiffness, especially first thing in the morning and swelling in the joints after activity.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: This form of arthritis is a systemic, autoimmune disorder that specifically impacts the joints.

  • How does it occur? When the immune system attacks healthy joint tissue, the synovium is compromised, resulting in inflammation.

  • What symptoms does it cause? It most commonly impacts the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles and occurs within those joints symmetrically. In addition to causing general joint pain, those suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis often also complain of fatigue, fever and various other problems throughout the body.

Psoriatic Arthritis: This form of arthritis is also an autoimmune disease, which affects both the joints and the skin.

Ready to make an appointment with a doctor to discuss your joint pain? For more information, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

What Kinds Of Arthritis Can Occur In The Knee

What type of arthritis do you have? A Rheumatologist explains.

In the case of knee pain, one of the most common culprits is arthritis. There are three types of arthritis that can occur in the knee, and it is not unheard for patients to have multiple arthritic conditions present at the same time. The three kinds of arthritis that often develop in the knees include:

  • Osteoarthritis : A slow-acting, progressive wear-and-tear process that deteriorates joint cartilage. Middle-aged and older patients are the most likely group to develop OA.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis : RA can occur at any age. This inflammatory process can be marked by painful swelling in the joints.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis: Patients who have a significant knee injury, such as a fracture, torn ligament, or torn meniscus, may develop post-traumatic arthritis. This can occur many years after the injury itself.

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What Does Knee Pain Caused By Arthritis Feel Like

With the immense amount of pressure and strain put on our knees day after day and year after year, it is not surprising that knee pain is such a widespread complaint in men and women of all ages in Atlanta, GA. While there are certainly some more serious causes of knee pain, in a large number of people, knee pain is temporary and, relatively, harmless. However, if you think the pain in your knees may be caused by arthritis, here are a few telltale signs and symptoms to watch for:

How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated

The goals of rheumatoid arthritis treatment are to:

  • Control a patients signs and symptoms.
  • Prevent joint damage.
  • Maintain the patients quality of life and ability to function.

Joint damage generally occurs within the first two years of diagnosis, so it is important to diagnose and treat rheumatoid arthritis in the window of opportunity to prevent long-term consequences.

Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include medications, rest, exercise, physical therapy/occupational therapy, and surgery to correct damage to the joint.

The type of treatment will depend on several factors, including the persons age, overall health, medical history, and the severity of the arthritis.

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Treating Arthritis Of The Knee

  • 1Go to physical therapy. Strengthening of the muscles around the knee joint may help decrease the burden on the knee. Preventing atrophy of the muscles is an important part of maintaining functional use of the knee and reducing further damage to the joint.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • 2Take anti-inflammatory medications. Prescription and nonprescription anti-inflammatory pain medications are drugs that help treat the pain as well as the inflammation in the knee.XResearch source
  • Always consult your doctor before attempting to treat arthritis with over-the-counter medications, especially if you are taking other medications to treat arthritis.
  • Never exceed the recommended dosage of any medication, including over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Overdose of NSAIDs can be life-threatening.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • 3Get hyaluronic acid injections in your knee. Hyaluronic acid helps lubricate the joint and is naturally found in the fluid of your knee. If you suffer from arthritis, the natural hyaluronic acid in your knee becomes thinner and less effective.XResearch source
  • Your doctor may recommend a hyaluronic acid injection into your knee joint.
  • Although these injections are not helpful to everyone, they can relieve the symptoms for three to six months.
  • Complications Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Cardiopulmonary disease resulting from RA can take different forms. Your breathing may be affected either with pleurisy or intrapulmonary nodules . Pericarditis and atherosclerosis can both cause chest pain. Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in RA so be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any chest pain symptoms.
    • Sjögrens syndrome develops in 10-15 percent of RA patients. Sjögrens is characterized by dry eyes and/or a dry mouth.
    • Peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage is an occasional complication of the nervous system in RA patients. It is typically a mild numbing feeling in the lower extremities like your legs and feet that can cause poor coordination. Other neuropathies can occur because RA causes joint tissue swelling that compresses the nerve tissue. Carpal tunnel symptoms can often be relieved by a cortisone shot to the wrist. If this is not successful, surgery may be required to open the tunnel and relieve pressure on the nerve.

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    Forget What Youve Read On The Internet: There Is No Secret Cure

    More than 1 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis, and unfortunately there is no cure, Dr. Ware says. Despite what you may have read or heard, there are no special diets, oils, secret protocols, or trial medications that can permanently banish the disease.

    But while doctors may not yet be able to cure RA, the right treatment plan can help many patients achieve low disease activity or even degrees of remission. Years ago, before the sophisticated disease-modifying drugs of today were widely used, RA and other forms of inflammatory arthritis could cause severe, permanent joint damage. This is usually no longer the case for people who take these medications and see a rheumatologist for ongoing testing and monitoring. More and more biologic therapies are in development, so people who dont respond well or stop responding well to a certain medication will have more ways to target their immune system and reduce symptoms and long-term damage.

    What Are The Complications Of Ra

    Rheumatoid arthritis has many physical and social consequences and can lower quality of life. It can cause pain, disability, and premature death.

    • Premature heart disease. People with RA are also at a higher risk for developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. To prevent people with RA from developing heart disease, treatment of RA also focuses on reducing heart disease risk factors. For example, doctors will advise patients with RA to stop smoking and lose weight.
    • Obesity. People with RA who are obese have an increased risk of developing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Being obese also increases risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Finally, people with RA who are obese experience fewer benefits from their medical treatment compared with those with RA who are not obese.
    • Employment. RA can make work difficult. Adults with RA are less likely to be employed than those who do not have RA. As the disease gets worse, many people with RA find they cannot do as much as they used to. Work loss among people with RA is highest among people whose jobs are physically demanding. Work loss is lower among those in jobs with few physical demands, or in jobs where they have influence over the job pace and activities.

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    How Is Arthritis Diagnosed

    If you think you may have arthritis, see your healthcare provider. The provider will ask about your symptoms and learn how joint pain affects your life. Your provider will perform a physical exam, which may include:

    • Assessing mobility and range of motion in your joints.
    • Checking for areas of tenderness or swelling around your joints.
    • Evaluating your overall health to determine if a different condition could be causing your symptoms.

    Blood Tests For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    What is arthritis and how do I know if I have it?

    RA is an autoimmune disease. Several blood tests can detect immune system changes or antibodies that may attack the joints and other organs. Other tests are used to measure the presence and degree of inflammation.

    For blood tests, your doctor will draw a small sample from a vein. The sample is then sent to a lab for testing. Theres no single test to confirm RA, so your doctor may order multiple tests.

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    How Does Arthritis Feel

    Arthritis usually causes stiffness pain and fatigue. The severity varies from person to person and even from day to day. In some people only a few joints are affected and the impact may be small. In other people the entire body system may be affected.

    The joints of the body are the site of much of the action in arthritis. Many types of arthritis show signs of joint inflammation: swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness or warmth. These joint symptoms may be accompanied by weight loss, fever or weakness.

    When these symptoms last for more than two weeks, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis may be the cause. Joint inflammation may also be caused by infection which can lead to septic arthritis. Degenerative joint disease is the most common type of arthritis joint inflammation is not a prominent feature of this condition. While normal joints can support a vast amount of use, mechanical abnormalities of a joint make it susceptible to degeneration.

    It is healthy for you to keep active and move your joints. If you do not move a joint regularly, the muscles around it weaken and/or become tight. The joint can stiffen or even freeze. When you do try to move the joint and muscles hurt because they have been still for so long.

    Arthritis can make it hard to do the movements you rely on every day for work or taking care of your family.

    Doctors First Can Treat Your Arthritis

    Your provider at Doctors First can help treat your arthritis with physical therapy. Physical therapy can help maintain flexibility in your affected joint and strengthen the muscles surrounding it. Your provider can also prescribe pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, and administer steroid injections.

    The health specialists at Doctors First can also provide advice on losing weight and exercising, which can help relieve pressure on your joint. Theyll also provide ongoing education and support to help you manage your arthritis symptoms.

    If youre suffering from joint pain and want relief, or if youre interested in learning more about geriatrics care, book an appointment online or over the phone with Doctors First today.

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    How To Prepare For An Initial Doctors Appointment

    During your first appointment, your doctor will conduct a physical exam, collect details about your medical history, and discuss which symptoms you may be experiencing.

    Generally, they will evaluate your joints for inflammation, swelling, and redness and may order imaging tests or blood work to determine if you have RA.

    Be sure to keep track of all your symptoms and consider logging the time, duration, and severity of each symptom as it occurs. You should also provide your doctor with information about any medications that you are taking, including the frequency and dosage.

    Keep in mind that you may not receive a definitive diagnosis on your first visit, as many autoimmune disorders develop slowly over time.

    However, your doctor may discuss possible treatment options with you, which can include medications, physical therapy, pain management, exercise, and other modifications to your diet and lifestyle.

    Its important to discuss any questions you have regarding your treatment plan with your doctor. Some questions you may want to consider asking:

    • What treatment options are right for me?
    • What are the potential side effects from my treatment?
    • What types of exercise would be beneficial? How often should I work out?
    • Are there other ways to treat symptoms at home, such as by using a hot or cold compress?
    • What options available for mental health support, if needed?
    • Would I benefit from physical therapy, nutrition counseling, or other complementary treatments?

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