Arthritis

If you are experiencing joint pain, this could be the first sign of arthritis. It is important to note your symptoms and seek treatment to keep your pain from becoming worse. Signs of arthritis may include pain, swelling, or stiffness in joints, joints that are red or warm when you touch them, or difficulty moving certain joints. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, give us a call at AICA Orthopedics to get diagnosed and begin treatment for arthritis.

Getting diagnosed with arthritis is as simple as visiting a doctor. AICA Orthopedics has multiple doctors that specialize in diagnosing and treating arthritis. Your doctor will ask some questions about your pain, physically check the affected area, and may recommend imaging tests to get an accurate reading of the affected area.

It’s best to seek medical treatment as soon as you notice joint discomfort so that you can get ahead of the pain and improve the health of your joints. However, even if you have advanced arthritis, an orthopedic specialist can still help.

What Causes Arthritis?

A healthy joint has cartilage, or connective tissue, at the end of bones with a thick liquid in between to act as a lubricant. This cartilage allows the joint to move smoothly. But when a joint develops arthritis, it essentially means the cartilage has worn away and the bone is beginning to rub against bone, causing the swelling, stiffness, and pain you experience with arthritis.

The longer you go untreated, the worse the injury and pain become. In severe cases, bones rubbing against each other for long periods of time can even lead to bone spurs, which may require surgery. Arthritis can occur in a number of joints, but the most common joints that develop it are the knees, hips, hands, and shoulders.

Age is the most common cause of arthritis as our body wears down with regular use over time. Additionally, our cartilage slowly loses its ability to repair itself as we get older. Some other factors can also contribute to arthritis such as being overweight, heredity, gender, repeated injuries, and other health factors.

If you experience any symptoms of arthritis such as joint pain, swelling, clicking, grinding, stiffness, or difficulty standing or sitting, an orthopedic specialist could provide the relief you so desperately need.

Types of Arthritis

There are several varying types of arthritis. Each one is different in how it affects your body and how it can be treated. Common forms of arthritis include the following:

  • Osteoarthritis –This is the wear and tear of your joints that happens as you age. This is the most common form of arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis –This is a type of autoimmune disease when the immune system attacks the joints, causing inflammation.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis –This is inflammation of the skin and joints. This condition causes the skin to become red and patchy from psoriasis and also causes inflammation in the joints.

Diagnostics

Getting a diagnosis for arthritis begins by visiting a doctor and telling him or her about the pain you are experiencing. In some cases, the pain or discomfort you’re feeling may be another condition that shares similar symptoms to arthritis. This is why it’s important to visit an experienced doctor for a diagnosis.At AICA Orthopedics we have multiple specialists that can provide a diagnosis and provide accurate and personalized treatment solutions. Your doctor will ask you questions about your pain and discomfort, perform a physical exam to check for swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected area, and check for ability to move your joints.Various tests may be administered to narrow down the type of arthritis that you’re experiencing. Below are some of the imaging tests that you may be administered in order to get an accurate depiction of your arthritis:

X-rays

Arthritis is a condition that can worsen with age. For this reason, x-rays are performed to assess the progression of this disease in the skeletal system and to determine bone loss in the affected area.

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CT Scans

Soft tissue scans can help your doctor see if there is damage to or atrophy of the musculature surrounding the arthritic area. CT scans are similar in function to x-rays, but they use many more angles to show a wider view.

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MRIs

MRI scans also indicate damage to arthritic areas in the soft tissue, but they do so through the use of magnetic resonance. They forgo the use of radiation, unlike the former two tests, but they still show a physician the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage surrounding the bones.

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Ultrasound

Ultrasound images can help your doctor to best treat the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis by ensuring accurate placement of the needles used for the various types of injection therapy.

Treatment Options for Arthritis

Arthritis is first diagnosed based upon your symptoms and medical history. Our advanced imaging technology can help a doctor determine if you have arthritis and what joints are affected. Treatment options may vary depending upon the severity of your arthritis. AICA Orthopedics has a variety of medical specialists that can provide personalized and effective treatment based on your unique arthritis situation.

Physical therapists can help manage arthritis pain with light exercise and movement that increases your range of motion and improves the health of your joints. Anti-inflammatory medications can also be prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling to bring about relief.

Chiropractic is a non-invasive treatment method that may be recommended based on the severity and progression of your arthritis. Chiropractic is responsible for helping to realign parts of the body, particularly the spine which is responsible for communications between the brain and the rest of the body. When parts of the body that are out of place have been realigned to their natural place, it can improve communication and reduce nerve pressure, potentially resulting in reduced pain and discomfort.

An orthopedic specialist may also suggest a brace that can take the pressure off of the painful joint or, in certain cases, arthroscopy. During an arthroscopy procedure, the doctor will insert a small camera into the problem area to remove loose cartilage that can cause irritation. In extreme instances, arthritis in certain joints may lead to joint replacement surgery.

For arthritis pain relief, seek care from the highly qualified specialists at AICA Orthopedics in Atlanta.