Types of Arthritis and Ways to Manage the Condition

Joint pain is a common thing, especially with sprains and strains. Usually, the pain subsides after a few days, either on its own or with medication. However, when the pain lingers for quite some time, it could be something different. You could be developing arthritis. Though there is no permanent cure for arthritis, Arlington arthritis experts could help improve your symptoms. The professionals offer various treatments to enhance mobility and slow down the condition’s progression. Arthritis could make your life unbearable. However, you can effectively manage your symptoms with a suitable treatment approach.

What are the common types of arthritis?

There are various types of arthritis and they affect your joints differently. Therefore, you must know the one you have and how it is likely to affect you. Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis type that starts with cartilage roughening. Your body responds to the roughening by repairing the damage. As a result, your joint capsule could stretch and your levels of joint fluid could increase. The other arthritis types are:

  • Psoriatic
  • Rheumatoid
  • Juvenile idiopathic
  • Septic
  • Thumb
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

How will your doctor detect your joint complications?

Arthritis’ diagnosis entails a series of tests. During diagnosis, your doctor will evaluate your joints and check for warmth, redness, and swelling. After the evaluation, he may suggest other tests depending on your arthritis’ type. The tests could include:

  • Laboratory tests. Your doctor could request joint fluid, urine, and blood for analysis.
  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests will help your doctor detect the issues that could be responsible for your symptoms. The tests include X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), and an ultrasound.    

What are your available treatment options for arthritis?

Your doctor may advise various treatment options to alleviate your symptoms before recommending one that will best suit you. Since the treatment aims at relieving your symptoms and enhancing your joint function, your doctor could combine several treatments. Your treatment plan could include:

Medications. The medications your doctor will recommend will depend on your arthritis’ type. The common medications your doctor may suggest include:

  • Painkillers 
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Counterirritants
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
  • Biologic response modifiers
  • Corticosteroids

Physical therapies. Your doctor may recommend a variety of exercises to overcome some of your symptoms. Exercises are likely to increase your motion range and strengthen your muscles surrounding joints. The joint-friendly activities your doctor will suggest include walking, cycling, and swimming.

Surgery. A surgical procedure is usually the last resort your doctor will recommend after all the conservative measures fail to relieve your symptoms. The strategies your doctor might suggest are:

  • Joint repair. Your doctor will smoothen or re-align your joint to improve your joint function and relieve you from pain.
  • Joint replacement. The procedure prompts your doctor to remove your damaged joint and replace it with an artificial joint
  • Joint fusion. Usually a recommendation for smaller joints like your ankle, wrist, and fingers, your doctor will remove ends of your bones in the affected joint and lock them to heal as one rigid unit.   

Knowing the type of arthritis you are suffering from could help your doctor devise a plan to manage your symptoms. Contact the specialists today to find out how your doctor can help with your joint pain and stiffness.