Joint Pain and Arthritis
Normal aches and pains can occur occasionally, but when pain doesn’t go away, is not related to an injury and/or is getting worse, it’s time to see a doctor.
If you are experiencing chronic or persistent pain, Gonzaba Medical Group can help you identify the cause and recommend a comprehensive treatment plan to help you manage and control your joint pain and arthritis.
Arthritis should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor or a team of doctors who specialize in joint pain and arthritis. Getting an accurate diagnosis is an important step to getting timely medical care for your condition. At Gonzaba Medical Group, you are at the center of an experienced team of in-house primary care physicians and specialists who collaborate to create a custom care plan for you.
Most people start with their primary care physician, but it is possible to be referred to doctors who specialize in treating arthritis and related conditions. Gonzaba Medical Group has three medical centers offering comprehensive care, four neighborhood clinics, a Specialty Center, 2 physical medicine rehabilitation and therapy centers, and 80-plus providers specializing in complete senior care including rheumatology and pain management for arthritis.The Specialty Center was created to further enhance the coordination between specialty and primary care.
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What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a general term referring to joint pain. Not all pain is related to arthritis. There are nerve pains, tendon pain, and even skin pain. People of all ages, sexes, and races can have arthritis, but it is most common in women and occurs more frequently as people get older. It is a leading cause of disability. There are many types of arthritis and related conditions. Gonzaba Medical Group can help you understand, diagnose, treat, and manage joint pain and arthritis.
Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is frequently referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis because it occurs over time — the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears away and bone rubs against bone causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Some risk factors include excess weight, family history, age, and previous injury (i.e., an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL tear). It most commonly affects hands, hips, and knees.
Inflammatory arthritis is joint inflammation caused by an overactive immune system which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body. It usually affects many joints throughout the body at the same time. Gout and rheumatoid arthritis are types of inflammatory arthritis.
- Gout usually affects one joint at a time (often the big toe joint). Gout is caused by a condition known as hyperuricemia – when there is too much uric acid in the body and uric acid crystals can build up in joints, fluids, and tissues. Hyperuricemia does not always cause gout. Some risk factors include being male, overweight, poor diets, and certain health conditions such as congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Rheumatoid arthritis mainly affects many joints at once. It occurs when the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, lack of balance, and deformity. It commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and knees.
There are many different treatment options depending on the type of arthritis and severity of pain. Diet and exercise may be the first option recommended for you. Treatment options should be tailored to meet the needs of each patient. Gonzaba Medical Group offers a wide range of in-house pain management strategies including:
- Medication – Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are the effective oral medicines for osteoarthritis. They all work by blocking enzymes that cause pain and swelling. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. They work by slowing or stopping your immune system from attacking your joints. Our physicians can help you determine which medication option can help you.
- Injections – Non-surgical treatments for arthritis include injections into the painful joint. The most common types of injections for arthritis are steroid injections and hyaluronic acid injections. Our physicians can recommend the choice that is right for you and perform injections during a scheduled appointment.
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – An exercise program and educational resources individually designed for each patient and their specific condition to help promote mobility and decrease pain. Our Physical Medicine staff is committed to providing patients with safe and effective treatments using our state-of-the-art rehabilitation equipment.