May is recognized as National Arthritis Awareness Month, and it's important to be aware of the different types of arthritis and how they are treated. Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. In most cases, it causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in the joints.
Forms of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It's caused by the wear and tear on joints over time. As the cartilage around your joints breaks down, your bones start to rub together and cause pain. This type of arthritis generally affects people over the age of 50.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body's immune system to attack the joints. This can lead to inflammation in the joints and other parts of the body, but eventually, it will lead to the joints deteriorating. It can affect people at any age.
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that often occurs in people with psoriasis, a condition that causes scaly patches on the skin. It affects the ligaments and tendons that are attached to the bones.
Treatments for Arthritis
There are many different treatments for arthritis, and the best course of action will depend on the type of arthritis you have. Some common treatments include physical therapy, orthopaedic surgery, and medications.
Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles around your joints and improve your range of motion. This can help manage arthritis pain.
Orthopaedic surgery can be used to correct joint damage caused by arthritis. This may involve joint replacement or other procedures.
Medications can be used to help reduce arthritis pain and inflammation. These include over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and prescription medications like corticosteroids.
Tips for Managing Arthritis
There are a few things you can do to help manage arthritis pain and reduce the risk of arthritis flare-ups.
Exercise can help to strengthen the muscles around your joints and improve your range of motion.
Losing weight can help to reduce the amount of stress on your joints.
Heat and cold therapy
Applying heat or cold to your joints can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Using devices like canes or walkers can help to take the stress off of your joints.
Arthritis Awareness Month is a great time to learn more about arthritis and how to manage it. It can be a debilitating condition, but with the right treatment, it is possible to manage the pain and keep the joints healthy. If you think you may have arthritis, talk to a specialist at Prairie Orthopaedic & Plastic Surgery about the best course of treatment for you. Our providers are experts and can help you find relief. Contact us at today to schedule an appointment.