Arthritis Q & A
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is the term given to a group of diseases that cause inflammation to one or more of your joints. The main symptoms associated with arthritis are joint pain and stiffness. The most common types of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis: most common, related to aging or injury
- Autoimmune arthritis: your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells
- Juvenile arthritis: happens in children
- Psoriatic arthritis: affects those with psoriasis
- Gout: big toe pain caused by excessive uric acid
How is arthritis diagnosed?
When you see a specialist at The Nexus Pain Center for arthritis, the visit begins with a review of your medical history. The next step is a physical exam, during which your joints are checked for swelling, redness, warmth, and mobility. Additional tests including X-ray, CT scans, and MRIs help with further diagnosis.
How is arthritis treated?
The most common way the doctors at The Nexus Pain Center treat arthritis is through the use of joint injections. The medications used include:
When you have healthy joints, they are well-lubricated with a thick substance known as synovial fluid that acts as a shock absorber and allows your bones to glide against each other. Synovial fluid contains an element known as hyaluronic acid. When hyaluronic acid breaks down and disintegrates, the result is joint pain and stiffness.
Injections into your knee, hip, or ankle offer relief and often cause the joint to increase production of hyaluronic acid to help preserve cartilage and slow down the disease.
Your adrenal glands naturally produce the hormone cortisol, which affects your immune system and controls inflammation by reducing the irritation caused by your bones coming into contact with each other due to loss of cartilage.
Corticosteroids are medications that imitate the effects of the hormone cortisol. Injections are the best course of action due to the localized nature of most arthritis and reduction of side effects.
While arthrocentesis is done with a needle, it is not an injection. Instead, joint fluid is removed to relieve pressure in your joint and reduce pain and swelling. This fluid is often sent to a lab for testing and, once complete, an injection of steroids or another anesthetic is administered.
To relieve your arthritis pain without the use of surgery or opioids, call or make an appointment online at The Nexus Pain Center in Columbus or LaGrange, Georgia, today.