Arthritis is an often debilitating condition that affects people’s ability to work, engage in daily activities, and generally enjoy life pain-free. It affects nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. and typically worsens as we get older. While arthritis is widespread, it does not have to limit your life. With the help of a physician, you can find lasting pain relief and enjoy your life again without aches, pains, and tenderness in your joints.
Types of Arthritis
Arthritis is characterized by pain and swelling in the joints caused by degradation over time. This can happen due to genetic conditions, natural wear and tear in the joints, or injuries. The two most common types of arthritis in America include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the lining of the joints. Not only does this cause pain in the joint, but it can also put those with rheumatoid arthritis at greater risk for immune deficiency-related health problems.
Osteoarthritis is the type of arthritis most common in people and those who have suffered from joint injuries. Cartilage begins to break down, making the joints weaker, and therefore experience pain and stiffness.
Other types of arthritis include:
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Thumb arthritis
You may be at greater risk of developing arthritis due to aging, genetic conditions, previous injuries, or certain health conditions like obesity. For example, women have a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, while conditions like gout are more common in men. While some lifestyle changes and immediate care after injury may prevent arthritis, some types of arthritis can only be treated after it develops.
Early Signs and Symptoms
Arthritis progresses over time, starting with a slight pain or stiffness in the mornings to a debilitating condition that can affect your quality of life. Below are the four most common signs of arthritis that should cue to you visit a doctor;
- Joint pain – Pain after an injury is normal, but if you have recurring or daily pain in a joint, it may be a sign of an underlying condition.
- Swelling – Your joints may feel inflamed or visibly swell with no provocation.
- Stiffness – You may feel as if your joints are sore without using them or as though they’re slower than usual.
- Difficulty moving a joint – If you have difficulty fully flexing a joint or moving it without pain, this is a clear sign of arthritis.
When To See a Doctor
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms regularly, for more than a month after an injury or spontaneously, talk to a doctor right away. The sooner you diagnose the issue, the more your doctor can do to prevent the progression of arthritis or another joint pain condition.
PPOA offers comprehensive joint pain solutions for all types of arthritis and related conditions. If you have questions or are looking for long-lasting relief, give us a call to learn about your options.