Common Causes of Joint Pain and Inflammation
Many older adults suffer from arthritis, but many do not fully understand it is not a “single” disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain and inflammation. Arthritis comes in more than 100 different forms, with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout being the three most common. No matter the cause of a Tyler, Texas resident’s joint discomfort, the pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to help with the most effective pain management treatments.
People of all ages can become affected by the many forms of arthritis, but it is most common in senior adults because of continued wear and tear of the joints. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, with more than 50 million adults having some type.
Arthritis symptoms typically include joint pain and inflammation, as well as swelling, stiffness and decreased range of motion. These symptoms can come or go, or become chronic. They can also range from a mild inconvenience to discomfort that hinders movement at home and work.
An Overview of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis, is the most common form. This type of arthritis occurs when the cartilage, the white substance covering the ends of each bone, begins to degenerate. When this happens, bone begins to rub against bone, and joint pain and inflammation is the outcome.
Osteoarthritis impacts both men and women, with seniors experiencing the highest rate. It is estimated by the age of 65 years, more than 50% of individuals have osteoarthritis in at least one joint. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, but is typically found in joints that support the body’s weight, such as the knee and hip.
Treatment for this form of arthritis includes over-the-counter medications for joint pain and inflammation, regular exercise and proper joint care. When too much cartilage has worn away, surgery is usually the next treatment step.
An Overview of Rheumatoid Arthritis
This form of arthritis is much different than osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is classified by inflammation of the joint’s lining, not by degeneration of the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system turns against itself and begins to “attack” joint lining. It not only impacts the joint, it can also affect other areas of the body such as the eyes and lungs, which is why some individuals suffering from this form of arthritis feel sick at times.
Rheumatoid arthritis is also much different than osteoarthritis because there is symmetry. For example, if one knee is impacted by rheumatoid arthritis, the other knee is often affected, compared to just one knee with osteoarthritis.
Common treatments for this type of arthritis includes prescribed medications designed to relieve joint pain and inflammation and exercise. Many pain doctors believe managing stress can help alleviate joint discomfort associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
An Overview of Gout
Gout is a unique health condition caused by the build-up of crystals of uric acid in a joint. Uric acid is found in all human tissue and foods. Gout most commonly causes joint pain and inflammation at night, and are referred to as gout attacks. Stress, an illness, alcohol or drugs can trigger the condition.
Gout usually impacts joints located in the lower body, such as knees, ankles, heels and the big toes, with more men than women reporting gout symptoms. The symptoms usually subside within 10 days, even without treatment, and the next attack may not occur for months or even years.
Gout treatment is not always necessary, many people are able to control their symptoms without treatment options. When treatment is necessary, high doses of corticosteroids are normally prescribed by a physician.
If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and are experiencing joint pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout or other form of arthritis, please contact the pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.