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Living with Arthritis

Millions of Americans live with arthritis every day. This common, painful condition causes swelling and stiffness in your joints and tends to worsen as you get older. Fortunately, it’s not something you just have to accept as part of your daily life.

Our team of therapy experts at Wellington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can help you develop a plan to reduce and manage your arthritis symptoms. Choose from any of our convenient locations in and around Cincinnati to get started today. 

Read on to learn about the causes of arthritis as well as treatment options that can work for you.

Causes of arthritis

Arthritis is defined as  inflammation in your joints that can cause stiffness, pain, redness, swelling, and a limited range of motion. It is caused by cartilage wearing away around the joints, such as around the knees or shoulders. 

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This is caused by wear-and-tear over many years or an infection or injury. In some cases, enough of the cartilage can wear away that it causes the bone to rub against bone, which can be extremely painful.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the thick lining around the joint, called the synovial lining, to become swollen and inflamed. The process can eventually destroy the joint and the bone. 

Risk factors for arthritis 

Although arthritis is common, some factors put you at greater risk of developing the condition. Those risk factors include the following:

Obesity is the only one of these risk factors that can be modified. You shouldn’t avoid exercise out of fear of injury, as exercise keeps your joints mobile. To work towards achieving or maintaining a healthy weight, try exercising and eating a nutritious diet.

How arthritis is treated

Arthritis is painful but manageable. Doctors start with the simplest interventions first to relieve pain and improve joint mobility.

Pain relieving medications are often among the first line of treatment. Among the pain relieving medications are the following:

Those with rheumatoid arthritis may benefit from disease-modifying drugs, such as methoxtrexate or hydroxychloroquine. Biologic response modifiers, including etanercept or infliximab, may also help to prevent the body from attacking itself in rheumatoid arthritis.

Physical therapy is also often a treatment used for some types of arthritis. Therapy can help to improve your range of motion and overall mobility.

If the above treatments don’t help, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgical treatments for arthritis include joint repair, which smoothes rough spots in your bone; joint replacement, which replaces your joint with an artificial one; or joint fusion, which removes the ends of smaller joints (such as in the wrist or fingers) and joins them together.  

You don’t have to live with the pain and swelling from your arthritis anymore. If you’re in the Cincinnati, Oxford, or Sardinia, Ohio, area, call Wellington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today or request an appointment online to get started on your road to healing.

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