Understanding Arthritis and When to See an Orthopedic Specialist

by Gregory
Arthritis and When to See an Orthopedic Specialist

Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting people of all ages and gender. Surprisingly, experts are still researching why women are more susceptible to many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and fibromyalgia than men. Some still wonder why men are at risk of developing gout. Here are some interesting  Leawood arthritis facts you should know.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition causing pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints. Typically, joints are where two bones link, including elbows, fingers, knees, and shoulders. They secure the bones and are surrounded by a strong capsule with fluid that allows them to move freely.

The ends of the bones have a smooth but turgid layer of tissue called cartilage. The cartilage helps bones glide over each other as you move. The four (joint, capsule, cartilage, and bones) allow you to swing, bend, and make other movements freely.

When you have arthritis, basic functions like walking, lifting items, running, climbing the stairs, and even bending can be problematic. More than 100 types of arthritis affect older people, children, and teenagers. However, the most common ones include the following:

1.       Osteoarthritis

Patients with osteoarthritis have roughened cartilage, which occurs when the body tries to compensate for it. This might cause pain and stiffness around the joints.

2.       Gout

Gout is more common in men as early as their 20s, but it can also affect menopausal women. It causes painful swelling in joints. The big toe is the most affected, but it can also spread to other joints in the body. A person with gout may have red and hot skin around the joints. The skin might also look shiny and may sometimes peel. Being overweight, taking alcohol, and having a family history of the disease are risk factors.

3.       Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

RA is an autoimmune condition causing the body’s natural self-defense system to protect it from diseases and infections. Eventually, it attacks healthy tissues, such as the joints, causing inflammation. Symptoms include swollen, stiff, and tender joints. Sufferers might feel tired or nauseous as well.

When to see a doctor for arthritis

Unfortunately, this condition has no cure. But advanced treatments have enabled people to cope with the condition. Having aches and pains in your muscles and joints is typical for sufferers engaging in strenuous physical activities.

You should see a general physician if you notice swelling, stiffness, or pain around the joints and the symptoms don’t disappear in a few days. Starting early leads to better outcomes. Your general physician will refer you to an orthopedic specialist at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance if your symptoms are serious.

Before booking an appointment with your doctor, take note of the following:

  • When the symptoms started
  •  If the symptoms occur or worsen after an unusual exercise or activity
  • If you had an injury
  • If you are unable to perform basic functions hence compromising your quality of life

Seek help before the pain worsens

If your joints are swollen, painful, and stiff, it is best to seek orthopedic intervention immediately. The specialist can examine your bones and joints to determine if you have arthritis and devise a proper treatment plan to restore your quality of life. Book an appointment online with your orthopedic doctor to relieve you from joint-related pain.

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