Over 50 million Americans have arthritis, making it the No. 1 cause of disability in the U.S., according to the Arthritis Foundation and occurs when joints become inflamed or cause pain or stiffness. Memorial Hermann works with individuals who have been affected by arthritis, to help them maximize their functional potential for improved quality of life.
The word “arthritis,” which means joint inflammation, is a term used to describe rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints as well as surrounding and connective tissue. According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are more than 100 different forms or arthritis and related diseases, among the more common:
Depending on the type of arthritis you are diagnosed with, symptoms may be presented in different forms. Some of the most common symptoms of arthritis are:
While symptoms may come and go, people of all ages, sexes, and races can have arthritis. Arthritis symptoms may stay the same for several years, then begin to worsen over time.
There is no sure way to prevent arthritis, but there are ways to help reduce your risk and delay the potential onset pain and stiffness that comes along with arthritis.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk or altogether prevent arthritis is to maintain a healthy weight. Preventing obesity reduces pressure on the joints, which ultimately aids in reducing inflammation and pressure.
Additionally, the Arthritis Foundation has found that by not smoking, your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis is decreased.
If you have healthy joints right now, maintaining an exercise regimen and caring for injuries may help delay or prevent arthritis symptoms.
A physician will typically begin with a medical history and physical exam, and might also order diagnostic tests, such as a blood test, a test of fluid from the affected joint, an X-ray or an MRI.
Areas of the body that are commonly affected by arthritis are:
Memorial Hermann offers a variety of non-surgical and surgical treatment options for those suffering from arthritis. While arthritis cannot be cured, these treatments can help improve an individual’s range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints.
Arthritis treatment options may include:
Ready to find relief from arthritis pain? Contact us today for more information on available treatment options.