Pain, swelling, and decreased mobility related to arthritis can affect any joint in your body. The specialists at North Point Orthopaedics in Munster and Crown Point, Indiana, can identify whether your achy back, stiff neck, or swollen knees are caused by arthritis or some other disorder. Then they design a treatment strategy tailored to relieve your symptoms and get you moving pain-free again. Schedule a visit today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a general term used to describe more than 100 different conditions. Each type of arthritis can cause varying degrees of joint inflammation, subsequent joint damage, and chronic pain that may affect your overall mobility. The most common types of arthritis include:

  • Osteoarthritis, related to wear and tear associated with aging or overuse
  • Inflammatory arthritis, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infectious (septic) arthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis

Arthritis can develop in any joint but is most common in the spine, hips, knees, hands, and ankles.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

Depending on the type and location, arthritis can cause subtly different or sometimes radically different symptoms. For instance, all arthritis types cause joint pain. However, osteoarthritis tends to start slowly with an achy or stiff feeling in the affected joints that’s usually worse in the morning and fades as you get up and start moving around. Caused by degenerative changes in the cartilage that protects bones in your joints, symptoms of osteoarthritis usually begin after 40 and worsen as you age. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can affect children and adults and occurs when your immune system mistakes joint fluid and tissue for toxic invaders. Symptoms may start with significant throbbing pain, warmth, and visible redness around the affected joint. Osteoarthritis in the tiny facet joints of the spine can change spinal alignment. These alterations may crowd or irritate nearby spinal nerves, leading to nerve impingement symptoms such as burning pain, numbness, and tingling in your arms or legs. Reviewing the type of symptoms you’re experiencing, when they occur, and what makes them worse or better is often the first step in diagnosing arthritis.

How do you treat arthritis?

The team at North Point Orthopaedics designs individualized treatment plans based on your symptoms, arthritis type, and the joint(s) affected. Rheumatoid arthritis typically requires treatment that relieves joint pain and inflammation and medications that control your immune system’s overreaction to harmless joint tissue. Osteoarthritis may respond well to steroid injections that relieve inflammation and prevent further joint damage or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to enhance your body’s natural tissue repair system. You may also benefit from joint-friendly exercise that stretches and strengthens the muscles protecting your joints, and other corrective therapies such as posture training. For severe joint damage that doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, your North Point Orthopaedics provider may recommend joint replacement surgery. Schedule an evaluation at North Point Orthopaedics today for help with arthritis. Call the office or request a visit online.