Ask a Rheumatologist: What Is Arthritis?

Rheumatologist Orlando, FL

A rheumatologist might diagnose you with arthritis if you have pain in your joints. The symptoms could include stiffness or discomfort in one or more joints. As you get older, the issue may become worse. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are some of the more common types. Keep reading to find out more about the condition.

What arthritis does

Arthritis can cause the cartilage between the joints to begin to break down. It could cause the immune system to attack the joints’ lining. The type of arthritis might determine the right treatment. But the goal behind the treatment is to reduce the patient’s symptoms, improving the quality of life.

Signs of the condition

One of the more common symptoms and signs includes joint issues. The cause might determine the type of symptoms the patient has. It could be caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Depending on what kind the patient has, the symptoms could include:

  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Not as much range of motion

About osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

That is one of the more common arthritis types, and it involves damage to the joint cartilage. That is the coating near the bone’s ends. It helps to cushion the ends, allowing for smooth motion. However, if there is too much damage, it could cause the bone to grind on another bone. That results in restricted movement and pain. It might occur because of an injury or over several years.

With rheumatoid arthritis, the rheumatologist might find the immune system attacks the joint’s lining. The membrane encloses the whole joint. If it becomes swollen or inflamed, the patient might have pain. The issue can destroy the patient’s bone and cartilage tissue.

Who is at risk for arthritis?

A rheumatologist might diagnose a patient with the condition based on a few risk factors, as well. Those could include family history since some kinds might be more common in specific families. If other family members already have the condition, the patient might be more likely to develop the issue. Specific genes might make a patient more sensitive to some environmental factors.

Sometimes, age plays a role, as well. As the body gets older, the joints have had more wear and tear, increasing arthritis risk. Women might have a higher risk for the condition, as well. But men could have gout, which is another kind of arthritis. Of course, having a joint injury in the past can increase the risk of getting arthritis. For instance, athletes might be prone to the issue.

Get treatment from a rheumatologist today

Suppose you do not treat the condition, particularly on the arms or hands. In that case, you might find it harder to do your daily activities. And if the joints that bear weight, such as the knees, are affected, you might not be able to walk well. It might also be harder to sit correctly. Many times, your joints can become deformed or twisted. Getting treatment for your condition can help you have a better quality of life.

Request an appointment here: https://rheumatologyorlando.com or call Anika Alar MD at (407) 209-3711 for an appointment in our Orlando office.

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