Medical Monday Arthritis

Published: May. 31, 2022 at 1:26 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -May is Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is the inflammation or swelling of one or more joints. According to the CDC, about 1 in 4 adults or about 58.5 million people nationwide have been diagnosed with arthritis.

Nearly 26 million people are unable to do everyday activities because of arthritis, according to the CDC. Arthritis, the inflammation or swelling of one or more joints, comes in several different types, with different symptoms.

Brian Adrian, Primary Care Physician says, “Symptoms of arthritis generally come on gradually for instance, osteoarthritis tends to build up over time. It tends to be pain and stiffness, typically best in the morning, but worse throughout the day as we use it and that’s because it’s a wear and tear arthritis. That is a little different than the rheumatoid or auto immune arthritis where the pain and stiffness tends to be worse in the first few hours of the morning and tends to get better throughout the day. Auto immune arthritis tends to be heralded by more joint inflammation with or without redness.”

Dr. Adrian adds that rashes, muscle stiffness or involvement of other organs like the lungs or kidneys. He says if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek a professional opinion.

Dr. Adrian says, “If somebody believes they have arthritis, the first conversation begins with their provider. Through a good history, a physical exam and usually some x-rays or other imaging, many types of arthritis can be identified and then once identified, be treated accordingly.”

There are several options for treatment, depending on the type and severity of arthritis. Options include pain killers, medication, and surgery.

Dr. Adrian adds, “To simply remove the effected joint, when the joint is gone, the arthritis in that specific joint leaves and the hardware takes over. However, that does not mean there is not arthritis in other joints. So, for instance, if somebody has a hip replacement, that doesn’t mean that suddenly the arthritis in the ankle or knee is going to go away.”

And again, if you suspect you have arthritis, or have questions or concerns about your current treatment, you are encouraged to reach out to your regular health care provider.

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