What is Arthritis? [Video]

What is Arthritis? Arthritis is a common term to describe any joint-related condition. Arthritis is not a disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying medical condition affecting the joint. Arthritis could be classified into two categories: inflammatory arthritis and non-inflammatory arthritis. This classification helps us find the primary cause of arthritis and choose the appropriate treatment.

What is inflammatory arthritis?

There are multiple conditions that could cause Inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis psoriatic arthritis, lupus-related arthritis, gout, spondyloarthritis, and a few others. In this category of arthritis, we typically find clues of inflammation in the joint and the surrounding tissues.

The symptoms of inflammatory arthritis include:

  • prolonged joint stiffness, particularly in the mornings
  • significant joint swelling

If you have any of these symptoms, you should immediately let your primary care doctor know for a referral to a rheumatologist. Time is of the essence in this form of arthritis. If you delay your care, the inflammation could lead to joint damage which is irreversible. Early treatment could prevent such damage.

What causes non-inflammatory arthritis?

Non-inflammatory arthritis is a much more common form of arthritis. The most common form is called osteoarthritis, also referred to as regular arthritis. It could be age-related arthritis – typically occurring after the age of 45 to 50 years. In osteoarthritis, we do not discover any significant findings of inflammation in the joint or laboratory tests. It typically causes joint pain, but without any significant joint swelling.

Typical symptoms of non-inflammatory osteoarthritis are:

  • worsening joint pain with activity
  • the pain improves with rest

What should you do if you suspect arthritis?

If you have joint pain without any clear injuries, it’s best to get it checked by your primary care doctor who could help you find the cause of the joint pain. If your primary care physician suspects your joint pain is due to a form of inflammatory arthritis, then you should be seen by a rheumatologist as soon as possible.

Empowered Arthritis and Rheumatology Center PLLC, is the center of excellence for the treatment of various forms of arthritis. We are here to help you find the cause of your arthritis. Based on your diagnosis we will find a personalized treatment plan. We will help you learn about your disease so that you can make an informed decision on the treatment plan.

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