Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options
The pain and stiffness associated with arthritis is something that millions of people in the United States live with every day. A debilitating condition that typically worsens with age, arthritis is incredibly common and can impact a number of areas of the body, including the hands, fingers, and wrists.
What Causes Arthritis?
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, so causes for the condition vary widely. Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is typically caused by the wear and tear on your joints over time. Ongoing use wears down the cartilage within the joints, leaving minimal material to cushion the joint. This type of arthritis often occurs with age, but can also be caused by overuse of a joint or obesity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body's immune system to attack certain areas of the body, especially the joints. The joint damage that occurs as a result of RA can be severe if left untreated. The exact causes of rheumatoid arthritis are largely unknown, however it is suspected that genetics may play a role.
What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis?
Because there are various types of arthritis, the symptoms of arthritis vary. However, some of the most common symptoms of arthritis include:
- trouble gripping things, moving freely, squatting or climbing stairs
- long-lasting morning stiffness
- stiffness after being stationary
Joints that are impacted by arthritis may be:
- hard to move and manipulate
- unable to move through the full range of motion
What Are Treatment Options for Arthritis?
It is important to keep in mind that while arthritis can be treated, it cannot be cured. There are a variety of treatment options available to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis, including medications, physical therapy, and surgery. Meeting with a specialist is the best way to find out which treatment option is right for you.
For individuals suffering with arthritis in their hands, wrists, and fingers, reconstructive surgery is often a viable option to improve your range of motion and ease your discomfort. Meeting with a hand and wrist specialist is the best way to know if reconstructive surgery might be an arthritis treatment option you should pursue.
What Should You Do If You Have Arthritis?
If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of arthritis, it is recommended that you make an appointment for a consultation with your primary care doctor. If your arthritis is impacting your fingers, hands or wrists, consider scheduling a consultation with an arm, wrist and hand specialist. Your doctor will perform an examination to understand your unique case, then help you to understand the arthritis treatment options available to you.
Looking for a hand, arm and wrist specialist with experience treating arthritis in the Glens Falls region? Contact Garcia Plastic and Hand Surgery today! A specialist in hand and wrist treatment and surgery, Dr. Garcia has years of experience helping patients in Glens Falls, Saratoga, Lake George, Warrensburg and beyond with arm, wrist and elbow injuries and ailments including arthritis. Together with his team, Dr. Garcia will provide you with a thorough assessment of your condition and help you determine the best course of action for treating your specific case of arthritis.
Learn more about your options for managing and treating arthritis! Contact Glens Falls hand specialist Dr. Garcia at 518-793-0475 to get started today!
Additional Arthritis Resources:
Interested in learning more about signs, symptoms & treatment options for different types of arthritis? Here are couple of helpful resources to get you started.
Basal Joint Arthritis - arthritis of the thumb, one of the most common forms of osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammation, often impacting joints throughout the body.