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Arthritis Awareness Month: Providing Education and Hope

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More than 50 million Americans live with the pain and discomfort of arthritis, making it the number one cause of disability in the United States. People living with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis alone miss a combined total of 172 million workdays every year. Not just a disease that impacts older adults, 300,000 children are affected by this often debilitating condition. Every May, we recognize National Arthritis Awareness Month in the hope of continually drawing attention and awareness to this chronic condition, and one day finding a cure to joint pain and arthritic suffering. If you are living with Arthritis, we’re here to offer care, support, and hope in the form of education and treatment options that can ease your daily discomfort.

The Search for a Cure

The Arthritis Foundation is committed to increasing education, state and federal advocacy efforts, and funding sources to help support clinical research. Its supporters aim to one day find a cure to this condition that impacts one in every five adults. Click here to get involved and help support the Arthritis Foundation’s efforts to find a cure.

Diagnosing Arthritis

If you are currently living with chronic pain, and believe what you are experiencing could be a form of arthritis, make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists. A doctor may use a variety of tests to determine if you have arthritis. Diagnostic procedures may include a physical exam of your joints, a mobility assessment, laboratory tests that analyze blood, urine, and joint fluid, or imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds.

Treatment and Hope

Until doctors and scientists find a cure or prevention for arthritis, know that hope exists in the form of successful treatment options. If diagnosed with arthritis, your doctor may prescribe a combination of the following treatment methods:

  • Prescription medications – Common options include:
    • Analgesics to reduce pain.
    • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
    • (DMARD) which slow or stop the immune system from attacking joints and are most commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Biologic response modifiers that target protein molecules involved in the immune response and often used in conjunction with DMARDs.
    • Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system.
    • Topical counterirritant creams and ointments that can interrupt the transmission of pain signals between your brain and joints.
  • Physical Therapy – Hand therapy may help relieve pain for those with aggressive pain in finger joints and wrists. Broader physical therapy efforts can help alleviate joint pain throughout the body.
  • Joint Repair – In cases where less invasive treatments are unsuccessful, surgical joint repair can smooth surfaces or realign joints to improve mobility and reduce pain.
  • Joint Replacement – If your natural joints cannot be repaired, a specialist may recommend a joint replacement surgery.

No matter the treatment plan recommended by your doctor, you can manage your symptoms and help alleviate chronic pain by staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and using heat or cold packs during painful flare-ups. If you’re ready to get help for your joint pain, contact us today to make an appointment with one of our clinical care specialists.

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