Understanding Arthritis

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with arthritis, you probably have a million questions spiraling through your brain, like “What are my treatment options?” and “How will it affect my life?” 

Arthritis can be a daunting diagnosis, but getting educated and finding a doctor who can get you the treatment you need is key.

At Mehling Orthopedics, our staff is dedicated to helping you navigate arthritis and any other orthopedic issues you encounter. Dr. Brian Mehling and Dr. Pavel Yufit are orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis.

What causes arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that can affect just about any joint in your body. It causes inflammation, which contributes to the pain you’re experiencing. Arthritis can creep up on you over time, or come on suddenly, depending on which type is affecting you. If you’re dealing with this disorder, you’re probably thinking, “Why me?” 

The truth is, you may just be genetically predisposed to arthritic conditions. It’s also a part of getting older. 

However, there are several other factors that are linked to arthritis, including:

Some of these causes are able to be controlled, while others aren’t preventable. No matter what the cause, you should know what to look out for if you think you might have arthritis. 

Common symptoms that you might experience in arthritic joints include:

You may experience one or all of the above symptoms, depending on how severe your arthritis is and what type you have.

Types of arthritis

Although arthritis encompasses inflammation of the joints, there’s more than one kind that can damage your joints and impact your life. Figuring out which type you have is difficult, which is where our doctors come in. 

They can help determine which one of these common types is affecting you:

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of this disease. It’s caused by your joints wearing down over time. You have pain because the protective cushioning over your joints, called cartilage, has worn away, causing the bones to rub together. 

Another very common form of arthritis that can cause problems is inflammatory arthritis. This term encompasses several different forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. With this disease, your immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of your joints, causing widespread inflammation and pain.

At Mehling Orthopedics, our staff is dedicated to helping you navigate down the winding road of arthritis. Our team can get you the treatment you need to improve your quality of life.

Treatments that can help

Many of our patients have osteoarthritis, and treatment depends how severely it’s affecting your everyday activities. There are traditional treatments to help you deal with the pain, and there are also lifestyle modifications that can help you slow the progression of the disease. 

Over-the-counter pain medications or anti-inflammatories may be recommended to help you fight the swelling and pain in your joints. Our doctors may also recommend hot and cold therapy and steroid injections into the affected joint to rapidly reduce the inflammatory response. These treatments typically work on mild-to-moderate arthritis.

If you have advanced arthritis, where your symptoms make the littlest tasks nearly impossible to achieve, our doctors may recommend surgical treatment. This may involve a joint replacement or joint fusion. These procedures are reserved for severe cases of arthritis, where your symptoms were not relieved by conservative treatments.

Although lifestyle modifications won’t cure the disease, they may help control your symptoms. You can:

Arthritis is a complicated disease, but one you can manage with the proper care from our amazing team.

You don’t have to deal with arthritis alone. If you need treatment options, call one of our offices in West Islip, New York, or Hackensack, New Jersey, to schedule an appointment.

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