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Arthritis is a painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Although arthritis is common, it is not well understood as there are over 100 different types, the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as juvenile arthritis in children. Arthritis can affect people of all ages and is the leading cause of disability in America. According to the American Arthritis Foundation, 1 in 5 adults and over 300,000 children are currently affected by arthritis.
The symptoms of arthritis depend upon the type of arthritis a person has.
Osteoarthritis symptoms may include:
Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms may include:
Juvenile Arthritis symptoms may include:
Note: Although the various types of JA can have common symptoms, each has its own set of symptoms and special concerns, not all related to joint pain.
The most important step in treating any type of arthritis is getting an accurate diagnosis, which begins with the collection of a patient’s medical history and family history. Doctors will also check a patient’s joints for swelling, discoloration and warmth, as well as range of motion. Lab tests may be helpful in pinpointing the type of arthritis a person has. Diagnostic imaging such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds may also be ordered as they can show more detailed images of bone and/or soft tissue such as the cartilage, tendons and ligaments that surround the joints.
There is no cure for arthritis, unfortunately, but with treatment patients may be able to relieve the symptoms and improve joint function. Because every person is different, the treatment plans will be customized for each individual based on the type of arthritis they have. Most treatment plans include a combination of medication, physical activity, possible injections, and topical ointments or in extreme cases, surgery.
Many patients have begun turning to alternative medicine as a treatment option due to the promising results that others have experienced. This is where SCU Health System can help. Our experts in the field of Eastern Medicine and acupuncture, Ayurveda, chiropractic care and massage have helped numerous patients gain relief from various types of arthritis pain. Arthritis treatments at SCU include: