What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints, causing pain and stiffness that can progress with age. There are many types of arthritis, each with different causes and treatments. Some of the most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

There are many symptoms associated with arthritis. These include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Redness around the joint
  • Fatigue

What Causes Arthritis?

Our joints contain cartilage, which protects the joints from pressure and stressed caused when we move. Wear and tear over time of cartilage causes OA. An injury or infection can also cause cartilage tissues to break down quicker, causing this condition. RA is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own joint tissues. RA can eventually destroy a joint, and can even cause the bone and cartilage inside the joint to become destroyed.

Treatment for Arthritis

While there is no cure for arthritis, there are treatments that can help to control symptoms and prevent future joint damage. Medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications, and capsaicin creams can all help with symptoms. In the case of RA, you may be put on corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) which work by suppressing the immune system.

In severe cases, surgery may be an option. Hip and knee surgery are the most common forms of joint surgery. Severe arthritis in the fingers or wrists may be treated with joint fusion surgery. An exam by a medical professional is required to determine if you are in need of surgery.

If you are located in the Skokie or Evanston areas and are living with arthritis symptoms, our physicians at Ultra Med Urgent Care can help. Stop in today for timely and effective care to help you feel better, fast!