Many athletes and active individuals are all too familiar with arthritis as a disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and immobility. Actually, arthritis is a general term for a group of more than 100 diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system, notably the joints.
Arthritis pain can flare up for a number of reasons, including:
- Age-related “wear and tear”
- Physical trauma
- Poor diet
- An inflammatory disease
- An autoimmune disease
Arthritis alters the integrity of your cartilage, the shock-absorbing material that covers the ends of the bones in your joints. Healthy cartilage allows your joint bones to glide smoothly when you are in motion. However, arthritis causes the cartilage to wear out, resulting in painful and often disabling bone-on-bone friction.
Not only does arthritis affect bones and joints, it can also affect other body parts, such as ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
Common Types of Arthritis
Two of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes the cartilage that covers the end of bones to progressively wear away. At the same time, abnormal bone growths, such as spurs and osteophytes, can develop within the joint, all of which add to pain and swelling. They can also disrupt normal movement – especially in joints, such as the spine, hips, and knees, that bear much of your weight. Although associated with older people, osteoarthritis can also occur in younger patients as the result of an injury or overuse during sports activities.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the inflammation, swelling, and deterioration of the soft tissue lining the entire inner surface of the joint (the synovium). It is prevalent in the hand and foot joints, but can also develop in larger joints, including the hip, knee, and elbow, as well as affect the tissue surrounding the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis most frequently develops among women and those over the age of 30.
There are several ways the doctors at Reagan Integrated Sports Medicine can diagnose arthritis, including:
- A physical examination
- Blood tests
- An imaging test, such as an X-ray, a bone scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
If confirmed, most arthritis cases can be managed with non-surgical treatment techniques, such as:
- Prolozone injections
- High-Intensity Laser Therapy
- Chiropractic and physical therapy to reduce biomechanical stress and strengthen muscles surrounding the affected joint
- Over the counter supplements and medication
If these non-surgical options fail to provide relief or your arthritis worsens, it may be necessary to refer you to an orthopedic surgeon that we trust to discuss surgical options.
Arthritis Treatment in Dallas, Texas
At Reagan Integrated Sports Medicine in Dallas, Texas, our caring team of chiropractic and orthopedic specialists have years of training and clinical experience treating arthritis and will provide a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Why live with painful arthritis when you can improve your health and quality of life through effective treatment? Make an appointment by contacting us today at (972) 503-7272. You can also click on our Scheduling App and promptly arrange a visit.