Tom Macek, MD
Board Certified Pain Management & Board Certified Anesthesiology located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asserts that as many as 54.4 million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. If you’re among them, you understand how painful the condition can be. Book a diagnostic exam online or by phone with pain management specialist Dr. Tom Macek in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to discuss your specific joint health needs and goals.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is the term used to describe joint inflammation. There are actually 100 different types of arthritis and associated diseases. The most common types of arthritis include:
This type of arthritis occurs when the cartilage within your joint degenerates, making it difficult to move the joint without pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. That can break down joint tissues, leading to swollen, painful joints.
This type of arthritis also stems from an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system attacks the synovium or the lining of your joints.
Gout occurs when excess uric acid crystals build up, causing localized inflammation in your joints. Gout usually occurs in the joint in your big toe, but it can occur in other joints as well.
Determining which type of arthritis you’re troubled by is the first step in creating your customized treatment plan.
Am I at risk of developing arthritis?
Anyone can develop arthritis, but there are certain factors that increase your risk. These include:
- Age, with risk increasing as you grow older
- Family history of arthritis
- Gender, with women having a greater risk than men
- Previous joint injury
- Repeated joint trauma
- Congenital abnormalities
Being overweight or obese is also a significant risk factor for arthritis. Carrying excess weight places a great deal of strain on your body and has wide-ranging health ramifications.
What treatments are available for arthritis?
Arthritis treatment usually involves a combination of efforts. Your treatment might also shift over time as your arthritis progresses.
Medication could play a role in your treatment plan. Some medications work to reduce pain, while others provide both pain relief and reduce inflammation. Topical counterirritants can help by blocking the pain signals that flow between your joints and brain.
If your arthritis is caused by an immune disorder, prescription medication can help prevent joint damage by altering your immune response. Corticosteroids, biologic response modifiers, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are all used to treat autoimmune issues that lead to arthritis.
Physical therapy can help by strengthening the muscles around affected joints and increasing range of motion. In some cases, surgical joint repair is the best way to ease arthritis pain and improve joint function.
To learn more about Dr. Macek’s approach to treating and managing arthritis, schedule a consultation today either online or by phone.