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Osteoarthritisin Phoenix, AZ

Maintaining a healthy diet

Like other rheumatological disorders, osteoarthritis cannot be prevented. You can slow its progression and reduce the severity of OA by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight, and protecting your joints. Arthritis is a genetic condition, so having other family members affected by one or more forms of arthritis increases the probability you will develop arthritis.

Those living with osteoarthritis experience 30% more falls and have an increased risk of fractures or other serious injuries than those who do not. Some treatment options may increase fatigue or dizziness, which can contribute to falls. Pain from OA can be debilitating and impair your ability to exercise, so those living with OA are at an increased risk for developing high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Maintaining a healthy diet can help decrease this risk.

Treatment Options

There is no cure for any form of arthritis, but many protective factors and treatment options are available.

Learning to manage osteoarthritis is critical, and many doctors recommend pain management therapy to teach those with arthritis coping strategies for living with intense, chronic pain that limits their ability to perform routine tasks. Other treatment options include:

  • Joint stabilization exercises and functional mobility training
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Osteotomy or realignment of bones in your knees
  • Massage therapy
  • Prescription medication: biological medication to slow the progression of OA, prescription pain medication, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers or creams, such as Biofreeze, IcyHot, or Voltaren
  • Using mobility devices, such as braces, canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, to provide stability and assistance with daily tasks

Additional Reading

  • Surgery: Joint surgery can improve function or replace damaged joints but is typically a last resort treatment option. Many surgeons will not perform a hip or knee replacement until patients are of a certain age because artificial joints are typically considered short-term solutions.
  • Increasing physical activity: While osteoarthritis can make exercise nearly impossible, exercise can help reduce pain and decrease joint stiffness. Low impact exercise programs such as walking, swimming, biking, and yoga can help decrease your symptoms. Strong muscles surrounding your joints ensure the joint remains in its proper place and can help reduce overall joint pain.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS

Before visiting a medical professional, document the severity, duration, and frequency of any symptoms you experience.

You will first see a primary care physician, who will ask about your medical history and familial history of any rheumatological disorders before conducting a physical examination and ordering bloodwork. Although osteoarthritis cannot be diagnosed by a blood test, your doctor will still order laboratory testing to eliminate other types of arthritis and other rheumatological disorders.

Your primary care physician will refer you to a rheumatologist if your blood work confirms you have a form of arthritis. Rheumatologists specialize in diagnosing and treating rheumatological conditions, such as OA, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and fibromyalgia. They may order an x-ray or MRI to further inspect joint, bone, and cartilage damage. They may also perform a joint aspiration to rule out other medical conditions or other forms of arthritis.

Causes

OA occurs when the cartilage located in your joints deteriorates until your bones grind against each other. Risk factors for OA include:

  • Age – Older people are more likely than younger people to develop OA.
  • Gender – Women are more likely to develop OA than men.
  • Joint injuries or repeated stress on a joint
  • Obesity
  • Bone deformities
  • Certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes or hemochromatosis

The Pain Experts of Arizona was founded to bring the highest level of care in a state-of-the-art setting that emphasizes the belief of treating our patients with the same respect, compassion, and dedication we would treat our own friends and family.

Contact our office to schedule an appointment and let us help you get back on your way to an active life without the limitations of chronic pain. From our Phoenix office, The Pain Experts of Arizona, serves pain management patients in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, and the entire Phoenix area.