Arthritis Joint Pain

There are two basic types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. The common denominator between the two is inflammation of the affected joints that can make daily tasks or activities difficult or painful.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. The body recognizes its own tissue as a foreign invader and essentially attacks itself. Rheumatoid arthritis can appear at any age, but most commonly affects women in their middle age. There are a few characteristics that distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis, which are as follows:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, not a condition.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis affects the body symmetrically. If the joints on one hand are affected, the other hand is too.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis can affect other parts of the body as well as joints, such as eyes, heart, and lungs.

A joint is surrounded by a capsule that protects and supports it. The joint capsule is lined with a type of tissue called synovium, which produces synovial fluid that lubricates and nourishes joint tissues. In rheumatoid arthritis, the synovium becomes inflamed, causing warmth, redness, swelling, and pain. As the disease progresses, the inflamed synovium invades and damages the cartilage and bone of the joint. Surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons become weakened. Rheumatoid arthritis also can cause more generalized bone loss that may lead to osteoporosis (fragile bones that are prone to fracture). – Courtesy of NIAMS.

As RA progresses, the bones and cartilage in the affected joints can become disfigured over time. People who have RA can experience feelings of hopelessness & depression. While there is no cure, early diagnosis and treatment can help keep the disease in remission.

Osteoarthritis Pain (OA)

Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage within the joints, which results in pain and swelling in the affected joints and, in some cases, in the adjoining ligaments, tendons and muscles. When the cartilage breakdown occurs over time from wear-and-tear on the joints, it is referred to as “primary osteoarthritis,” but it is important to recognize that primary osteoarthritis is NOT an essential part of the normal aging process. When a joint becomes arthritic sometime after an acute injury, it is referred to as “Secondary OA.” A complication in correctly diagnosing and treating arthritis is that there are so many other medical conditions that share the same symptoms, including biotoxicity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or an acute joint or muscle injury.

If properly diagnosed and treated, arthritis doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying an active lifestyle. If you already have tried different medications and treatments with unsuccessful results, don’t give up yet.

The Kaplan Center offers customized, integrated treatment programs, designed to relieve you of your arthritis pain and forestall its degenerative process on your joints. At the Kaplan Center, our physicians have years of experience treating patients with chronic pain conditions, and we completely reject the notion that “you just have to live with it.”

At your first visit, your Kaplan physician will take time exploring the onset of your condition, the specific nature of your symptoms and the overall status of your health. You’ll also be asked about the medications and therapies you’ve tried in the past, and what has and hasn’t worked you. To gather additional information about your condition, specialized diagnostic laboratory testing may be necessary. After reviewing all of the factors contributing to your condition, your physician will spend time talking with you about your diagnosis and working with you to create a customized and multi-dimensional treatment plan that addresses not only your immediate pain but for also any possible underlying or co-existing conditions that may be causing or aggravating your symptoms. Some of the therapies we offer to address arthritis include:

“I began once-a-month PRP treatments in September, and by the time of my vacation in December, I noticed a dramatic improvement in my pain and mobility!” – B.K., Patient

We are here for you, and we want to help.

Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment please call: 703-532-4892