What is arthritis?

Arthritis is an umbrella term used to describe a group of chronic disorders that cause pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints throughout your body. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but a few of the most common include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout.

Although there’s no cure for arthritis, there are a wide range of treatments that can ease discomfort, encourage mobility, and improve your overall quality of life.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

The symptoms of arthritis depend on the type and severity. However, telltale signs of arthritis include:
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion

If you have arthritis, you might also find it difficult to perform routine tasks, such as climbing a flight of stairs, mowing the lawn, or taking the dog for a walk.

Who is at risk of developing arthritis?

Arthritis affects people of all ages and races, but there are certain factors that may increase your risk, including:
  • Being middle-aged or older
  • Suffering a previous joint injury
  • Being overweight
  • Having a family history of arthritis

Your gender also plays a role. For example, women are more likely to experience rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more likely to experience gout.

What’s the process for diagnosing arthritis?

To diagnose arthritis your Essential Medical Clinic provider conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you questions about your symptoms. Your provider also observes your joints for signs of swelling, redness, and warmth. They might also ask you to perform a series of easy exercises to see how well you can move your joints. 

To rule out other underlying health problems, your doctor might also order X-rays, an MRI, or a joint fluid test. These measures can provide additional insights and information. 

What’s the process for treating arthritis?

At Essential Medical Clinic, the team treats arthritis using integrative, holistic means. Depending on your symptoms, they might recommend healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a gluten-free diet and/or low-carb meals, exercising regularly, managing your stress, and getting plenty of sleep. They might also recommend allergic testing to identify your unique inflammatory triggers and medical-grade nutritional supplements to decrease inflammation. 

If you’re overweight, you might also benefit from medically supervised weight loss. Clinical research shows that losing 5-10 pounds can reduce inflammation throughout your body and ease weight-bearing pressure on your knees.

To request your arthritis appointment at Essential Medical Clinic today, call the office nearest you or click the online scheduling tool.