What causes my Joint Pain? Arthritis Types and Treatments

Nov 29, 2022

misc image

Nearly 80% of adults over the age of 60 experience joint pain at some point in life. Although arthritis cannot be cured, there are a variety of different treatments that will increase mobility and relieve joint pain.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is inflammation in the joints that worsens over time causing pain and stiffness in joints.

There are different types of arthritis that occur in different parts of the body, and are caused by different external factors. Activity levels, infections, and pre-existing conditions put certain individuals at a higher risk of arthritis. 


Types of arthritis

There are many different types of arthritis that cause joint pain and inflammation. Many forms of arthritis are experienced from excessive joint use over time, while some stem from underlying immune disorders, or certain infections.  


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and occurs from wear and tear of the cartilage in your joints. Over time, the cartilage in your joints degenerate and the bone begins to change. This causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the impacted area. It is common to see osteoarthritis in the hips, knees, and hands.


Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your body's immune system attacks its own joints causing pain and swelling. It is a chronic immune disorder that often impacts multiple parts of the body, especially the hands and feet. 


Juvenile arthritis occurs in children under the age of 16, and is caused by various autoimmune disorders. 


Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease in the spine that can cause vertebrae to fuse together causing individuals to hunch over and experience pain. It makes the body less flexible and causes poor posture. 


Systemic lupus erythematosus is an immune disorder where the immune system attacks its own organs and tissues. It can affect joints, and organs such as the heart, brain and lungs. 


Gout occurs when uric acid crystallizes in your joints. It causes severe pain, redness, and inflammation in the joints. Gout stems from having too much uric acid in the body. 


Reactive arthritis is caused by an infection in the body and usually resumes on its own. Symptoms include pain and inflammation of joints, and is common in knees, ankles, and feet. Reactive arthritis is usually short term, but if it persists can be treated by a medical professional. 


Psoriatic arthritis occurs in individuals who have skin psoriasis. The arthritis typically flares up and subsides at different times and may tend to occur in the morning. Psoriatic arthritis can occur in the hands, feet, back, and knees. 



Arthritis treatments

Arthritis cannot be cured, but there are a number of treatments that can be used to improve quality of life. 

Steroid injections reduce inflammation and swelling, which alleviates joint pain. They may be injected into the joint, tendons, and bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion and reduces friction between structures in your joints. Your doctor at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics uses ultrasound to guide needle placement during a steroid injection.


Surgeries including joint replacements, joint fusions, and joint repairs can all be used to relieve arthritis. Joint replacements remove the damaged joint and replace it with an artificial one. Garden State Pain and Orthopedics offers minimally invasive knee, hip, shoulder, and ankle replacements with industry leading technology.


Physical Therapy can decrease pain by increasing the range of motion of joints, and strengthening the muscles supporting the joints affected. Therapy works best when paired with additional treatments. Physical therapy is often suggested before surgery to try and treat pain as minimally invasive as possible. If surgery is pursued, physical therapy is always needed post operation to rehabilitate your joint resore flexibility. 


Diet Modifications. Certain types of arthritis like gout, specific diet modifications can help reduce pain and swelling. Those who have gout should avoid red-meats, sugary foods, and alcohol. Exercise can also help in preventing gout. 


Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. For those diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis, DMARDs can be used to slow/prevent the degeneration of joints. These drugs can assist in preventing permanent joint damage. 


Garden State Pain and Orthopedics focuses on providing personalized healthcare plans for all patients. If you are experiencing arthritis related pain, book an appointment today to get the relief you deserve. Same-day and next-day appointments are available.