Arthritis

Sean R. Thomas, MD, Inc. & Associates

General Family Medicine located in Aliso Viejo, CA

As we age, arthritis becomes a part of life. If you want to lessen its impact on your life, though, reach out to the professionals at Sean R. Thomas, MD, Inc. & Associates, located in Aliso Viejo, California. They offer a variety of solutions to manage your pain and help you live a fuller life. To find out more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

The term “arthritis” refers to any inflammation of the joints. Arthritis causes joint pain and stiffness that worsens as you age. Typical arthritis symptoms include:

  • Decreased range of motion
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain

Arthritis can affect anyone, at any age, but it’s most common in older women. In the United States, over 50 million adults and 300,000 children suffer from a form of arthritis. There are over 100 types of arthritis. The most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that wears and breaks down the cartilage at the end of your bones. The cartilage acts as a cushion between bones, and when it wears down too much, your bones start grinding against one another. Osteoarthritis is extremely painful and restricts your movement.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

When you have rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the synovial membrane. This is the lining of the tough membrane that encapsulates your joints, called the joint capsule. These attacks cause the synovial membrane to become swollen and inflamed. Eventually, rheumatoid arthritis can eviscerate the bone and cartilage inside the joints.

Am I at risk for arthritis?

You’re more likely to develop arthritis is you’re:

  • Older
  • A woman
  • Obese

You’re also at a higher risk for developing arthritis if you’ve had a previous joint injury or if arthritis runs in your family.

How can my doctor tell if I have arthritis?

To determine whether or not you’re suffering from a form of arthritis, the team at Sean R. Thomas, MD, Inc. & Associates checks your affected joints for swelling, warmth, and redness. If they think you may have arthritis, they follow this up with tests such as:

  • X-ray imaging
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound

They may also examine certain bodily fluids, like blood, urine, or joint fluid, to figure out what type of arthritis you might have.

How do you treat arthritis?

To treat arthritis, the team at Sean R. Thomas, MD, Inc. & Associates may take any number of approaches, including various medications or physical therapy. In extreme cases, they may refer you to a surgeon.

There are many paths to arthritis pain relief. To find out how the team at Sean R. Thomas, MD, Inc. & Associates can help you, call or book an appointment online today.