More than fifty million U.S. adults suffer from arthritis. Of these, the overwhelming majority have either osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Pain from arthritis can be extremely debilitating, but getting ahead of your disease can help reduce inflammation and manage your pain.
At Premier Spine and Sports Medicine in Hagerstown, Maryland, Dr. Christopher Clark can provide a confirmed diagnosis of arthritis and identify your type of arthritis. From there, an arthritis treatment plan can be created to help you live a full and active life.
OA vs. RA
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. The protective cartilage around your joints wears away, and the bones start to grate against one another causing inflammation and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the lining around your joints, causing pain, swelling, and even deformities.
Staying one step ahead of arthritis
There is no cure for either type of arthritis, but changes to your lifestyle can often provide relief. Here are some steps you can take to prevent pain from arthritis from taking over your life, including:
Weight affects your joints more than any other part of your body, especially your knees. If you have arthritis in your knees, losing just a few pounds can have a cumulative positive effect.
Eat anti-inflammatory foods
Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help you avoid an inflammatory response. Antioxidants are also helpful. Add salmon, blueberries, and kale or collard greens to your diet along with turmeric and honey to help reduce inflammation.
Movement is the best thing you can do to support your joints and prevent stiffness and pain. Walking as much as possible can help, as can non-impact or low-impact exercises, like gentle stationary bike cycling and swimming or water aerobics.
Treatment for arthritis
Treatments for arthritis can range from physical therapy to joint surgery. Dr. Clark prefers a minimally invasive approach when possible.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can help your body produce hyaluronic acid, which lubricates the joint. PRP for arthritis can help ease pain in the joints and reduce stiffness. Stem cell injections contain growth factors that research shows can boost the healing of tissues around the joints, and there is hope they may be able to prompt new growth of healthy tissues at a cellular level.
Dr. Clark offers these and other arthritis treatments. If you are suffering from joint pain, call our office at 301-800-7770 or book an appointment online.