Category Archives: Arthritis

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4 Causes of Elbow Pain and Available Treatment Options

Proper arm functioning is essential to everyday life; and arm functioning hinges–quite literally–on the elbow joint. Like most joints in the body, the elbow is made up of bone, muscle, ligaments, and tendons. Damage to any of these can result in a several painful conditions. Read on to learn about four common conditions that result in elbow pain and what treatments are available.

 

  1. Elbow Fracture. A breaking, partial o11841049_lr full, of any of the bones in the elbow is known as an elbow fracture. This is usually caused by direct trauma to the bone due to a fall, sports injury, or another accident. Depending on the severity of the fracture, treatment can range from temporary casting of the joint to open joint surgery.
  2. Elbow Sprain. Sprains involve stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments in the elbow. Elbow sprains usually result from impact to various parts of the arm, especially in an upward motion, while the arm is extended, such as breaking one’s fall with the hands while arms are outstretched. Treatment for elbow sprains involves the application of cold packs to the affected area, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and resting the arm for a period of time.
  3. Tendinitis of the elbow, sometimes known as Tennis Elbow, involves inflammation of the tendons that connect the elbow with the muscles of the forearm. This condition usually results from ongoing stress on the elbow, resulting from a variety of physical activities, such as playing tennis and tasks that involve repetitive twisting motions. Applying ice to the area and resting the arm, supplemented by anti-inflammatory medications, is the first line of defense in treating tendinitis of the elbow. In more severe cases, bracing and cortisone injections may be recommended.
  4. Several varieties of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, can result in pain and inflammation in the elbow and can limit range of motion in the joint. Most forms of arthritis are treated through medications and, in severe cases, surgery. The condition can also be managed, however, through exercise, physical therapy, and other alternative interventions.

 

If you are experiencing elbow pain, request an appointment with a specialist at Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute today to identify the source of your discomfort and learn what treatment options are available.

 


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Tips for Keeping Your Knees Healthy in the Winter

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For sufferers of arthritis and joint pain, winter’s arrival is felt in the knees. As temperatures drop, joints will naturally become stiffer — especially for those already struggling with a joint condition. What’s the reason for this? There are two main causes for increased pain in joints during cold weather.

  • Blood Flow: As the temperatures drop, our bodies send less blood to the peripheral regions of our bodies (knees, elbows, etc.) as a way of increasing the blood flow to our core (heart and lung) regions. The result? Inflexible joints.
  • Lack of Vitamin D: We spend fewer hours outside in direct sunlight during the winter. Therefore, we are exposed to less of the Vitamin D that strengthens our bones.

 

For sufferers of joint pain, there are a few things you can do to help keep your joints healthy, flexible, and pain-free throughout this season. As always, request an appointment with your joint specialist at the first sign of persistent pain — before the need for surgical intervention arises.50204878_l

 

Tips for Protecting Your Knees In Cold Weather:

  1. Watch Your Diet: Your diet is your first defense in the fight for joint and bone health. Be sure your diet includes lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables, fibers, and dairy products.
  2. Stock Up On Vitamins: As we mentioned earlier, you are naturally going to get less of some of the essential vitamins for bone and joint health. Make sure you’re incorporating foods with vitamins D, K, and C into your daily meals.
  3. Limit Unhealthy Beverages: Alcohol, tea, and coffee reduce the amount of calcium your body can absorb and can work to weaken your bones. Try to significantly limit your intake of these beverages this winter.
  4. Get Moving: Unless your doctor has expressed concerns over you getting physical exercise on a daily basis, be sure to get your body moving this winter. This will increase flexibility, relieve some of the stress placed on your knees, and keep your bones in good condition all season. To up the value of your workouts, get outside for brisk walk earlier in the day or late in the afternoon to soak up some vitamin D.
  5. Relax in the Tub: For joint pain, there are few things that provide more relief than a warm bath. Soak in your tub at the end of a chilly day to raise your body temperature and restore flexibility to your joints.

 

Hopefully, with these tips in hand, you will enjoy a pain-free winter. If you’re dutifully incorporating these tips and still struggling with pain, it might be time to see your doctor and get evaluated. Call us today or visit our site to request an appointment.


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Cold Weather Joint Pain

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Do plunging temperatures seem to trigger your joint pain? You’re not alone.  Many people report suddenly worsening symptoms as the weather changes.  A common theory is that this is the result of changes in barometric pressure that leads to subtle changes in the pressure on joints and joint lining. The research into the phenomena has led to conflicting results. There isn’t a solid, scientific explanation for why so many people suffer joint pain as the weather changes. But there is a good deal of anecdotal evidence. One study found that as many as two thirds of people suffering from chronic joint pain believed there was a link between the severity of their symptoms and the weather.  In the words of one rheumatology expert, Dr. James Fant, “…I’ve been practicing for nearly 20 years and I’ve heard it so often from so many patients that I know there’s something to it.”

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If you do regularly suffer joint pain, or even if you do not, there are some precautions to help avoid or mitigate pain as the weather changes. Wear warm, protective clothing to avoid suddenly exposing your joints to dramatically cooler conditions. Stretch and move regularly, especially if you sit a lot at work.

If joint pain has become a very significant problem as the climate grows chillier or if you know from experience your pain seems to worsen dramatically as the weather changes, see a joint specialist. First, they can diagnose the underlying source of your “baseline” joint pain: whether it’s a form of arthritis, injury to the bone, cartilage or other joint tissue, or even damage caused and/or worsened by poor posture or deformity. They can treat the underlying condition, and establish a plan to help deal with sudden changes in temperature. This may include special exercises, stretches, medication, or even assistive devices.

Our joint treatment professionals are available for consults. Request an appointment today for a healthier, more active season ahead!

 

 

 

 


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Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Rheumatoid Arthritis, or RA, is the second most common form of arthritis, just behind osteoarthritis (OA). OA has pretty clear causes and risk factors. It’s a degeneration of joint cartilage, which usually happens as we age–earlier if a joint’s experienced trauma or overuse. RA is a little stranger and more complex.

RA is an autoimmune disease. This means that if you have RA, your immune system is attacking the lining inside your joints (or joint, though it’s very rare to have only one affected) with all the gusto they’d use against disease-causing germs. The result? Joints may feel painful, warm to the touch, stiff, swollen, and tender. Plus, sufferers often experience flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, and weight loss. RA can cause permanently damage joints and other organs, including vital ones like the heart.

 

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The precise cause of RA is unknown. It’s been linked to certain infections and genes (or more specifically, genes that make you more vulnerable to certain infections). It’s much more common in women than in men, especially after 40.  RA may be influenced by hormones, a hypothesis supported in part by the fact that many women with RA experience remission during pregnancy, with an elevated risk of flare-ups post-delivery.

Currently, RA treatment focuses on managing symptoms and striving to prevent permanent damage from the disease. RA inflammation causes the membrane lining the joints (the synovium) to thicken, which over time leads to the destruction of joint cartilage and can cause the tendons and ligaments around the joint to stretch a lose shape. A joint specialist can help try to mitigate this process and reduce the risk of serious deformity.

Worried about what RA may be doing to your joints? Request an appointment.


Limited mobility and chronic pain from damaged joints is a tragedy that affects more than just one person — it robs families, loved ones, and communities of so much you have to offer. The specialists at the Advanced Joint Replacement Institute want to help you get back on your feet and out in the world. Our team has the experience, skills, and technology to replace joints using minimally invasive techniques for a faster recovery time, less pain, and less scarring.