Arthritis refers to a group of over 100 conditions that affect joints, surrounding tissues, and other connective tissues. It is characterized by inflammation and stiffness that often worsen with age.

Guided by insights from Joseph Greene, M.D., board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Louisville Hip and Knee Institute, let’s explore the symptoms, types of pain, and treatment options for arthritis. If you’re currently experiencing pain from arthritis, be sure to read to the end.

What Exactly is Arthritis and How Does It Affect Us?

53.2 million adults in the United States have arthritis, showcasing its prevalence and the vast number of individuals it affects. 

Arthritis is the wearing down of the smooth cartilage surface in joints, leading to pain and discomfort. Dr. Greene explains that this deterioration can cause sensations of catching and locking in the knee, indicative of the early stages of arthritis

While osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, other types include Gout, fibromyalgia, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

What Are the Different Types of Pains Associated With Arthritis?

arthritis painDid you know that most arthritis symptoms begin in one’s early 40s? The pain from arthritis can vary significantly among individuals. 

For example, Dr. Greene describes knee arthritis: Some may experience a sharp, stabbing pain akin to an “ice pick in the knee,” while others feel a constant ache, especially after long periods of activity. 

This variability highlights the complex nature of arthritis and the importance of personalized treatment approaches. With imaging, assessment, and the right pain management, many people can manage and live with arthritis.

What Does Knee Arthritis Feel Like?

With 365 million cases from 2006 to 2019, the knee is the most frequently affected joint by osteoarthritis, followed by the hip and the hand.

What Are the Implications of Chronic Arthritic Pain?

Chronic pain from arthritis can significantly decrease quality of life, affecting physical capabilities and emotional well-being. It can cause instability in the affected joints, challenging daily activities and increasing the risk of falls. Moreover, chronic pain is linked to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, underscoring the need for comprehensive care strategies.

How to Treat Pain from Arthritis

arthritis painTreatment options for arthritis pain range from lifestyle adjustments and physical therapy to medication and, in severe cases, surgery. After talking to an orthopaedic surgeon and imaging your joints, you’ll receive a treatment plan, including pain management. 

Dr. Greene suggests that understanding the specific type of arthritis and its progression determines what would be the most effective treatment. Studies indicate that early intervention can significantly improve outcomes for arthritis patients, emphasizing the importance of seeking medical advice promptly.

Next Steps for Arthritic Pain?

Arthritis is a condition that manifests in various forms, each bringing its unique challenges and pains. However, with the right knowledge and treatment plans, individuals can manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives. Talking with a doctor to understand and diagnose arthritis pain is the first step toward effective pain management and treatment. As we continue to advance in understanding and treating arthritis, there is hope for those affected to find relief and regain control over their health. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Greene if you’re experiencing chronic pain, especially if you know arthritis.

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