Arthritis

Understanding and Treating Arthritis in Northern New Jersey

If you are experiencing mild or severe pain in your joints, arthritis may be the culprit. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, resulting in a variety of causes and treatments. Fortunately, the team at Bergen Pain Management is here to help you manage this often debilitating condition. Our award-winning doctor, Dr. Thomas Ragukonis, and the rest of our highly knowledgeable staff can help you better understand and overcome the challenges this common condition creates, allowing you to get back to the things you love. Explore the treatment options offered at our Paramus, West New York, and Union, New Jersey, offices today.

Old Woman Holding Wrist

What is Arthritis and Who is at Risk?

Whether you have ankle, knee, shoulder, hip, foot or hand arthritis, this common ailment is sure to cause issues in your day-to-day life. Arthritis is a condition that affects one or more of your joints, resulting in pain and stiffness often accompanied by redness and swelling. The condition tends to worsen as patients get older and their bodies have experienced more wear and tear.

There is a wide range of different types of arthritis, which means patients’ symptoms may vary. For instance, gout is a form of arthritis resulting from the formation of uric acid crystals within the joint, causing inflammation and pain. Other forms of arthritis are the result of an infection or underlying disease. The two most common types of arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused by continued wear of the cartilage, the slippery tissue that helps cushion your bones. There are more forms of osteoarthritis, including lumbar osteoarthritis, but the result is the deterioration of the connective tissue between the bone and surrounding muscles.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis appears when your immune system attacks your joint capsule lining. The area will become inflamed and swollen, causing consistent pain.

Arthritis can affect nearly anyone, but a history of the condition in your family may increase your risk. Other factors that can lead to arthritis are obesity, joint injury, and age.


What Can I Do to Treat My Arthritis?

Talking with your doctor about arthritis symptoms is the first step toward healing. Fortunately, the symptoms of arthritis make it easier to diagnosis with just a physical examination and some questions. The doctor will see how you move the joint and look for redness, swelling, and warmth in the area.

If the doctor cannot tell based on a physical exam alone, he may run a simple test on your blood, urine, or fluid from the suspected joint. Another possibility for diagnosing the condition is an imaging test. There are many options, including X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and computerized tomography (CT) scans, which can help Dr. Ragukonis to make his prognosis.

Treatment will depend on the type of arthritis you are diagnosed with, but there are several different options, including:

  • Home remedies: Exercising, losing weight, and heating and icing the affected area may help the pain and swelling go away on their own.
  • Over-the-counter medications: Basic painkillers can help you manage the pain but won’t help reduce inflammation.
  • Prescription medications: The doctor may prescribe corticosteroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to fight inflammation. For those with rheumatoid arthritis, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or biologic response modifiers to help your immune system adjust may be recommended.
  • Counterirritants: These creams and ointments can be easily applied to the affected area externally, helping to reduce pain.
  • Physical therapy: Proper exercise plans for your joints can help increase your range of motion and strengthen the muscles near the affected joint.
  • Assistive devices: Canes, splints, or braces may also be suggested to help with everyday activity.

Finding Answers and Relief In Northern NJ

Arthritis can often lead to a sense of helplessness, forcing you to quit doing the activities you love. While arthritis in the hands and arms can cause strain as you perform everyday tasks, such as opening jars or typing, arthritis in the legs may prevent you from going out and enjoying life. Seek help today from Dr. Ragukonis by scheduling a consultation at Bergen Pain Management in Paramus, West New York, or Union, NJ.