Arthritis is a common condition and impacts more than 50 million people. Many people think arthritis is a disease, but it’s just a term that refers to conditions or diseases affecting the joints. In actuality, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis. Arthritis affects men, women, and children of all races and is a serious medical condition. At Apex Medical Center, Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, residents have access to highly-skilled physicians and customized arthritis treatment plans from David Ezeanolue, M.D., C.I.M.E., Alafuro T. Oruene, M.D., Blanche Y. Bonnick, M.D., and the rest of the medical team.
You can group arthritis into types based on how the condition originates. There are four basic types of arthritis.
Also known as osteoarthritis, this condition occurs as the cartilage that cushions your bones begins to wear away. That leaves bones in direct contact, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
This type of arthritis occurs when your immune system malfunctions, creating inflammation in your joints and severe problems in other areas of your body. Rheumatoid arthritis is a well-known type of inflammatory arthritis.
This is a less common form of arthritis that occurs when a virus, bacterium, or fungus creates inflammation in your joints. Salmonella, hepatitis C, or chlamydia can cause infectious arthritis.
Also known as gout, this type of arthritis occurs when your body creates excessive levels of uric acid or is unable to clear uric acid from your system. Metabolic arthritis can come and go or can become a chronic condition if left untreated.
Treatment depends on what’s causing your arthritis.
For example, if a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection caused your arthritis, then addressing that issue is your doctor's priority. From that point forward, you can take measures to relieve pain caused by damage or inflammation of your joints.
No matter the cause of your arthritis, treatment focuses on relieving pain and providing long-term positive results. Long gone are the days when people just accepted joint pain as a part of the aging process. Today, doctors have access to a wide range of treatment options that can provide lasting relief.
Medications can be an important part of your arthritis treatment plan. Some medications offer pain relief while others focus on reducing inflammation.
These medications represent exciting advancements in arthritis treatment and have improved the lives of countless Americans who suffer from the condition.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, or DMARDs, work by impacting the way your immune system responds. They’re capable of slowing the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, which can mean a distinct improvement in your life. DMARDs can have serious side effects, so it’s important to work closely with your doctor to find the right medications for you.
Biologics are a type of DMARD created from genetically-engineered proteins originating from human genes. They’re capable of targeting specific parts of your immune system, leaving other components able to function normally. Biologics are complex medications that are harder to create than other drugs, which can make them more costly.