It is not surprising that a great number of the patients who visit Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine are suffering from some form of arthritis since it is estimated that a quarter of the U.S. population is similarly afflicted. The pain and stiffness of arthritis too often interfere with work, mobility, and general enjoyment of everyday activities. If you know or suspect that you have arthritis, consulting with and being treated by our doctors may vastly improve your quality of your life.
Our team of doctors, physiatrists who specialize in nonsurgical pain relief and restoration of function, are uniquely qualified to treat the symptoms of the various types of arthritis. Because we are experienced diagnosticians, we can also help you figure out which kind of arthritis is the root cause of your difficulties.
Our practice is a holistic one, so we pay close attention to your complaints as they relate to your general well-being, not just to your individual joints. Because arthritis cannot be cured, our goal is always to make you feel better and move more easily. We offer a broad range of treatments designed to do just that.
Types of Arthritis and How They Affect the Body
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is usually associated with the wear and tear of aging, though it may occur in young people who have experienced serious injuries or repetitive stress.
Basically, osteoarthritis is a breakdown of the cartilage that normally covers our bones at the joints. As the cartilage wears thin, a movement that had been a smooth process becomes a more laborious one, and patients experience the pain and stiffness that results when bone rubs against bone.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, causing inflammation and painful swelling in the affected joints. Though treated with medications prescribed by rheumatologists, the pain and inflammation of RA can be significantly reduced by the therapeutic methods we administer.
Psoriatic arthritis affects a certain percentage of patients who suffer from psoriasis, a skin condition in which red scaly patches develop, typically on the elbows, knees, and lower back. In patients with psoriatic arthritis, these skin lesions are accompanied by joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation common to all forms of arthritis.
Gout is a form of arthritis that results from a buildup of uric acid crystals between joint bones. This buildup causes the pain and inflammation characteristic of other forms of arthritis. The joint most commonly affected by gout (50 percent of the time) is the big toe. This is because uric acid crystallizes at cool temperatures and the big toe, being the farthest extremity from the heart, is the coldest joint. Gout is caused by diet. Foods linked to gout include organ meats, game meats, sugary sodas, and alcohol.
The therapies used by our physiatrists on patients with the above types of arthritis are also helpful to patients who suffer from diseases with arthritic symptoms, such as fibromyalgia and Lyme disease. We have had notable success relieving pain and inflammation whatever the cause because that is our primary focus and because we use complementary, as well as traditional, medical therapies.
Risk Factors for Arthritis
You have a greater likelihood of developing arthritis if you are female, obese, have a close relative with severe arthritis, have a congenital joint malformation, or have diabetes or another metabolic disorder. You are also more likely to develop arthritis if you engage heavily in a sports activity or a particular type of recreation.
Symptoms of All Types of Arthritis
Whatever the cause of your arthritis, you are likely experiencing symptoms that include:
- Joint pain that may be severe, especially during or after movement
- Joint pain that may move from one joint to another (migratory arthritis)
- Redness and/or visible swelling of the joints
- Stiffness and difficulty standing up after a period of inactivity.
- Impaired range of motion
- Tenderness at the site
- Development of bone spurs (small protrusions of bone)
At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, we are well aware of how hard it is to live with any type of arthritis and how disabling the condition can be. When you come in for your initial consultation, we will listen carefully to understand the particulars that bother you most and make addressing those issues our priority. We will always include you in the decision-making process when it comes to choosing treatment options.
How Our Treatments Will Improve Your Quality of Life
You may have already tried the home remedies we recommend, remedies that are standard prescriptions for better health: eating a healthier diet, losing weight, engaging in regular exercise. You have probably also taken over-the-counter painkillers, such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
If none of these recommendations has significantly alleviated the problem, coming to one of our convenient Long Island offices is a wise choice. The sooner we treat your joint pain and inflammation, the sooner you will experience relief from pain. Not only that, but the therapies we administer decrease the chances of migratory pain and may prevent your arthritis symptoms from worsening. The therapies we administer for patients with all types of arthritis include:
- Acupuncture to reduce inflammation, unwanted immune responses, and pain
- Physical therapy to stabilize affected joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles
- Occupational therapy to retrain stiff joints to perform everyday tasks more easily
- PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy to inhibit inflammation, stimulate the formation of new cartilage, and increase the natural lubrication at the joints
- PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) therapy to alleviate pain and accelerate healing by significantly reducing inflammation
- Injections of hyaluronic acid to lubricate the knee joint
- Injections of corticosteroid and analgesics to greatly reduce pain and inflammation
Contact Us Today to Manage Your Arthritis and Restart Your Life
The physicians at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine use interventional methods to help control the pain and inflammation of arthritis. This means that we are a hands-on practice, well-prepared to tackle your arthritis symptoms with proven treatments so that you can return to your activities feeling refreshed and ready to go. Contact one of our offices today!