Facts You Should Know About Arthritis Diagnosis and Treatment

Facts You Should Know About Arthritis Diagnosis and Treatment

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Arthritis can generally be described as the painful inflammation of joints. This medical condition is known to affect several or single joints within a patient at a given time. They are over 100 variations of arthritis, and this makes proper diagnosis quite a problematic affair.

Diagnosis is difficult also because some types of arthritis tend to exhibit similar symptoms. It is essential to understand that the different forms of arthritis all have various causative factors and, therefore, different treatment regimens.

This means that a rheumatoid arthritis treatment plan will vary from an osteoarthritis treatment program.

The first step towards successful arthritis management has to be a proper diagnosis from our primary care physician in Germantown Md. An accurate diagnosis will ensure you get a treatment plan that will alleviate the painful symptoms that come with this medical condition.

What Is Involved in the Diagnosis of Arthritis?

Diagnosing arthritis involves looking at several things, the first being a physical examination of your affected joints, and a critical analysis of your symptoms.

The physical exam will target to see how efficiently you can move the affected joints and the amount of swelling that is present.

This primary examination will help our primary care physician in Germantown Md to narrow down on the form of arthritis you have. To conclusively diagnose your condition, our physician may order to have some of these tests carried out.

  • Laboratory tests

Laboratory tests will be used to analyze some of your body fluids, such as blood samples, urine, and joint fluid. Our physician may perform a joint aspiration to obtain some of your joint fluid for laboratory analysis.

These tests are fundamental in the diagnosis of arthritis. For instance, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, an analysis of your blood sample will indicate the presence of antibodies known as rheumatoid factors. Thus confirming rheumatoid arthritis.

  • X-ray imaging

X-rays will show if you have experienced any loss of cartilage or how much bone damage has occurred within your affected joints. The images taken will depict the progression of your condition.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging

An MRI image will allow our physician to obtain a thoroughly detailed cross-sectional look at your cartilage, tendons, and joint ligaments within the affected area. Allowing us to see the extent of the damage to the affected joint and factor this into your treatment plan.

  • Computerized tomography scans

These scans will allow our physicians to obtain current images of your bones and the soft tissues within the surrounding area. This will help in formulating a treatment plan to manage your current condition.

  • Ultrasound

This form of imaging will allow our doctor to view the fluid containing structures near your affected joint, your cartilage, and surrounding tissues. An ultrasound is also used during a joint aspiration to provide a visual guide for the procedure.

Treatment and Management of Arthritis

The treatment and management of arthritic conditions will mostly involve you getting lots of rest, undergoing physical or occupational therapy, using prescribed drugs, daily exercising, and in more advanced cases, corrective joint surgery.

These treatment plans at first used only to target the alleviation of pain and joint stiffness, however current medical strides have been made towards preventing the progression of the condition altogether.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment plans in the past would only focus on managing the stiffness, pain, and loss of mobility in affected joints, however currently, we have treatment regimens that will also prevent or slow down your current condition from progressing further.

Here are some of the aspects of an arthritis treatment plan

  • Occupational therapy

Our occupational therapist will help you come up with ways to cope with your loss of joint mobility and ways to maneuver through your daily activities. This may involve teaching you how to avoid straining your affected joints and working with your stronger joints instead.

It is vital to work with physicians that accept Medicaid, like us, to be able to afford as many therapy sessions as possible that will allow you to manage your condition.

  • Prescribed medication

Drugs will be prescribed to help deal with pain and inflammation associated with this condition. This will also help restore your joint mobility and preserve it.

  • Surgery recommended in cases where joint pain is unbearable to restore joint function. This may include joint replacement, fusion, or repair.
  • Non-medical pain management will also be employed, such as relaxation techniques and other psychotherapeutic techniques that help in pain management.
  • Physical therapy exercises to improve joint mobility and strengthen joint muscles.

At Germantown Primary Health Care, we have experienced physicians that accept Medicaid and are ready to help you manage your condition today.

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