Why an Early Diagnosis of Arthritis Can Save Years of Pain

Why an Early Diagnosis of Arthritis Can Save Years of Pain

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Arthritis is a condition that most people don’t even think about until it’s already set in. When we’re younger, we believe the occasional ache and pain is normal – especially if we’ve been involved in a weekend of hiking, raking leaves, or helping a friend move. It’s easy to shrug off a day of much-needed recovery as “I must have worked a bit too hard yesterday,” or “Wow, maybe my body is starting to get older.”

When unusual aches start occurring, most people will merely treat the symptoms with an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever or a day of rest instead of listening to what their body might be telling them about the early signs of arthritis.

Because it is a condition that many people associate with old age, it often goes undiagnosed in younger patients. If you are reading this because you’re looking for more information about the aches that you’re starting to feel in your joints, we hope you’ll find the following information to be an incentive to visit a primary care physician in Germantown for treatment. Keep reading to learn why.

Some Surprising Information About Arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, most people are surprised to discover that it is not an actual diagnosis that can be provided by physicians and elsewhere. Although you’ll hear the word used in a singular sense, it is a term that covers more than 100 diseases and related conditions.

A few of the more common types include inflammatory arthritis, infectious arthritis, degenerative arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. But did you know that Lupus and Lyme disease are also its types? And since the early signs of Lyme disease have nothing to do with the “typical” aches that many people associate with getting older, the condition can often go untreated until it’s worsened and become more difficult to treat.

For example, many people who are experiencing flu-like symptoms – often the first indicator of Lyme disease – will use OTC flu treatments instead of receiving the preferred antibiotic treatment from a primary care doctor.

Turn to the Professionals for an Accurate Treatment Plan

Because of the broad reach of arthritis, self-diagnosis, and self-treatment should be avoided. As mentioned above, there are types of arthritis that respond well to early treatment by preserving joint function and preventing other serious health problems. Here are a few facts that support the need for prompt medical care:

  • Almost 50% of adults with some form of heart disease also have arthritis
  • Almost 50% of adults with diabetes also have arthritis
  • Over 30% of adults who are clinically diagnosed as obese will also have arthritis
  • Almost 75% of working adults between the ages of 18-64 have arthritis

These numbers prompt many people to ask whether or not there is a way to prevent it from impacting their quality of life.

Unfortunately, the answer is that there is no proven way to prevent this, but there are a few things that can be done to delay the onset or reduce the risk of acquiring the condition. For example, maintaining a healthy weight can help offset osteoarthritis.

Some Other Ideas for Managing the Condition

Along with maintaining a healthy weight to offset osteoarthritis – and other forms of the condition — the Arthritis Foundation recommends that you stay active, balance your activity with rest, eat a balanced diet rich in foods that contain antioxidants, and ensuring that you get quality sleep.

Also, knowing that you are not alone in your pain may add a level of comfort. The Center for Disease Control reports that an estimated 52 million Americans are managing some form of arthritis right now in concert with their medical professional.

If you’re looking for a medical partner to help treat your condition, Germantown Primary Health Care specializes in treating all arthritis and rheumatic symptoms with our top-rated patient-centered approach. Our board-certified specialists provide a level of care that ensures you’ll receive the best treatment.

Start living your life again! Contact our healthcare clinic today to schedule an appointment for arthritis treatment in Germantown, MD.

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