Do you have pain in the joints of your knees, fingers, toes, back, or neck? If so, you may have arthritis. While it is indeed true that arthritis is more likely to be a problem as you grow older, it is still possible to develop it at a relatively young age if you've had a significant joint injury. Fortunately, your St. Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine, can help you manage your painful arthritis symptoms. Read on to learn more!
Common arthritis symptoms
Arthritis affects the joints, destroying the bone-cushioning cartilage within them and, in some cases, eventually damaging the bones themselves. While you've probably heard of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, those aren't the only forms of the disease—in fact, there are more than 100 types of arthritis!
If you have arthritis, you may experience:
- Joint Pain and Stiffness: Are your joints painful and stiff when you first wake up or after a period of inactivity? Arthritis may be to blame, especially if the pain worsens at the end of the day.
- Decreased Range of Motion: Movement of your joints may be restricted due to the disease.
- Swelling and Other Symptoms: Depending on the type of arthritis you have, the skin over the joint may swell, turn red, and feel warm to the touch.
- Bone Spurs: Bone spurs can form over arthritic joints.
- Cracking: You may hear cracking sounds when you bend or move the joint.
How you can ease arthritis symptoms
If you have arthritis, it's important to:
- Keep Moving: Although moving may sound like a bad idea when your joints hurt, moving actually reduces stiffness and pain.
- Stretch and Strengthen: Whether you go to physical therapy or perform stretching exercises on your own, exercises improve flexibility and range of motion. It's also important to strengthen the muscles that support your joints.
- Visit Your Brandon Doctor: Your doctor can prescribe medications that not only reduce pain but also decrease inflammation. The drugs prescribed vary depending on the type of arthritis you have and the severity of the disease. When arthritis is severe, surgery may be helpful.
Need relief? Contact us
Ease your arthritis pain with a visit to your primary care physician. Call Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine at (813) 655-4646 to schedule an appointment.