If you suffer from chronic joint pain, you could be developing osteoarthritis, a common condition affecting our aging population. Our rheumatologists can help. Drs. Jacqueline Vo, Haihui Wang, and Mary Catherine Gibson at Rheumatology Center of Houston in Houston and Pearland, TX, provide a wide range of rheumatology services, including treatment and management of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is one of several types of arthritis, all with different causes. Osteoarthritis is caused by general wear and tear on your joints. You are at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis if you:
● Have suffered an injury to your bones or joints
● Are in an occupation that causes excessive joint stress
● Play a sport or activity which involves stress to your joints
So, how can you tell if you are developing osteoarthritis? You may experience frequent signs and symptoms like these:
● Joint swelling
● Joint redness
● Joint pain
● Joint stiffness
● Loss of range-of-motion in a joint
If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms consistently, it’s time to visit your rheumatologist for an evaluation. Our doctor may recommend lab tests and imaging studies to confirm you have osteoarthritis or a different type of arthritis. You may also have an underlying condition other than arthritis causing your joint pain.
If our rheumatologist confirms a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, our doctor may recommend:
● Prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medication to decrease inflammation
● Corticosteroid joint injections to decrease swelling and pain
● Physical therapy stretches and exercises, to strengthen joints, increase range of motion, and decrease pain
● Occupational therapy, to minimize work-related stress and damage to joints
● Ultrasound therapy to warm and relax joints, easing joint pain
● Therapeutic massage, to increase circulation and reduce joint pain
● Thermal therapies, including ice packs or moist heat to relax joints, reduce swelling, and decrease pain
● In severe cases, your rheumatologist may recommend surgery to repair, fuse, or replace the affected joint.
To find out more about the causes and treatments for osteoarthritis, call Drs. Jacqueline Vo, Haihui Wang, and Mary Catherine Gibson at Rheumatology Center of Houston in Houston and Pearland, TX. You can reach them in the office by calling (713) 640-5477, so call today.