Seek a rheumatologist to successfully diagnose and manage your arthritis symptoms if this has eluded your primary care provider.
More than 54 million adults have been diagnosed with various arthritis conditions. These diseases can cause inflammation of the joints. They can occur in both men and women of all ages. Children can develop arthritis as early as infancy. Whether you have already been diagnosed with arthritis, need further management, or you are looking for a physician who can provide you with specialized care, our South Jersey Rheumatologist Mark Fisher MD FACR can help.
What are the warning signs of arthritis?
The symptoms you experience depend on the type of arthritis. There are over 100 different kinds of arthritis. The most common types and their symptoms include:
This affects the knees, hips, feet, and spine most commonly, and can also involve other joints as well. Symptoms may include:
- Stiffness, briefly in the morning or after resting (called gelling)
- Aching pain
- Pain with prolonged activity
- Difficulty with daily activities such as brushing your hair or climbing stairs, getting in and out of a chair or bed, and others
- The affected joints may experience swelling or be warm to the touch.
RA can cause severe joint damage if left untreated. Symptoms may be gradual or may come about suddenly. The most common symptoms include joint pain, swelling, and prolonged morning stiffness. often more than 1 hour, and involve multiple joints in a symmetrical distribution. Small joints such as the hands and feet are commonly affected. Sometimes lumps or nodules over the elbows and other sites can occur. This has the tendency of being more aggressive and needs early recognition and intervention for the best results and response to treatment.
This type of arthritis can be associated with both the skin with psoriasis involvement, and the joints. As a result, you may develop raised, scaly, flaky patches on your skin. They often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows, and even the genital area, and can affect the entire body in more severe cases. Along with these scaly patches, you may also develop swelling and joint pain in small and large joints similar to RA but usually not as symmetrical. This can be a very aggressive arthritis if not treated early.
This severe, acute, abrupt onset of joint pain develops in the foot (often the big toe) as the earliest joint involved, but may affect others such as the ankle and instep of the foot, knee, elbow and wrist. This arthritis conditon can result from an excessive accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint and is often related to a genetic abnormality and the use of some medications. The attack often comes on suddenly, and results in severe joint pain, inflammation, redness, and stiffness. As with other arthritic conditions, gout can evolve into a chronic damaging condition affecting many joints, and causing disabling problems. Large nodular swellings called tophi, collections of uric acid, can develop in areas such as the elbows.
This autoimmune disorder can involve the joints as part of these sydromes, and also cause a variety of other symptoms such as:
Joint pain and swelling
- Swelling of the feet, hands, and legs
- Mouth or nasal sores
- Sensitivity to the sun and cold temperatures
- Hair loss
- Chest pain
What are my treatment options?
While there is no cure for any of these ailments, make no mistake about it. There ARE very effective and successful treatments your physican and Rheumatologist can offer you, especially if seen early. Remember it is never too late to start treatment successfully for these different rheumatic conditions. Early recogntion, diagnosis, and treatment are key!
Our South Jersey Rheumatologist Mark Fisher MD FACR may recommend one or more different types of treatments appropriate for the type and severity of your arthritis condition. These specific advances in treatments will be covered in another blog on recognizing and managing the varied rheumatic, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders that your Rheumatologist can offer for successful care and maintaining an active and successful life.
Are you dealing with symptoms of arthritis in the South Jersey community and in need of further assessment and successful care?
If so, it is important to consider a Rheumatologist as soon as possible.
Contact Mark Fisher MD FACR today to schedule your consultation.
Call (856) 547-8004.