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Posts for tag: Arthritis

By Mark Fisher MD
October 25, 2021
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Arthritis  

If you're living with arthritis, there is a lot you can do on your own to help manage it. For help with caring for your arthritis, get in contact with Dr. Mark Fisher in Haddon Heights, NJ. Your Gloucester area rheumatologist is available by appointment.

Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis exists in various forms, but primarily it affects the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage cushions the joints, protecting them from the stress of daily movement. When it is weakened or diminished, you feel that all too familiar inflammation, stiffness, and pain.

Arthritis is most common in adults over 65, but if you believe you are suffering symptoms contact your Haddon Heights, NJ, and Gloucester area rheumatologist for a proper diagnosis.

Staying Active

One of the best ways to manage your arthritis is through exercise. Maintaining an active lifestyle not only improves your joint's mobility but you can ease their burden by losing weight. According to the CDC, even 10 to 12 pounds of weight loss can substantially improve your symptoms.

The key is to focus on low impact, low risk, activities, especially if you're new to exercise. Activities that don't overly stress or twist the joints. At home you can practice leg raises, finger bends, head tilts, among other simple exercises, to assist with pain. Ask your doctor about the recommended exercises.

Minimizing Your Joint Stress

It's also important to consider your environment, the repetitive movements that can unduly strain your joints. Consider some of the products available on the market made for easing arthritic stress. Such as replacing door knobs for lever handles, using jar openers, reach extenders, among many.

The primary goal is pain management, which can be aided by heating or cooling pads, employing joint support and mobility assistance devices, if needed. But maintaining in contact with your Gloucester rheumatologist is needed so they may monitor your progress and possibly suggest alternatives to your treatment.

Don't Do It Alone

You don't have to manage arthritis on your own, give your rheumatologist a call. Dial Dr. Mark Fisher in Haddon Heights, NJ, at (856) 547-8004. Serving the Camden County, Gloucester City, and Burlin County areas.

By Mark Fisher MD
February 27, 2020
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Arthritis  

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. arthritisThey 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:

 

Osteoarthritis:

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.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis: 

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.


Psoriatic arthritis: 

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.

 

Gout:

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.

 

Lupus:

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

  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of the feet, hands, and legs
  • Rashes
  • Mouth or nasal sores
  • Sensitivity to the sun and cold temperatures
  • Hair loss
  • Anemia
  • 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.

 

Announcement from the American College of Rheumatology(ACR):

Dear ACR/ARHP members,

Early this morning we watched as Congress passed a sweeping spending agreement and sent the package to the White House for the President's signature. Along with a two-year agreement on spending, the package accomplished four of the College's top policy priorities: 
• Fixed the CMS rule that would have applied payment adjustments to Part B drug reimbursements and penalized physicians for providing high-cost drugs;
• Permanently repealed the arbitrary Medicare therapy caps, which could have affected millions of patients' access to vital rehabilitation services;

• Repealed the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which would have had the power to impose cuts on providers without the review and deliberation of the regular legislative process; and
• Eliminated the Medicare Part D "donut hole," supporting our patients' ability to adhere to treatment plans. 
These are incredible victories for the Rheumatology, arthritis, and general medical communities that come after months of sustained advocacy efforts of the ACR and the participation of countless ACR/ARHP members. In particular, the rheumatology community led the charge to stop Medicare payment adjustments on Part B drugs. To those of you who contacted congressional offices, submitted letters to the editor to your local paper, and gave money to RheumPAC - your efforts paid off today. Because of your investment of time, talent, and money to magnify the College's voice on Capitol Hill, Congress heard us loud and clear. Thank you!

Even as we celebrate these victories, there is still much work to do to ensure that the 54 million Americans living with RA and other rheumatologic conditions can continue to access innovative, medically necessary, and life-sustaining care. Stay tuned as we continue to advance policies that provide relief from administrative hassles, boost rheumatology research and training, minimize our workforce shortage, and reduce drug costs so that patients can access innovative, critical treatments.

To address the challenges that lie ahead, it will take all of us pulling together to protect our patients and our profession. Thank you to all members of the ACR and ARHP who regularly take action on behalf of our patients. Thank you also to those members who are contributors to RheumPAC. Investing in RheumPAC is critical to help the ACR build the relationships with Congress that lead to these victories.

The ACR will continue to work for you, so you can be there for your patients.

Thank you,

David Daikh, MD, PhD
ACR President


© 2018 American College of Rheumatology | 2200 Lake Blvd NE | Atlanta, GA 30319 | US

 

This will be a huge help in preserving the needed access to care for patients with rheumatic diseases, especially those requiring some very costly drugs and other prescriptions to maintain a high quality of life and well controlled arthritic conditions and joint protection. 

Good to see much needed help and cooperation from the Congress, Senate , and President.
Mark Fisher MD

 
 

Coming soon.

By Mark Fisher MD
November 28, 2017
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Arthritis  

While arthritis is a common diagnosis and ailment for many, the word alone does not always tell the whole story. It is actually a very arthritisinclusive and encompassing term for many types of arthritis and related conditions. Recognizing the signs of arthritis early can help assist in effectively diagnose, treat,  and manage these conditions. Find out more about the symptoms and signs and possible complications of arthritis and what your doctor can do to treat it with Dr. Mark Fisher in Haddon Heights, NJ.

What are the symptoms of arthritis? 
Arthritis affects the joints and often increases in severity with age. Two major types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, occurring with wear and tear with age or injury, and the inflammatory type such as  rheumatoid arthritis, an immune related condition that affects the body symmetrically involving the small and large joints, such as both wrists, hands, elbows, hips, or both knees and ankles. The early symptoms of arthritis include early morning stiffness and pain, and may include joint swelling and these symptoms may depend on the type of arthritis you have. 

Some of the general symptoms of arthritis include:

  • joint pain
  • joint stiffness
  • joint swelling
  • joint redness and warmth
  • decreased range of motion of the joint
  • Nodules or lumps on the elbows
  • Other systemic signs may include: Skin rashes,  chest pain with breathing, discoloration of the fingers with cold temperature, unexplained fevers, fatigue

Diagnosing Arthritis
Your doctor will use the medical history and physical examination and certain laboratory and X-ray studies and careful consideration of this information to diagnose your arthritis-related condition. Often, all of this information can help diagnose the more specific classification of the arthritis related condition you may have. Doctors can also test a joint fluid sample to search for evidence of infectious arthritis or gout in some cases. The collection of symptoms, physical findings, lab and  X-ray results can assist the arthritis specialist or Rheumatologist prepare the likely diagnosis and suggest the appropriate management plan to protect the joints and improve and reduce activity of the arthritic or autoimmune process.

Arthritis Treatments in Haddon Heights, NJ
Many of the initial treatments for arthritis may include rest, increased exercise, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. If these methods do not provide adequate results, over-the-counter or prescription drugs may help manage the symptoms. The type of medication will depend on the underlying arthritis condition causing your symptoms. These drugs may include disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or Biologic response modifiers. These may help prevent the condition from worsening and preserve the joint’s functionality and range of motion and overall health of the patient. Your doctor may suggest surgery in severe cases, such as joint replacement, but these treatments can substantially reduce the need for surgery or risks of disability.

For more information on arthritis, please contact Board Certified Rheumatologist Dr. Mark Fisher in Haddon Heights, NJ. Call (856) 547-8004 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Fisher today!

By Mark Fisher MD
July 12, 2017
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Arthritis   Chronic Pain  
According to annual statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes ofChronic Pain Health (NIH), millions of American adults report suffering from some level of chronic pain. Over 23 million reported suffering from daily pain that they categorized as excessive or severe. There are many potential causes for chronic pain, which can sometimes be difficult to identify, delaying an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Mark Fisher, a board certified rheumatologist in Haddon Heights, Camden County,  NJ, treats pain related to joint and soft tissue conditions and injuries like arthritis and autoimmune disorders.
 
Chronic Pain And Arthritis Diagnosis and Treatment in Haddon Heights, NJ
 
 A rheumatologist treats conditions that affect the joints and connective tissue (muscles and bones). One of the most common rheumatic conditions (and source of chronic pain) is arthritis, which consists of many other different forms such as osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis,  Ankylosing Spondylitis, Gout, and other Connective Tissue Disorders such as Lupus.
  
According to the Arthritis Foundation, over 50 million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis (or one in five adults over the age of 18). Although some of the more common forms of arthritis like osteoarthritis tend to be more prevalent in older adults, anyone can develop arthritis at any age.
The first step in treating chronic pain is to assess what is causing it. Systemic inflammatory arthritic conditions have other systemic effects on the body as well. These can include increased risks for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
With rheumatic conditions that affect joint health and stability, preserving the health and function of the affected joint is part of a comprehensive pain management and treatment plan.
Whether you are seeking a second opinion or getting treatment for the first time, Dr. Fisher will take a detailed medical history and perform any necessary diagnostic exams to help design an adequate treatment plan.
Potential pain management treatments for rheumatoid conditions include:
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Biologic monoclonal antibody treatments
  • Immune related medications
Find a Board Certified Rheumatologist in Haddon Heights, Camden County, NJ with Mark Fisher MD FACR.
Even mild to moderate chronic pain can disrupt and interfere with your quality of life and ability to perform your daily activities. If you are experiencing pain related to arthritis or a joint or connective tissue disorder, contact our office by calling
(856) 547-8004 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fisher today.


Camden County, NJ Rheumatologist
Mark Fisher, MD 713 Station Ave
Haddon Heights, NJ 08035
(856) 547-8004