Posts for tag: 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. 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.
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 inclusive 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
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!
According to annual statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of 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:
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.
Chronic pain can greatly affect your life, especially if left untreated or unmanaged. However, rheumatoid arthritis is manageable with help from your Haddon Heights, NJ doctor. With 30 years experience, Dr. Mark Fisher and his team will help you overcome your arthritis pain and reduce its symptoms.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the joints. It can happen at any age though it is more common between the ages of 40 and 60 and is more common in women. In its early stages, it can affect smaller joints in the fingers and toes, and as it progresses it can affect the larger joints such as knees, wrists, elbows and hips.
Do I have rheumatoid arthritis?
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- joint pain
- joint swelling
- joint tenderness
- joint stiffness
- decreased range of motion
- deformity of the joint
- problems in more than one joint
Arthritis Treatments in Haddon Heights, NJ
Dr. Fisher may recommend certain prescription medications to help with pain and inflammation. Oral or topical NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are a common choice. Corticosteroid injections applied directly to the joint in question can provide immediate results, helping you get back on your feet fast. However, injectables are not permanent and require ongoing treatments to retain their results. Another medication that may be considered is disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). In some severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery. Dr. Fisher can help you determine which treatments are best for you and your condition.
Dealing with Arthritis Daily
Managing your rheumatoid arthritis pain at home is also an important part of your treatment plan. Exercise can play a role in arthritis treatment and helps to strengthen the muscles around the affected joints, building their mobility and functionality and reducing joint pain.
For more information on diagnosing, managing, and treating arthritis, please contact Dr. Fisher in Camden County, NJ. Call (856) 547-8004 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Fisher today!