Posts for category: Arthritis
Why do your hands, knees, back or shoulders hurt? Is it arthritis? Many people in the US Virgin Islands suffer from it and need relief from their symptoms. At Virgin Island Orthopaedics & Medical Specialists, Dr. Jeffrey Chase and his team provide a wide range of physical therapies, pain management, and orthopaedic services to increase your comfort, mobility, and function. Would you like to ease those arthritis symptoms?
What is arthritis?
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease defines arthritis simply as joint inflammation. Osteoarthritis is the kind most people know as it is related to the wear and tear of the aging process. It causes inflammation and pain in the hands, knees, hips, and other joints as the articular cartilage on bone ends wears away.
The other familiar kind is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder. RA patients may be quite young and suffer extensive joint pain, fatigue and even fever.
Who gets arthritis?
Millions of Americans struggle with the pain and stiffness typical of arthritis. Some even require special anti-inflammatory drugs, joint replacements, physical therapy and more to improve function, ease pain, and maintain mobility. Older people, athletes, and those with a genetic pre-disposition to this condition suffer from a wide range of symptoms.
How to ease your symptoms
At Virgin Island Orthopaedics & Medical Specialists, Dr. Chase will listen to your symptoms and perform the tests necessary to pinpoint the diagnosis of arthritis. Treatment depends on your particular type of arthritis, overall health condition and other factors.
However, any patient can benefit from basic pain management and joint function strategies such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight to limit pressure and wear and tear on the articular cartilage
- Ibuprofen or other over the counter medications
- Routine movement to increase blood flow, maintain muscle mass, and increase mobility and range of motion
- Physical therapy
- Supportive devices such as splints
- Assistive devices such as canes and walkers
- Ergonomic chairs and floor mats
- Stress management
- Resting and protecting your joints (exercise sensibly with low-impact activities such as cycling, swimming, and walking)
- Tracking your symptoms and reporting them to Dr. Chase
Tracking symptoms is key to managing them. Note the quality of your pain: stabbing, crushing, tingling, etc. Tell Dr. Chase how it impacts your work and life at home. Pay attention to the location of your pain, if it changes location and what may increase or relieve it.
Life with arthritis is not always easy, but it is manageable. At Virgin Island Orthopaedics & Medical Specialists, Dr. Jeffrey Chase and his staff have the expertise and compassion to give you the care you and your arthritis need for a better life. For an in-office consultation, please contact one of our two convenient locations. In St. Croix, call (340) 692-5000, and for St. Thomas, phone (340) 714-2845.
Find out what living with rheumatoid arthritis really feels like.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect joints throughout the body as well as cause damage to the eyes, heart, skin, and blood vessels. There are different types of arthritis, and here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Chase offers different ways to treat your arthritis depending on the type and severity. Here are the warning signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
- Stiffness: One of the most common symptoms of RA, this stiffness can make you feel as if the joints aren’t as easily mobile as they used to be, especially in the morning. As you begin to move around in the morning, you may notice the joints loosening up a bit within a couple of hours.
- Swelling: Fluid accumulation within the joints can also lead to puffiness, swelling, and tenderness in and around the joints.
- Pain: Inflamed joints can really hurt, even when you’re not in motion.
- Warmth: It’s also natural for affected joints to be red and warm to the touch due to inflammation.
These symptoms most commonly occur in the joints of the hands; however, RA can also affect the:
Symptoms are often symmetrical, meaning that they affect the same joints on both sides of the body. Along with joint problems, you may also experience muscle aches, fatigue, and depression. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of RA, it’s important that you turn to our Saint Thomas orthopedic doctor for an immediate consultation. Since symptoms usually appear gradually over time, it’s natural for you to not immediately notice symptoms until you’ve possibly had RA for a year or more.
How is RA diagnosed?
When you come in for an evaluation, blood tests and x-rays may be performed to check for the presence of an autoimmune disorder and joint damage. Since symptoms often come and go, you may not be experiencing a flare-up during your consultation. That’s okay; we can still ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and perform the proper tests to rule out other disorders and illnesses that can mirror symptoms of RA.
Need care? Give us a call
Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine has offices in St. Croix and St. Thomas to ensure that the care you receive is never far away. If you are experiencing signs of rheumatoid arthritis, call one of our offices today for a comprehensive evaluation. For St. Croix, dial (340) 692-5000, and for St. Thomas, dial (340) 714-2845.