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.