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Arthritis: Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

In general, arthritis can be a real pain in the . . . joints! Although both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are a result of the same overarching disease and are both painful, the two different types of arthritis are just that—different.

There are currently more than 30 million adults in the US suffering from osteoarthritis, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Osteoarthritis, which only affects joints, can be brought on by injury, getting older, being overweight or genetics. It’s a degenerative disease that causes the cartilage to thin and weaken. Over time the lack of cartilage results in the bones rubbing against each other creating a great deal of pain.

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Rheumatoid arthritis currently affects 1.3 million U.S. adults, with women three times more at risk than men. It’s an autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system attacks the healthy cells in your body. Rheumatoid arthritis is when the immune system attacks the synovial membrane, which lines the joints, causing excess fluids on the joints. Also causing a great deal of pain.

Both forms of arthritis cause the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Joint pain
  • Reduced range of motion

However, the two diseases do differ as to when the symptoms are worst. Osteoarthritis symptoms typically worsen as the day goes on. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are usually worse in the morning or after sitting and/or standing still for long periods of time.

Treatment for both ailments typically starts with exercises to decrease inflammation, medication and cortizone/steroid injections may also be administered. If the joints have deterioated too much, joint replacement surgery may be required to help reduce the patient’s pain and regain movement.

If you’re experiencing joint pain, please call us at 618-288-9460 to get assessed by one of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons.

Time for a Hi-Tech Hiatus?

In this day and age we use our smartphones for just about everything from texting to gaming and snapping pics with our bestie. However, all that swiping, tapping, clicking and scrolling comes with consequences. New injuries, or rather old injuries with trendy new tech-related names, have been cropping up. Selfie elbow, smartphone pinky and texting thumb (previously known as Blackberry thumb) are just a few of the latest injuries to result from the smartphone obsession.

Selfie elbow, also known as tennis elbow, is essentially an overuse or repetitive strain

people-2557410_1280injury (RSI). It’s caused by constantly stretching out your arm while awkwardly grasping your phone to take a selfie.To correct this, you might try using a selfie stick or simply ask someone to take the picture for you.

Smartphone pinky and texting thumb occur when the pinky finger and/or thumb tendons become inflamed, known as tendinitis. They are both RSI’s from holding large smartphones or constantly texting. To avoid smartphone pinky, set your phone on a flat surface instead of holding it. Give your thumbs a break by using the talk-to-text function in lieue of texting . . . or actually use your smartphone to call someone!

Typically these injuries can be treated by taking an anti-inflammatory, applying ice, performing stretches, putting the electronic devices down and taking a hi-tech hiatus. However, if the pain persists, it could require physical therapy, steroid injections and even surgery.

If you are experiencing pain, listen to what your body is telling you and allow it to rest. If the pain continues call us at 618-288-9460 to schedule an appointment or visit www.c4ao.com for more information.

Playing Ball with Bursitis

On Friday, April 21, St. Louis Cardinals’ center fielder Dexter Fowler had to sit out a game due to bursitis in his right heel. It’s a painful ailment that we are all too familiar with here at The Center for Advanced Orthopedics.

Bursitis is the inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sacs, known as bursae, that reduce friction between your bones, tendons and muscles. This condition typically occurs near joints, such as your hip, knee or elbow, but can affect other areas as well. Repetitive motions or overuse injuries are often the culprit, but trauma and arthritis have also been known to cause bursitis.softball-1354947_1920

Treatment usually includes rest and taking a pain reliever when needed. If pain persists, a steroid injection may be given. If you are dealing with pain caused by bursitis, please call us to schedule an appointment at 618-288-9460 or visit www.c4ao.com for more information.

Fighting Inflammation with Food

There are currently more than 50 million people suffering from arthritis in the United States, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis is the inflammation of joints typically accompanied by pain. Eating certain foods can either work to alleviate or exacerbate symptoms of inflammation.

Foods that are high in antioxidants and popexels-photo-70862lyphenols have been found to fight inflammation. Here are some of the top anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet right now:

  1. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and swiss chard.
  2. Broccoli
  3. Blueberries
  4. Salmon
  5. Beets

On the contrary, there are also foods that increase inflammation making autoimmune conditions even worse. Here are some of the offenders to start avoiding:

  1. Sugar, such as donuts, candy and soda.
  2. Fried foods
  3. Refined flour and sugar, such as many breakfast cereals, breads and pastas.
  4. Dairy
  5. Processed meats such as bologna, salami and hot dogs.

In general, always try to make healthy food choices and avoid refined and processed foods when possible. If you’re experiencing joint pain or have questions,we’d be happy to speak with you! Please call us at 618-288-9460 or visit www.c4ao.com for more information.

Signs You Are In Need of Knee Replacement

doctor-1740044_640According to a study performed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, as of 2014 there are 4.7 million Americans that have had knee replacement surgery. While surgery should always be considered a final option, a total knee replacement can help improve a patient’s quality of life. Here are six signs that you may need to speak with your doctor about a total knee replacement (TKR):

  • Your knee loses range of motion and you have difficulty performing activities such as climbing stairs, getting in and out of vehicles, chairs, and the shower/tub.
  • The pain is so great that it begins to affect your quality of life, including your sleep.
  • The use of injections and/or medication is no longer helping.
  • It feels as though your knee joint is bone-on-bone or lacks cartilage.
  • You have rheumatoid arthritis or a previous ACL injury, which can increase your risk.
  • Your knee(s) remain stiff after sitting for long periods of time or when getting out of bed in the morning.

It’s important to take a conservative approach and exhaust all other options before considering surgery. Patients may try restricting physical activity, perform stretches and special exercises, and/or injections. However, if you are still experiencing pain and reduced mobility, please call us to schedule a consultation at 618-288-9460 or visit www.c4ao.com for more information.