Arthritis

Carolina Medical Center

Internists located in Walterboro, SC

By 2040, close to 80 million men and women in the United States will have seen a doctor for arthritis. This group of related ailments causes inflammation, and nearly 25% of the men and women affected experience workplace limitations. If arthritis is restricting your everyday activities or upsetting your career, call or make an appointment online today with the experienced medical staff at Carolina Medical Center in Walterboro, South Carolina.

Arthritis Q & A

Carolina Medical Center

What is arthritis?

Arthritis refers to any disorder that inflames your joints. There are more than 100 diseases and conditions included in the diagnosis of arthritis, and the most common include:

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis: arthritis of the spine
  • Gout: crystals build up in your joints
  • Juvenile Arthritis: arthritis in children
  • Osteoarthritis: age-related
  • Psoriatic arthritis: affects those with psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: immune system doesn’t work properly

What are the signs and symptoms of arthritis?

The different forms of arthritis have similar signs and symptoms. Your affected joints are likely to exhibit the following:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion

How is arthritis diagnosed?

To diagnose you with arthritis, Dr. Michael Blubaugh and Dr. Sanjay Kumar review your medical history and symptoms before performing a physical exam. During your exam, they check your joints for signs of arthritis and ask you to perform a series of exercises to test your range of motion.

Blood, urine, and joint fluid are sent to a lab to diagnose the type of arthritis. Imaging tests, including X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, help further diagnose and treat your arthritis when required.

How is arthritis treated?

There’s no cure for arthritis. The treatment offered at Carolina Medical Center helps relieve your symptoms and improve your joint function.

Treatment plans often include medications, physical therapy, and surgery. Here are some medications that Dr. Blubaugh and Dr. Kumar might prescribe for arthritis:

Analgesics

Analgesics reduce pain but don’t decrease inflammation. The most common analgesic is acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs

NSAIDs reduce pain and inflammation. The most common NSAIDs include ibuprofen -- the main ingredient in Advil and Motrin IB -- and naproxen sodium (the active ingredient in Aleve).

Counterirritants

Counterirritants, including creams and ointments containing menthol or capsaicin, interfere with the transmission of your body’s pain signals.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

DMARDs are primarily prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. This medication slows or stops your immune system from attacking your joints.

Biologic response modifiers

Biologic response modifiers are genetically engineered drugs that target protein molecules involved in your body’s immune response. Biologic response modifiers often complement DMARDs.

Corticosteroids

Prednisone and cortisone are taken orally or as injections into your joints affected by arthritis. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and suppress your immune system.

If joint pain and stiffness make it difficult for you to move, call or make an appointment online today with the friendly and compassionate medical professionals at Carolina Medical Center.