More than 54 million Americans live with arthritis, a group of chronic illnesses that cause joint pain and inflammation. At Orthopedics Unlimited in Livingston, New Jersey, orthopaedic surgeon Michael Rieber, MD, diagnoses and treats many types of arthritis. Using safe, effective therapies, Dr. Rieber can help you feel better and improve your quality of life. To schedule an appointment, book online or call the office today.
Arthritis is an umbrella term that refers to tenderness and swelling of one or more joints throughout your body. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, but all-cause stiffness, discomfort, and mobility issues.
Though there’s no cure for arthritis, with early intervention and treatment it’s possible to prevent the condition from getting worse. Healthy lifestyle changes like losing weight, eating a balanced diet, and regularly exercising can provide significant relief.
Common symptoms of arthritis include:
As arthritis gets worse, you might find it difficult to bend or move an affected joint. Some people also experience clicking or popping sensations.
Arthritis affects people of all genders and races, but several factors may increase your risk, including having a family history of the disorder, being overweight, and being middle-aged or older.
You’re also more likely to develop arthritis if you experienced joint damage in the past due to a sports injury, automobile accident, or slip-and-fall accident.
To diagnose arthritis, Dr. Rieber reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, and conducts a physical exam. He observes the joints causing you pain and checks them for redness, swelling, or warmth. He also asks you to do a series of strength and range-of-motion exercises to see how well you can move your joints.
If a physical exam isn’t enough to make a diagnosis, Dr. Rieber orders additional testing like laboratory panels or diagnostic imaging. Laboratory panels include joint fluid, blood, and urinalysis, and diagnostic imaging includes X-rays, CT scan, or ultrasound. These tests help Dr. Rieber guide treatment.
Dr. Rieber typically recommends conservative treatments to address arthritis, including losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. If these measures don’t provide significant relief, you might benefit from prescription medication like counterirritants, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), or biologic response modifiers.
If arthritis negatively affects your mobility or daily life, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Rieber might recommend minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, joint replacement, or alternative treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
To learn more about treatment for arthritis, schedule an appointment at Orthopedics Unlimited by phone or online today.