Inflammatory arthritis affects over 10 million people United States each year. We have defined causes of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and seronegative spondyloarthropathies. There are many times that it takes months or years for a cause for inflammatory arthritis to be completely clear as symptoms often start in a very subtle way or with a palindromic picture. Sometimes the initial symptoms are so insidious that the patient does not even realize that they are getting more achy and sore. Careful history, exam, laboratory evaluation, and observing how symptoms develop change over time are required to differentiate an inflammatory arthritis from other causes. This process is key to making the proper diagnosis and coming up with an effective treatment plan.
Inflammatory Arthritis Treatment Options
Just like we all have eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, however we all look different and sound different. So goes the immune system, musculoskeletal system, and our individual perceptions of pain. Treatment of musculoskeletal problems that cause discomfort requires taking all these into account and tailoring a treatment plan to the individual. Use of many different modalities in the treatment of aches and pains from any source gives the patient self management skills and some control over there pain. This also limits potential side effects and overuse of any one modality. I also believe that pain can be described as a mood just like depression and anxiety. There is appropriate pain response and inappropriate pain response. Modalities to work on inappropriate pain response and placing pain is proper perspective is an effective tool.
We feel that it is important for patients to have an active part in understanding and treating of their musculoskeletal condition.