Achy joints? When to see a Rheumatologist
Arthritis is the inflammation of your joints that causes pain and stiffness and typically worsens with age. While there is no cure, early detection and prevention methods can help reduce symptoms and improve the quality of your life.
- Stiffness, especially in the morning and after extended periods of inactivity. Stiffness that lasts an hour or more may be a specific sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reduced range of motion
- Arthritis. Inflammation within the joint that causes pain and stiffness.
- Osteoarthritis. Localized joint pain from cartilage damage from wear and tear. Most common type of arthritis in aging adults.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. More severe type of arthritis. Inflammation caused by the immune system attacking joints that can lead to cartilage and bone damage.
Joint pain can also occur at the structures near the joint caused by overuse and/or improper mechanics, such as limping or poor posture.
- Bursitis. Inflammation of the fluid-filled pads that act as padding for your joints.
- Tendonitis. Inflammation of the tissue that connects your muscle to your bones.
When should I see a doctor?
- If you have pain that is reducing the quality of your life, you should talk to your Primary Care Provider who may refer you to a rheumatologist who specializes in arthritis and the diseases that involve bones, muscles and joints.
What if I leave it untreated?
- If you have inflammatory joint pain, your body’s immune system attacks the joint tissue. If left untreated, chronic inflammation can lead to permanent cartilage, bone and joint damage.
DISCLAIMER: The contents and opinions expressed by Everett Clinic teammates and providers on “A Healthier You” blog and those providing comments are theirs alone and are not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your own provider for personal health recommendations.
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