Don’t let arthritis slow you down

Arthritis is a term providers use when referring to joint pain. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis – caused by degeneration of the joints over time – being the most common. For most people, it’s a minor annoyance; but for others, the pain can become so great they have trouble walking or doing activities they enjoy. That’s when it’s time to see a doctor.

With nearly 25% of Americans being diagnosed with arthritis, it’s one of the most common ailments seen at Med Center Health Primary Care Franklin.

“Arthritis is swelling, inflammation, tenderness of the joints, but there are different kinds of arthritis,” said Monica Blair, a nurse practitioner at Med Center Health – Primary Care Franklin. “The most common kind is osteoarthritis, which occurs from just aging or wear and tear on the joints from athletes or people that are very active. But there’s also rheumatoid arthritis, which is actually an autoimmune disease, and then there’s gouty arthritis, which is from the uric acid crystals that settle in the joint.”

If you, or a loved one, believes they might be struggling with arthritis, scheduling an appointment with Med Center Health Primary Care Franklin is a great starting point to begin figuring out the proper form of treatment to relieve the pain.

“There are different ways we figure out if arthritis is affecting you,” said Blair. “There’s x-rays and lab work that can be done here in Franklin to determine which one of these kinds of arthritis you have and what the treatment can be.”

Once a diagnosis is made, Blair, or any of the other providers at Med Center Health Primary Care Franklin, can start you on your journey to pain relief. Options to treat arthritis can include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicine, orthotic inserts, selective injections, bracing, or surgery, and all of those treatment options are available in Franklin with physical and occupational therapists available at The Medical Center at Franklin and Orthopedics Plus Physical Therapy Franklin.

While arthritis is not curable, there are many options available to help reduce the pain and keep you moving. “Arthritis can really affect the quality of your life,” said Blair. “If you’re unable to exercise like you once were, then that can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to further obesity, type 2 diabetes, or heart disease.”

To begin your journey to a more pain-free lifestyle, and to get you back to doing the things you love, you start by scheduling an appointment with Med Center Health Primary Care Franklin.