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Arthritis Doctor Pottstown, PA

As a leading arthritis doctor Pottstown, PA residents trust from Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania, we know that daily joint pain is not ideal. Many people would prefer not to use strong medications when they can deal with their pain naturally. When you suffer from osteoarthritis, you understand that the pain can be so debilitating that it can be hard to go about your usual tasks during the day. Instead, you may be forced to stay in bed until you feel better or until you take pain medication.

Unfortunately, many doctors are encouraged to push prescriptions on people instead of teaching their patients to use safer, more natural methods for treating their pain. There are other options, however, and it is possible to begin treating your osteoarthritis with effective methods. For more information on treating osteoarthritis reach out to an arthritis doctor Pottstown, PA families trust from the Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania.

Why can’t I just treat the pain with medications or injections?

When you just treat the pain, it is like unplugging the fire alarm in your home when a fire starts. You would be treating the symptom—the thing that notifies you of the underlying problem—instead of the actual problem itself. In a sense, the pain that comes with arthritis is helpful because it can help you identify what the problem is so that you can deal with it at its source.

Get Help From Our Arthritis Doctor in Pottstown, PA

When you want to learn more about your arthritis, you know you can turn to the trusted arthritis doctor Pottstown, PA recommends from Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania. We believe that there are more and better options for treating your arthritis than heavy doses of medications, blind injections, and surgery. To prepare you for our treatments, you may want to learn more about what arthritis is, what causes it, and how it can affect you. Don’t worry, we have you covered! If you would like to set up your appointment with our reliable Pottstown, Pennsylvania arthritis doctor, please give our office a call. You may be surprised to find out how simple it can be to get you the pain relief you need. 

What exactly is arthritis?

Many people have heard of arthritis because their parents or grandparents may have suffered from it. When most people think of arthritis, they probably think of hands that have problems moving or hips that have a smaller range of motion. In fact, there are more than 150 different forms of arthritis. The symptoms a patient suffers will vary, depending on the type of arthritis they have. Each type affects the body differently.

Our arthritis doctor in Pottstown, PA knows that when you suffer from arthritis it means that your joints are inflamed and that you could have one (or many) different diseases that fall under the larger term of arthritis. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and tenderness in one or more joints that last for more than two weeks. There can also be heat or redness in the joint, stiffness upon waking in the morning, limitation of how much the patient can move the joint, and even rashes and other skin conditions. Many people can get arthritis but it does tend to affect older people more than younger people. 

What causes arthritis?

As an arthritis doctor in Pottstown, PA can explain, two of the most common types of arthritis that people develop are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the wear and tear of the cartilage that covers the bone ends that are located on the end of the joint. There are many reasons why this can happen, including putting the joint under excessive stress over prolonged periods of time, joint disease, or a deformity of the joint. Primary osteoarthritis is usually connected with aging and the normal degeneration of joints that comes with aging. Secondary osteoarthritis is usually the result of another condition or disease. Two examples of secondary osteoarthritis causes are abnormal joint structures from birth and repeated surgery or trauma to the affected joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis is generally caused by the body’s immune system getting triggered by an infection or some environmental factors. This triggering causes the body to produce antibodies – which are what the body uses to protect it from infections. These antibodies attack the joints, causing rheumatoid arthritis.

A Pottstown, PA arthritis doctor knows that a patient can also develop arthritis as a result of fractures that occur on the surface of the joint. It can also develop because of joint dislocations in patients who are already predisposed to develop post-traumatic arthritis. Studies have shown one possible cause for this type of arthritis developing; when the body sustains an injury, the body releases certain hormones, and those hormones can kill off the cartilage.

A fourth type of arthritis is more commonly known as gout. Gout is caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals over the long-term. This build-up in the joints can cause pain and deformity.

Psoriatic arthritis is associated with patients who have psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that produces scaling of the skin. Psoriatic arthritis affects the joints located at the ends of the patient’s fingers and toes. It can also sometimes cause changes in the nails of the fingers and toes. Some patients who seek out the help of an arthritis doctor in Pottstown, PA also suffer back pain when the condition affects the spinal area.

Is arthritis painful? 

Our Pottstown arthritis doctor knows that arthritis can be a minor nuisance for some people and severe pain for others. Some people may barely notice their arthritis when they get up in the morning. For others, they may have a completely new way of life where they have a much slower routine getting out of bed as they listen to their joints creak and groan. Arthritis typically comes with pain like:

  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Pain in your joints
  • Heat in your joints

When you visit your arthritis doctor in Pottstown, PA, you should speak openly about any symptoms you have noticed and how severe your symptoms are. 

How active should you be?

Maintaining a certain level of activity is usually encouraged. If you are able to, it is typically best to keep your muscles and joints moving as much as you can. If you use your muscles and joints less, they will begin to deteriorate and can make your pain and symptoms worse. Our arthritis doctor Pottstown, PA residents have relied on for years to discuss different exercises for you that will be safe.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most painful forms of arthritis that patients come to a Pottstown, PA arthritis doctor for. Both young and old can be affected by the condition. In fact, it is estimated that more than one million people are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis each year in the United States.

Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune condition. This is because the immune system attacks the synovium, which are the membranes that line the joints. The disease affects the body’s joints symmetrically. This means a joint on one side of the body is affected, so too will the joint on the other side (i.e., hip joints).

Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation, weakness, and misalignment of joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. However, an arthritis doctor in Pottstown, PA can help provide relief from the condition.

Some of the more common types of treatments include gentle chiropractic adjustments that will realign bones, ligaments, and tendons to their proper position. Physical therapy can also help strengthen the joints when they are back in their correct positions.

Lifestyle changes can also have a significant impact on symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition can play a vital role in controlling the inflammation from the arthritis. Avoiding foods that are processed, fried, flour-baked, and sugary can go a long way in keeping that painful inflammation down. Organic fruits and vegetables, fish, and chicken are much better choices and will not trigger the digestive tract toxins that can damage body proteins the way unhealthy foods do.

Exercise is also essential once an arthritic flare-up goes into remission. When a patient is having a flare-up, they should rest so the inflammation and pain will abate. Once it has, targeted exercises that help with range of motion, including dance, stretching, tai chi, and yoga should be done on a regular basis. Strength-building exercises, such as weightlifting, will help build muscles to support joints. Low impact aerobic exercises, including walking, swimming, and cycling, are also key.

How a Pottstown, PA Arthritis Doctor Can Help You

An arthritis doctor Pottstown, PA patients trust for care will try to help with the associated pain. There are a few methods we may utilize or recommend:

Get Up and Move

It may seem counterintuitive since osteoarthritis can cause pain when you move, but exercising is extremely important for your health and it can help in treating and preventing arthritis. Your arthritis doctor will assess your physical capabilities before working on an exercise regimen with you so that you are not pushing yourself too hard.

Choose Your Food Wisely

While there are many medications out there targeted toward people who have arthritis, the side effects can be alarming and even cause further symptoms. Changing up your diet could be one of the biggest and best steps you take in your treatment. In fact, some doctors may recommend certain diets—like the Mediterranean diet or Keto diet—to help reduce your inflammation. Once your inflammation is reduced, you may have a better opportunity to get more active.

Discuss Your Therapy Options

Your arthritis doctor Pottstown, PA residents depend on may recommend different types of therapies to help alleviate your pain. Some examples of therapy you might try are:

  • Fluoroscope therapy
  • PRP injections
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy

These types of therapy can relieve pain associated with arthritis and can help get the blood flowing to heal your body.

How To Manage Knee Pain If You Have Osteoarthritis

Approximately 30 million people have to manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis. This condition is one of the leading causes of disability in adults. Those who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis frequently experience pain in their knee joints. After the disease has developed, there isn’t a way to reverse it. Instead, people have to find ways to manage it in their daily lives while preventing further damage.

Thankfully, due to modern medicine, there are things that people can do each day to deal with their chronic knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Please read below for exercise and management tips, and consider meeting with an arthritis doctor Pottstown, Pennsylvania community members trust at Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania for an examination.

Always Warm Up and Cool Down

People with osteoarthritis of the knee should not just jump right into their workouts. If you warm up, your joints are less stiff, more lubricated, and thus easier to move. In this way you are decreasing your risk of enduring a knee injury while exercising. Cooling down afterward helps reset your body after physical exertion. 

Exercise In Ways That Are Low-Impact

If you have knee pain, then it’s best to do aerobic exercises that are low-impact, such as swimming, biking, and walking. These activities help build strength in the knee and surrounding muscles while supporting knee function. Your knee doctor may recommend going to physical therapy, where you can learn how to exercise without causing more harm to your knee joint. 

Avoid High-Impact And Repetitive Exercises

Exercise such as tennis, running, and basketball can put too much pressure on damaged knees. High-impact exercise that is repetitive causes more pain, decreases strength and stability while weakening proper alignment. If you aren’t sure whether an activity is too much, just listen to your body. If it hurts, then stay away.

Flexibility and Strength Training

As an arthritis doctor in Pottstown, PA, individuals may tell you during your first exam, participating in flexibility and strength activities can help the muscles around the joint, so the knee has more support. For example, stretching daily can assist in maintaining and perhaps even improving the elasticity of the knee. 

Maintain a Healthy Weight

While this can be a sensitive topic, maintaining as healthy of a weight as possible is a sure way to decrease pressure on your knees. And if your knees are already damaged, then you are likely to experience an even greater amount of pain and discomfort. Losing weight has been shown to alleviate knee pain and slow down the rate at which degeneration of the cartilage occurs. The overall message is this: if you have additional weight on your body, losing just a few pounds can lessen the severity and frequency of knee pain. 

Wear Shoes That Support The Knee

Studies show that the kind of shoe you purchase does matter, especially if you have osteoarthritis. Despite what you may think, shoes that are flexible and flat can actually encourage the foot to move in a more natural way, decreasing how much force is applied to the knee during exercise and movement.

Dealing with the pain of osteoarthritis is something that many people suffer from, but you do not have to work through this alone or by using strong medications. Instead, speak with an arthritis doctor Pottstown, PA residents rely on for care at the Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania, to see what kind of treatment plan we would utilize for your healing journey.

Sticking With Low-Impact Workouts 

Low-impact aerobics is a central focus of treating arthritis. Start by choosing an exercise that fits you, such as

  • stair climbing
  • walking
  • dancing and
  • low-impact cardio machines, like the elliptical trainer.

These exercises are better for you than activities that put stress on your joints, like running or playing basketball.

Another danger with arthritis is that it puts you at a greater risk of bone loss (osteoporosis). For that reason, weight-bearing exercises like walking, dancing, and stair climbing are especially useful because they help strengthen your bones.

Isometric Exercises for Better Arthritis Health

Isometric exercises are strength-training workouts in which the muscles contract, but the body doesn’t move. Isometrics involves tensing a muscle, then relaxing it. This type of training is especially useful if the usual weight lifting causes your joints to hurt.

Some advantages of isometrics include:

  • No need for additional equipment
  • The body is activating nearly all of its available motor units
  • Increased strength
  • Improved flexibility

Isometric exercises are beneficial because they can help you stay strong and healthy. While these exercises are less likely to hurt your joints than traditional weight training, if they do make your joints hurt, ask a trainer to show you another type of isometric exercise.

Isometric Chest Press

To gain strength in your chest, follow these steps:

  • With your arms at chest level, press the palms of your hands together as hard as you can
  • Hold for five seconds and then rest for the same amount of time
  • Do five repetitions
  • Slowly build up to holding the press for 10 to 15 seconds at a time
  • If it makes your joints hurt, ask a trainer to show you another type of isometric chest exercise

Isometric Shoulder Extension

This isometric exercise will help you develop greater shoulder strength. To do it correctly, follow these steps:

  • Stand with your back against a wall and your arms at your sides
  • With your elbows straight, push your arms back toward the wall
  • Hold for five seconds and then rest
  • Repeat 10 times
  • If it hurts your joints, ask a trainer to show you another isometric shoulder exercise

 Isometric Thigh Exercise

Get your thighs in shape with minimum joint pain by following these steps:

  • Sit on the floor or a bed with one leg straight and the other bent
  • Tighten the thigh muscles of your straight leg as hard as you can and count to six
  • Relax, and then repeat
  • Do it with the opposite leg, gradually increasing up to five, then 10, then 15 repetitions, twice a day with each leg
  • If it hurts your joints, ask a trainer to show you another isometric thigh exercise

Call Our Office Today

If you are suffering from arthritis, a Pottstown, PA arthritis doctor can help. Contact Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania to schedule an evaluation and find out what some of your treatment options may be.