Arthritis joint pain and stiffness can make even the simplest tasks difficult to accomplish. Dr. James Ashford and his team at Ashford Pain Solutions in Athens, Georgia, offer treatment that reduces your pain and helps preserve the health of your joints. Dr. Ashford is a board-certified anesthesiologist and interventional pain management specialist who is known for his skill in creating customized treatment plans designed to reduce the painful effect of arthritis on your joints and its impact on your lifestyle. Schedule a visit today by calling the office or booking your appointment online.
Arthritis Q & A
What is arthritis?
“Arthritis” is a general term that describes inflammation, swelling, and stiffness in one or more joints. There are many types of arthritis, the most common of which are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Each affects the soft tissue structures of joints, typically worsens over time, and can eventually cause debilitating pain and joint immobility.
What are the differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It’s a wear-and-tear type condition that occurs as the slippery cartilage tissue covering the ends of bones within a joint begins to degrade. This is often associated with the aging process but may begin at any age as the result of a traumatic joint injury or overuse during sports activities, job-related tasks, or routine chores at home.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder that’s caused by a faulty immune system attacking the tough capsular membrane that surrounds and encloses a joint (synovial membrane). This action by your immune system causes inflammation, swelling, and pain, and can progress to destruction of cartilage and bone within the joint.
As arthritis worsens, you may find it difficult to perform daily tasks due to joint stiffness and pain. When it affects weight-bearing joints, for instance, such as the hips, knees, and joints within your spine, arthritis can keep you from walking or sitting up straight.
What is the treatment for arthritis?
As an interventional pain management specialist, one of only a very few in northern Georgia, Dr. Ashford takes a multipronged approach to addressing the symptoms associated with arthritis. The goal of treatment is to reduce your pain, improve joint function, and help reduce further joint damage. Each treatment plan is customized to individual needs and circumstances.
For instance, Dr. Ashford may recommend:
- Exercises to strengthen the muscles that support and protect your joints
- Therapeutic medical massage to help manage pain and stiffness
- Medications delivered via joint injections to reduce inflammation and relieve pain
- Minimally invasive procedures such as nerve blocks and radiofrequency treatments to temporarily prevent pain signals from reaching the brain
- Acupuncture for pain relief
- Yoga and other gentle stretching exercises to increase and maintain joint flexibility