Is Arthritis Reversible?

Is Arthritis Reversible?

Treatment for arthritis varies depending on the affected joint, what’s causing the inflammation, and the severity. While it’s impossible to undo the damage that’s already been done, targeted treatment can reduce your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. This is important in the long term, especially in cases involving chronic pain.

At CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center, with multiple locations in Maryland, our board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists assist many patients who suffer from arthritis pain.  

Types of arthritis 

Arthritis is an umbrella term that refers to conditions that cause joint inflammation. It affects nearly 60 million people in the United States alone, with most of them being older adults. The most common type of arthritis is wear-and-tear arthritis, or osteoarthritis, which accounts for about half of all cases.

Osteoarthritis occurs slowly over time, though it can worsen after an injury. Athletes and laborers are more likely to damage their joints, although most people develop arthritis at some point in their lives. Osteoarthritis is caused by the deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the joints. Without this buffer, the bones in the affected joints are left to rub together, which leads to inflammation.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues. This typically causes painful flare-ups in the affected joints followed by periods of relative comfort.

Another type of arthritis is commonly known as gout, which is caused when uric acid crystals settle in joints. Like a piece of sand or glass, these crystals can cause irritation and inflammation in the affected joints. Most people with gout notice pain in the joints of the big toe.  

Why arthritis cannot be reversed

Unlike prediabetes or gingivitis, which can be treated and their effects reversed, there’s no walking back arthritis of any kind. Once joints have sustained damage due to arthritis, it cannot be reversed.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are both progressive diseases, meaning they usually worsen over time. The best option is usually to manage the symptoms and prevent further damage.

If you don’t have arthritis, you can limit your risk by taking care of your joints, maintaining a steady weight, and receiving physical therapy for any injuries. 

Treating arthritis 

While there’s no cure for arthritis, there are plenty of treatment options. If you’re beginning to notice joint stiffness and swelling, decreased range of motion, pain, and/or joint weakness, it might be time to consult a specialist.

At CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center, our team will ask questions and perform diagnostics to determine the nature of your pain and how to reduce it. Your plan will depend on your specific case, but it could include any of the following treatments:

While arthritis is usually treated using conservative and minimally invasive methods, sometimes surgery or even a joint replacement is necessary to repair severe damage. 

To learn more about the different types of arthritis and your treatment options, book an appointment online or over the phone with CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center today.

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