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Arthritis

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A majority of adults will suffer from a form of arthritis over the course of their lifetime. This is because, as we grow older, the cartilage around our joints starts to break apart, causing the inner workings of our knees, hips, shoulders, neck, hands, wrists, feet, ankles and elbows to become inflamed, stiff and painful. While little can be done to avoid arthritis that’s caused by normal wear and tear, you can keep the aging process from speeding up by avoiding overuse of the joint, eating right, staying active, managing your weight, not smoking, and taking anti-inflammatory drugs as recommended by your doctor. Of course, forms of arthritis that are not caused by normal usage (such as rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder) are less likely to be delayed just by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Ironically, the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis may worsen when the joint is out of use – yet that same pain and stiffness are often what keeps you from engaging in physical activities. Because regular exercise is so important to your overall health – and because there are effective means of medically addressing arthritis – it is certainly worth a trip to your primary care doctor if and when you begin to experience chronic joint pain and stiffness. Remember that arthritis is a degenerative condition that typically worsens over time, so the earlier you seek treatment, the better.

At Temple Terrace Primary Care next to the University of South Florida in Tampa’s Temple Terrace neighborhood, our physicians have extensive experience in helping arthritis sufferers to regain their range of motion and resume a more active lifestyle. Dr. Martinez's training as a doctor of osteopathic medicine gives her a special understanding of the musculoskeletal system and therapeutic methods for addressing arthritis.

If you are one of the many Tampa-area residents who experiences considerable joint pain and stiffness that seems only to worsen over time, we encourage you to call Temple Terrace Primary Care and make an appointment with our medical team as soon as possible. Contact us at 813.971.3136 or make an appointment request via our convenient, online form.

Common Forms of Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Septic arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis

Symptoms

  • Aching joints
  • Decreased joint flexibility
  • Inflammation
  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint weakness
  • Redness and warmth

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Advanced age
  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Family history
  • Infection
  • Previous joint injury
  • Normal wear-and-tear
  • Obesity
  • Psoriasis
  • Steriod use
  • Underlying medical condition

Possible Treatments

  • Exercises to strengthen muscles and joints
  • NSAID medications
  • Surgery/joint replacement
  • Lifestyle modifications (diet, weight management, exercise)