Is it osteoarthritis or something else? Treating symptoms starts with specialist expertise in Encinitas, CA
The first step to relief from the pain, stiffness, tenderness, and swelling of osteoarthritis (OA) is an understanding of the root cause of your symptoms. Only then can board-certified rheumatologist Dr. Peter Lloyd begin the process of effectively treating osteoarthritis in Encinitas, CA, at the office of Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center.
At its heart, osteoarthritis arises any time the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in your joints degrades. Firm, slippery cartilage facilitates free movement of the joints, so there is no painful friction. When cartilage erodes entirely, bone rubs on bone. So, osteoarthritis is often thought of as a “wear and tear” disease. Chronic wear can result in not only the breakdown of cartilage but also in the erosion of the entire joint. The bone and connective tissues that are designed to support the joint (and attach muscle to bone) also deteriorate and inflame the lining of the joints.
The following factors put you at an increased risk of developing OA:
- Middle-aged and older
- Have a parent or sibling with osteoarthritis
- Previous sports injuries or other trauma
- Work or participate in activities that involve repetitive motions
- Congenital conditions, such as bone deformities
- Comorbidities, such as diabetes and excess iron (hemochromatosis)
Obesity stresses joints. Fatty tissue is also associated with proteins that cause inflammation in and around the joints. Additionally, even injuries that seemingly healed years ago can increase the risk of OA later on. Repetitive actions repeatedly stress the same joint, which can then be subject to osteoarthritis.
Without treatment, osteoarthritis only gets worse. Often, it causes persistent pain that can interfere with daily tasks and hobbies or activities that were once enjoyable to you. Depression and insomnia are associated with OA, due to debilitating pain and how that pain affects your life.
Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center will get you back to enjoying life again! By clinically evaluating your symptoms and using advanced diagnostics and tests to assess blood and joint fluid, Dr. Lloyd confirms your diagnosis and differentiates it from other conditions that have overlapping symptoms. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and tendinitis cause symptoms that are similar to OA. With a definitive diagnosis in hand, Dr. Lloyd may recommend therapies such as corticosteroid injections. Lubricants such as Hyaluronic Acid may also be injected into the affected joints. Treatments are ultrasound-assisted for utmost comfort and precision.
We live up to the “wellness” part of our name, as Dr. Lloyd may suggest lifestyle modifications, as well as exercises and physical therapy, to improve your symptoms, and as non-invasive alternatives to surgical procedures. Call Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center at 760-509-2429 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lloyd in Encinitas, CA.