Typically, the pain associated with arthritis is caused by joint damage. Different forms of arthritis have different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body. For example, in osteoarthritis, wear-and-tear damage to cartilage can result in a bone grinding directly on another bone, which causes pain and restricts movement.
However, in rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks its joint and inflames the synovium—the thin membrane that lines the joint capsule—causing redness, swelling and pain.
A physical exam can detect certain signs of arthritis, including fluid around a joint; warm, red, tender joints; and difficulty moving a joint.
Depending on the type of arthritis suspected, some of the following tests might be suggested:
- A joint fluid test can help confirm a diagnosis of arthritis. Joint fluid is obtained by inserting a needle into the joint space.
- Imaging tests such as a CT scan and MRI can be used to examine bone, tendons, ligaments and surrounding soft tissues.
- Arthoscopy can reveal damage in the joint by inserting a small, flexible tube—called an arthoscope—through an incision near the joint to transmit images from inside the joint.
The goal of arthritis treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and prevent further joint damage. The underlying cause of arthritis cannot be cured. The most effective treatment for arthritis depends on the type of arthritis being treated—and the condition of the patient.
At PMIR, we offer a variety of treatment options for arthritis that includes: