Arthritis Care and Treatment in Malvern, PA

What is Arthritis?

There are two categories of arthritis, inflammatory and non-inflammatory.   Inflammatory arthritis involves your entire system and may deteriorate or even fuse joints in your body at multiple locations.  Joints become inflamed and painful and worsen over time.  Multiple problems can occur throughout your body and affect your hair, skin, nails, and even organs, depending on the type of arthritis.   A few types of inflammatory arthritis include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis,  Lupus, and Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Non-inflammatory arthritis, or Osteoarthritis, is sometimes called “aging arthritis” because it takes time to show up.  Osteoarthritis is not a systemic condition like Inflammatory Arthritis, therefore will only affect a problematic joint -see below for “Causes”.  Osteoarthritis is progressive, meaning once it starts, it is not likely to stop worsening.   Also, Osteoarthritis is degenerative, meaning that it breaks down the normal and healthy tissue within a joint.   It may affect knees, toes, shoulders, hips, wrists, or anywhere along the spine.   Any place in your body where two bones meet together to form a joint may be affected.   Joints become dry, cartilage thins and tears, bone spurs form, spinal discs flatten and degenerate, and over time, mobility can become greatly reduced.  The final stage of Osteoarthritis is often called “bone on bone,” and this occurs when there is little to no cartilage left in the joint.

Osteoarthritis a Normal Part of Aging?

Osteoarthritis is not normal aging.  Some doctors may dismiss having Osteoarthritis as normal aging because it is common and takes years to decades to show up.  If Osteoarthritis was normal aging, then you would see it in all your joints with similar severities.   When we take X-rays of our patients’ joints, however, many joints can look perfectly normal, whereas other joints are severely arthritic.  When we find mild arthritis in a younger patient, it is even more important than the person understands arthritis and what they can do to mitigate it, slow it down, or even stop it from progressing.

Can Arthritis be Reversed?

There are varied opinions regarding the reversal of Osteoarthritis.  The general consensus is that once it starts, it progresses over time, but at Aligned Medical Group, we believe for some younger, healthier, and pro-active patients with milder cases, the process can reverse and improve.  Left unmanaged, arthritis will progress faster.  With the use of human cells and tissue products, the damage from arthritis can be reversed.  Cell and tissue products do not treat arthritis directly, however are shown effective at repairing the damage from arthritis, which may stabilize the condition and give someone their life back.

What Causes Arthritis?

Inflammatory Arthritis is caused by problems with one’s immune system.   Since about 90% of the health of your immune system correlates with the health of your gut, links of auto-immune diseases are made with what we consume and how we maintain our guts.

Osteoarthritis is caused by problematic joint motion, and/or injury to a joint.  Our joints rely on movement so the tissues can exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, nutrition, and cellular waste.  With a lack of motion in a joint, or an inactive joint, the tissues begin to degenerate.  If a joint is injured, whether it is a sudden injury like whiplash or sprain, or if it is cumulative microtrauma over time with sports, occupational activities, for example, the injury may result in scar tissue which decreased the ability of the joint tissues top exchange nutrition.  Other factors come into play which creates excess pressure on joints, again limiting the exchange of nutrition such as excess body weight, or tight muscles surrounding a joint.  Remember that movement is the key to a healthy life, and motion is lotion on your joints.

If you are living with arthritis and want to learn more about how an integrative medical practice can help you better control your symptoms, call Aligned Medical Group, P.C. at (484) 483-6077 to schedule a consultation.