What is Arthritis?

What is Arthritis and How to Treat Arthritis

Call 281-633-8600. What is Arthritis? Dr. J. Michael Bennett describes answers the question and describes the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.  Dr. J. Michael Bennett is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and a Fellowship Trained Sports Medicine Doctor serving patients in the Greater Houston area through offices in Houston, near the Houston Galleria and Sugar Land, TX.

Here’s the video about “what is arthritis.”

This is the video transcript:

One question I am frequently asked is the differences between arthritis. There are two major types of arthritis. One is rheumatoid arthritis, and one is osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease; this means that the body is attacking itself. That means that your body is destroying your own joints and creates inflammation within these joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is usually treated by a rheumatologist and is often treated with medical management.

Osteoarthritis is wear and tear; to describe osteoarthritis to patients I like to use the image of a road: if you have a brand new road, it’s pristine, no potholes, no erosion. If it’s a road that’s been around for a little while, eventually the foundation tends to sink, you’ll notice some cracks and crevices, and occasionally you’ll get a pothole. Same thing applies to the knee joint. The more wear across the knee joint over time, the more erosion you can have. That’s why it’s important to understand that osteoarthritis is a progressive problem.

We have not figured out the magic bullet in how to reverse osteoarthritis, but we can do certain things to help slow it down. And in certain patients where there is an incredible amount of stress in the knee due to weight management issues, unloading or relieving some of that stress across the knee by losing weight is a big benefit. Also modification of activities is very good.

High impact activities in patients that already have arthritis may cause further arthritic change or may cause exacerbation for the problems regarding their arthritis. So I recommend low-impact activities, such as swimming, biking, elliptical, Pilates, Yoga, things like that. These are actually very good for the knee in regards to strengthening and less damaging to the knee as say, running on hard surfaces, particularly with the wrong kind of shoes or chronic, repetitive, high-impact type of activities.

So I do recommend that if you do notice any swelling in your knee joint, or as I mentioned before about deformity in the knee, if you do notice any kind of bowing in your knee, or if you notice you’ve become a little more knock-kneed over time associated with pain in the joint, then I recommend that you be evaluated by an orthopedic specialist. If you’ve always had joint pain and it’s involving multiple joints and you notice the joints feeling warm, hot and swelling, and this involves both knees or both hands or both elbows or both shoulders, if it’s more systemic involving multiple body parts, then you start thinking about the possibility of some sort of auto-immune or rheumatologic process and for that I would recommend being evaluated by a rheumatologist or your primary care physician to get the appropriate blood work to make that diagnosis. Otherwise go to your standard orthopedic surgeon and he can probably do those tests as well. But it is key to make the diagnosis early, because the earlier you make the determination, the more education and knowledge you can learn about your problem to where you can slow down the progress. And you can make the necessary adjustments as needed.

If you have any questions about this video or if you’d like to make an appointment, please call our office at 281-633-8600.

Author
Dr. J. Michael Bennett

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