At Magdalena Blasko, DPM, Inc., we offer premier treatment options to ease arthritis pain, provide relief, and elevate your quality of life. If you're ready to receive the level of care you deserve, call us at (415) 353-5715 or book online to the right. If not, read on to see how we can help! Hope to see you soon!
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints, causing swelling and tenderness. The pain and stiffness of your joints will typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis.
In Rheumatoid arthritis, one’s own immune system attacks their joints. Some common medical conditions relating to joints include gout, where excess uric acid crystals in your blood damage the joints, psoriasis, a dermatological condition associated with arthritis, and lupus, which is also caused by inflammation of joints.
Treatment varies according to the type of arthritis one has. However, the main goals of treatment are to improve quality of life and to reduce symptoms. Whatever the type of arthritis, we at Magdalena Blasko, DPM, Inc. can help you overcome symptoms and get back to a normal routine.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
Reduced range of motion of your joints
Risk factors for arthritis include family history, your age, sex, obesity or previous injuries to joints. Arthritis can make life increasingly difficult, especially when it affects your ability to do day to day tasks and to walk comfortably. In some patients, joints can even get deformed as a result.
Diagnosis of arthritis
After a thorough history, we will do a complete physical examination. Your joints will be looked at for swelling, tenderness, redness, warmth and range of motion. Depending on the suspected type of arthritis, some of the following tests will be ordered for you to exclude or confirm the type of arthritis you have.
Laboratory tests – your blood, urine and joint fluid may be analyzed to detect the type of arthritis.
X Rays – to see cartilage loss, bone damage and bone spurs.
CT scan – creates cross sectional views of internal structures to visualize bone and surrounding soft tissue.
MRI scans – More detailed cross-sectional images of soft tissue will be visualized such as cartilage, ligaments and tendons as well as nerves and vessels related to these structures.
Ultrasound scans – For imaging of soft tissue and fluid containing structures around joints (bursae).
How is arthritis treated?
Once the type of arthritis is correctly diagnosed, we will commence treatment. Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving musculo-skeletal function. A combination of treatments may be explored to determine what works best for you. Treatments generally fall into two categories: medication and physiotherapy.
Commonly used arthritis medications include:
Painkillers reduce pain but not inflammation such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) to treat mild pain, usually prescribed to patients who cannot tolerate anti-inflammatories due to stomach problems. For severe pain opioids may be prescribed such Oxycodone. Opioids should not be used long term as they can cause dependency.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce both pain and inflammation with common examples being Ibuprofen (Advil) and Naproxen (Aleve). However, they may give rise to stomach irritation and increase risk for heart attacks and strokes. There are NSAID creams and gels which can be applied topically over inflamed joints as an alternative as well.
Counter-irritants containing menthol and capsaicin come in various creams and ointments. When rubbed over the joints, it will interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the affected area.
Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. They stop your immune system from attacking the joints with the most popular examples being Methotrexate, Hydroxychloroquine
Corticosteroids like Prednisone and Cortisone reduce inflammation and suppress your immune system. They can be taken orally or be injected at the affected joints.
Biologic response modifiers are used in conjunction with DMARDs that target various protein molecules involved in immune response. Examples include TNF inhibitors (Etanercept and infliximab). Ultrasound guided joint aspiration and injections can also be used..
Physical therapy is helpful for many types of arthritis. We will carefully guide you through suitable exercises to improve your range of motion and strengthen the muscles which surround your joints.
Splints and braces can be used where necessary. When the decision is made to prescribe you medical corrective devices, we want to make sure your painful areas are supported, you get back functionality that you had lost, we reduce any further deterioration and begin to improve tissue regeneration.
However, complete recovery is not possible. Orthotics and specially made footwear are found to be very effective in arthritis treatment and gait support, especially if your feet are deformed. When conservative measures fail, our specialists will suggest surgeries such as joint repair, replacement or joint fusion as a last resort to improve your quality of life.
Foot problems are extremely common especially in patients with osteoarthritis. Foot pain and deformity in arthritis patients significantly contribute to disability and as such, arthritis can be disruptive and disconcerting. That is where we step in. We are experts in dealing with all kinds of foot and ankle problems related to arthritis.
Deformed feet due to arthritis may lead to many foot problems such as corns, callus and bunions. We do regular assessments of your feet and document the rate of structural change that can aid treatment decisions and improve outcomes.
Come see us at Magdalena Blasko, DPM, Inc. Our highly qualified team of experts can diagnose and effectively treat arthritis related issues, allowing you to get back on your feet quickly.