Living with Arthritis

Do you live with chronic joint pain due to intermediate or advanced arthritis? As many Americans become less healthy, struggling with diet and weight, the number of people battling joint pain continues to increase. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 2040, 78 million American adults (more than a quarter of the population) will have been diagnosed with arthritis.

At Farmbrook Internal Medicine PC in Bingham Farms, Michigan, Dr. Joseph Hagen starts at the beginning and walks arthritis patients through medically based treatments to help restore mobility, increase flexibility, and enhance overall health through minimized pain.

About arthritis

Arthritis can strike anyone at any age. It is more likely in older people whose joints have experienced a severe injury or many small injuries and wear and tear over the years. However, more than half of all arthritis patients are under 65, and almost 60% are women.

Arthritis means “joint inflammation,” and it can result from genetic factors that cause the bones and cartilage in your joints to slowly dissolve, or come from damage done by trauma or repetitive motion. 

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is characterized by a loss of cartilage that affects your joints and spine. Another form is rheumatoid arthritis, which is a highly inflammatory condition that causes swelling around your joints.

To diagnose arthritis, Dr. Hagan takes a complete medical history, asks about relatives who may have had arthritis, checks your joints, and does a full physical. He may also request additional testing such as an MRI, X-ray, or ultrasound, as well as urine, blood, and joint fluid tests to further refine the diagnosis.

Arthritis treatments to improve your quality of life

For most arthritis patients, treatment begins with pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, as well as cold and heat treatment. From there, Dr. Hagan may introduce steroid treatment to lower inflammation, and leading edge oral medications that modify the immune system — known as biologics. He might also work with you to create a nutrition program to help you lose weight if it’s negatively affecting your condition. 

Many arthritic patients find more arthritis relief from weight loss than any other single factor, particularly those with spine and knee pain. Knees bear 1.5 times your body weight when standing or walking and 2-3 times your body weight when climbing stairs. When you squat, that number jumps to 4-5 times your body weight. So losing extra pounds can make a big difference in the load your knees carry and in your pain. 

Living with arthritis can mean making some lifestyle changes and committing to a medication and treatment regimen. With Dr. Hagen’s help, your quality of life can be significantly improved and your pain levels reduced. 

If you’re suffering from joint or back pain and suspect arthritis, even if you’re young, it’s time to see a doctor. Contact our offices at 248-593-0575 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hagan. You can also book your appointment online.

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