All types of arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and tenderness in your joints, but underlying mechanisms that bring about your symptoms vary depending on the category and type of arthritis you have. Understanding your disease can help you decide what sorts of lifestyle changes could help and can guide your treatment plan. At Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates, our team of dedicated providers want you to enjoy the healthiest and most active lifestyle you can. If you have arthritis, physical activity is still crucial for good health and may even help ease your pain.

Categories of arthritis

Most types of arthritis fit into one of two categories: degenerative or inflammatory. Degenerative arthritis is sometimes called “wear-and-tear” arthritis and is caused by the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions your joints over time. Inflammatory arthritis is most often caused by a malfunction of your immune system.

Types of degenerative arthritis

Osteoarthritis is both the most common form of arthritis and the type that is synonymous with the category degenerative arthritis. The biggest risk factor for developing osteoarthritis is age. Symptoms include tenderness, swelling, and pain in your joints. Osteoarthritis can happen in any joint, but most often the knees, hips, and feet are affected.

No cure exists for osteoarthritis, but treatments can slow the progression of the disease. In some cases, the most appropriate and effective treatment is joint replacement.

Types of inflammatory arthritis

Inflammatory arthritis differs from degenerative arthritis in that it’s systemic, which means it affects more than your joints. In some types of inflammatory arthritis, your skin, other organs, your nervous system, or other parts of your body can be involved. The most common type of inflammatory arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is a malfunction of your immune system. Under normal circumstances, your immune system attacks invaders, such as bacteria, that can make you sick. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the lining of your joints. Other types of inflammatory arthritis include psoriatic arthritis, gout, and systemic lupus, among many others. Treatment for inflammatory arthritis depends on which type you have, as well as what your symptoms are.

The importance of movement with arthritis

Regardless of the category or type of arthritis you have, your joints will benefit from movement—although it may not feel like it at the moment. Physical activity can help keep the muscles, tendons, and other tissues that support your joints strong. Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy range of motion.

Getting appropriate treatment can help ease your pain so that you can move more comfortably. If you’re experiencing any joint pain, schedule an appointment at Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates, so we can begin determining the cause of your pain.

 Dr. Keppler is a practicing surgeon and member of the following organizations:

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