Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. It’s a broad term as there are a lot of diseases that lead to arthritis. Additionally, not all of these diseases affect the same joints. Some affect large joints, while others affect small ones.
Rheumatology is the branch of internal medicine that commonly handles arthritis cases. Orthopedic surgeons may also be involved, especially if a joint is so severely damaged that it needs to be replaced. At OC Wellness and Specialty Pharmacy in Orange, CA, we do our best to provide patients with the drugs they need to treat their arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a common form that mainly affects the elderly. Over time, weight-bearing joints like the knees start to suffer from erosion of the cartilages that cushion them. This leads to bones coming in direct contact with each other causing damage.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that commonly presents between the ages of 40 and 60, so earlier than rheumatoid arthritis. This isn’t due to mechanical damage, though. In rheumatoid arthritis, antibodies abnormally attack the joint. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis mostly affects the small joints of the hand.
Systemic lupus is a systemic condition that can affect any organ in the body, including the joints, heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.
There are plenty of other forms of arthritis like ankylosing spondylitis, which affects the vertebrae and psoriatic arthritis. These two, along with reactive arthritis, are known as seronegative because they don’t have a specific lab test that helps diagnose them.
The treatment of arthritis depends on the cause. Painkillers in the form of NSAIDs are usually prescribed to most patients to help them live pain-free lives. At OC Wellness and Specialty Pharmacy, we also deal with more serious prescriptions for arthritis.
Many cases, especially in rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, need corticosteroids or immunosuppressive therapy. These conditions are autoimmune, so lowering the immunity can help control the disease. Of course, these drugs can have serious side effects. You should follow-up with your physician as instructed.