Osteoarthritis is sometimes called the “wear and tear” of the joints, “La bola de años.” Cano’s arthritis specialists encounter patients with arthritic pain occurring in the knees, back, shoulders, or in just about any existing joint throughout the body. It is the most common chronic condition of the joints. Arthritis is diagnosed when the cushion between the joints, otherwise known as cartilage, breaks down, leading to increased joint pain, stiffness, swelling and limitations in movement. Almost 2/3 of arthritis sufferers are under the age of 65, and approximately half of the American population will develop Osteoarthritis in one of their knees throughout their lifetime.
Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. You may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of treatments, before you determine what works best for you. The medications used to treat arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. Commonly used arthritis medications include:
These medications help reduce pain, but have no effect on inflammation. Examples include acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet, others) and narcotics containing oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin, others) or hydrocodone (Norco, Vicoprofen, others).
NSAIDs reduce both pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Some types of NSAIDs are available only by prescription. Oral NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation, and some may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Some NSAIDs are also available as creams or gels, which can be rubbed on joints.
Some varieties of creams and ointments contain menthol or capsaicin, the ingredient that makes hot peppers spicy. Rubbing these preparations on the skin over your aching joint may interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.
Often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, DMARDs slow or stop your immune system from attacking your joints. Examples include methotrexate (Trexall) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil).
Typically used in conjunction with DMARDs, biologic response modifiers are genetically engineered drugs that target various protein molecules that are involved in the immune response. Examples include etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade).
At Cano, we combine both skill and care in all of our departments, the Arthritis specialists are no different. Led by Dr. Laurice Gabriel, our arthritis team wants to make all your joint and musculoskeletal issues vanish for our patients.
Dr. Laurice Gabriel received her Doctor’s in Medicine from Wayne State University. Dr. Gabriel has a passion for healthcare and especially proficient in arthritis-related procedures such as joint injections.