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Many people suffer from the joint pain and discomfort that arthritis brings.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is the swelling and inflammation of joints. While there are hundreds of types of arthritis, the two most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Each type of arthritis damages joints in different ways. In some cases, arthritis will affect the surrounding tissue of a damaged joint as well.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is due to wear and tear. It most commonly occurs in the knees, spine, hips, and hands but can be present in other joints in the body as well. When joint cartilage breaks down, osteoarthritis occurs.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the affected joints. This occurs when your body’s immune system misidentifies your healthy cells and attacks them as if they are foreign invaders, such as harmful viruses or bacteria. Rheumatoid arthritis can attack many joints at once and is most common in women.

At Arizona Pain and Spine Institute, we treat arthritis that impacts many areas of the body. Some of our most common treatments include pain management for:

  • Hip Arthritis
  • Knee Arthritis
  • Shoulder Arthritis

You can read more about your specific condition and our available treatments on the pages above.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

The most common symptoms of arthritis are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Joint changes
  • Warmth
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tenderness

In severe cases, arthritis pain can make it impossible for sufferers to walk, go up and down stairs and result in the inability to perform daily activities such as cleaning, bathing, brushing their teeth, gardening, and more. People with arthritis may even abstain from social events due to their pain and discomfort.

What causes arthritis?

Autoimmune Diseases

Some types of arthritis are classified as autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, and others. Many inflammatory arthritis conditions are caused by the body’s immune system turning on itself. Genetics play a role in who will develop an autoimmune disease but many other factors influence these diseases as well.


People born with specific genes are more likely to develop inflammatory types of arthritis. HLA genes put people at a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and lupus. The reason why is unknown.

Osteoporosis is also considered an inherited disease. If you have family members with OA, you’re more likely to develop it. Fibromyalgia is linked to genetics as well.


Certain infections can lead to arthritis. Lyme disease, staph, hepatitis, mumps, and joint infections can all cause arthritis, the most common infectious cause being staph. This type of arthritis is reactive, meaning an infection somewhere in the body causes inflammation in the joints.


Injuries that cause joint damage can lead to arthritis. Joints can be damaged while playing sports or in a car accident. Traumatic damage weakens the affected bone or cartilage causing it to break down, leading to arthritis.

How is arthritis treated?

While arthritis can be a debilitating disease, there are treatment options available that can ease pain and discomfort. Once a patient has received a diagnosis, we create an individualized treatment plan to best serve their needs. When beginning treatment, remember that all bodies respond differently, so you may have to try several options before finding what works best for you. As with many medical conditions, the earlier a patient receives treatment, the better. The following are common treatment options your doctor may recommend.


Depending on the diagnosis, medication can be a great option for reducing pain and managing inflammation. NSAIDS (anti-inflammatories), painkillers such as acetaminophen, tramadol, and oxycodone, oral or injected corticosteroids, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs for rheumatoid arthritis are just a few medications used to combat arthritis. Those with infectious arthritis may require antibiotics.

Occupational & Physical Therapy

Both occupational therapy and physical therapy can benefit patients with arthritis. Physical therapy programs are designed with strength and mobility in mind. Occupational therapy is primarily used to teach patients how to complete daily activities that have become difficult and how to adapt so that their quality of life does not suffer.


While surgery is the least conservative treatment option, for some patients it is necessary. Surgery can be used to replace, resurface and repair any joints that are damaged. There are many types of surgery used to combat and repair damage due to arthritis but some of the most common are joint replacements, synovectomies, arthroscopies, joint resurfacing procedures, and joint fusions.

Joint replacement procedures are most commonly performed on the knees and hips and involve a total replacement of damaged joints. A synovectomy is the removal of damaged synovium and is typically performed on people with rheumatoid arthritis. Joint fusions use hardware to fuse multiple bones together. Arthroscopic procedures aim to repair damaged tissue and cartilage and can sometimes eliminate the need for a total joint replacement. Joint resurfacing involves placing an implant to create a smooth surface with the intention of reducing pain and increasing the patient’s range of motion.

Home Remedies

Arthritis can be relieved at home through hot & cold packs and lifestyle changes. It is important for anyone suffering from arthritis to consider the following lifestyle changes.

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get plenty of rest.

Heat can be used to help relax muscles, spasms and relieve stiffness. Cold packs can reduce swelling, pain, and calm inflammation as well.

AZ Pain and Spine Institute
Arthritis Treatments

Here at Arizona Pain and Spine Institute, we improve our patients’ quality of life by alleviating and managing their pain. Some of our Arthritis treatments include:

Why Choose AZ Pain - Image

Why choose AZ Pain and Spine Institute to treat your Arthritis?

We have a team of medical practitioners, pain management doctors, and staff who are experts on pain management, including Arthritis. We use state-of-the-art technology and effective approaches in achieving our mission. We care about your well-being and are committed to making your life pain-free.