Which doctor treats arthritis is impossible to say for sure. The correct treatment for inflammation of the joints can be prescribed only after finding out the exact cause of the disease. To select a therapeutic regimen, you will need to examine more than one specialist. The therapist, allergist, orthopedist, traumatologist, cardiologist, immunologist advise patients with arthritis. Only complex treatment, taking into account deviations in different organs and systems, will help to achieve full recovery without the appearance of complicated conditions.
Who cures arthritis
The specialization of a doctor who can help cope with the disease varies from an orthopedist to a cardiologist. Arthritis treatment is prescribed after diagnostic measures by one or more medical specialists.
Feeling pain and seeing a swollen knee, a man hurries to the clinic to find out what the disease is and how to treat it. In medical practice, several types of arthritis are known, classified according to the nature of the origin of the inflammatory reaction. Therefore, for an initial examination of the patient, make an appointment with a local therapist, who directs him to the right specialist.
The local general practitioner does not specialize in the treatment of joints, but can give directions for blood and urine tests and recommend contacting a doctor with a narrow focus:
- Orthopedic traumatologist, whose competence is traumatic and deformation pathology of the musculoskeletal system;
- A surgeon who will exclude vascular diseases, and will also advise on the surgical treatment of arthritis;
- Rheumatologist – for the treatment of autoimmune processes;
- An immunologist – with the rheumatoid nature of the pathology;
- Cardiologist – when involved in a systemic disease of the heart and joints;
- A vertebrologist who specializes in the treatment of the spine;
- Dermatologist – with skin pathologies preceding joint inflammation;
- Infectious disease specialist – for differential diagnosis in cases of suspected infectious pathology factor.
Comprehensive treatment, taking into account all the medical areas that are involved in the inflammatory process, will provide recovery not only in mobile joints, but also eliminate possible complications.
How does the disease appear
Arthritis is a complex of inflammatory processes in articular tissues, the consequence of which may be irreversible deformation of the cartilage layer and articular capsule. Inflammation is nothing more than protecting the body against irritation or the introduction of a pathogen.
Inflamed articular tissues are damaged, starting to secrete a large amount of intercellular fluid, which accumulates in the joint bag in the form of effusion. The next step will be the growth of cells for the subsequent regeneration of the affected areas.
Joint tissues react sharply to mechanical irritation after traumatic injury or the formation of microcracks with a large load on the joint. Open fractures or injuries are the entrance gate to the infectious factor. Bactericidal microorganisms can enter the joint in an indirect way – through the bloodstream from distant foci of infection.
Arthritis caused by allergens develop with a combination of provoking factors: poor ecology, malnutrition and weakened immunity. Malfunctions of the immune system in combination with the presence of a specific antigen in the blood lead to autoimmune pathologies, which are based on the aggression of immune cells to healthy joint tissues.
In medical practice, the disease is classified according to many criteria. The variety of forms for various manifestations will help determine exactly which doctor treats arthritis.
By the duration of the course:
- acute process – with a sudden onset and a vivid clinical picture, the first sign of which is severe pain with severe swelling against the background of an increase in body temperature;
- chronic stage – a long course with a mild symptomatology.
By the number of affected joints:
- monoarthritis – a disease develops in one joint, most often in a large joint (knee, hip, elbow);
- polyarthritis – several joints (joints of the hands, feet) become inflamed.
Given the etiology and course, primary and secondary arthritis are isolated. Primary forms include:
- Arthritis due to destructive changes in the tissues of the joint (with arthrosis);
- Rheumatoid autoimmune form, developing after streptococcal infections;
- Septic form with an infectious nature of origin;
- Gouty arthritis, an irritating factor in which is crystallized salts of uric acid;
- Pseudogout – inflammation associated with the deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joint bag;
- Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease of adolescence;
- Spondylitis – with damage to the articular complex of the spinal column.
Secondary arthritis, as a complication of other diseases, can occur with systemic lupus erythematosus, hemochromatosis, hepatitis, granulomatosis, borreliosis. An inflammatory complication of the joints also develops with tuberculosis, syphilis, psoriasis.
Clinic of the disease
The severity of symptoms depends on the etiology of arthritis and the nature of the pathogen. The inflammatory reaction is manifested by the main symptoms:
- pain of a different nature and intensity: sharp – with an acute form of inflammation, twitching – with a purulent course of the disease, weak aching – with the transition of the disease to the chronic stage;
- swelling of the affected joint: with infectious and acute course, severe swelling is observed, the chronic form is characterized by a small accumulation of intercellular fluid in the soft tissues;
- hyperemia of the skin;
- local body temperature rises above the inflamed place;
- motor ability is severely limited.
In addition to the characteristic signs of inflammation in the joint during movement, an unnatural clicking sound appears. In the morning after waking up, stiffness is observed, which disappears after a short warm-up.
The septic form of arthritis against the background of a progressive infection leads to the development of general intoxication. A person’s body temperature rises to high values, weakness and headache appear. A prolonged inflammation process can lead to a complete loss of motion function due to joint destruction due to deformational changes in the joint capsule.
Drug therapy begins with the selection of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for long-term use. Brufen, Acetylsalicylic acid, Flurbiprofen, only your doctor should prescribe them, they are taken in monthly courses to fight inflammation and pain.
To provide local anti-inflammatory action and relieve swelling, corticosteroid hormones – Prednisolone, Hydrocortisone will help. For intra-articular injection, a therapeutic puncture is performed, when after washing the joint is filled with medicine.
Chlorochil, Methotrexate, as immunosuppressants, suppress excessive activity of the immune system, and, as a rule, are prescribed for a long time. Antihistamines (Suprastin, Tavegil) stop the desensitizing state. Chondroprotectors (Don, Arthra, Teraflex) saturate the affected joint with glucosamine and chondroitin to stop the destruction of articular tissues.
Particular importance is given to physiotherapy exercises. It is recommended to start classes four days after the removal of acute inflammation. A set of exercises is compiled by an instructor for exercise therapy taking into account individual capabilities after a functional examination.
It is impossible to take into account each factor that can lead to arthritis, but following simple recommendations, the risk of developing intra-articular inflammation will decrease several times:
- proper nutrition determines the quality of the trophic joint, maintains weight in an optimal form, so that the daily load corresponds to adequate indicators;
- daily physical training strengthens muscle tissue and ligaments, ensuring optimal joint functioning;
- properly equip the workplace;
- seek medical attention in a timely manner at the first pain in the joint, infections or chronic pathologies.
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