Arthritis Specialist

Gulf West Medical Associates

Rajesh B Dave, MD

Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Port Richey, FL

Arthritis is a term used as an umbrella for a collection of incurable and disabling joint conditions. If you have joint pain, you need the expert services of board-certified internist Rajesh Dave, MD, of Gulf West Medical Associates in Port Richey, Florida. Dr. Dave is an experienced, caring physician providing men and women with outstanding service and compassionate care and treatment. Call Gulf West Medical Associates today or book an appointment online.

Arthritis Q&A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis comes in multiple forms — in fact, there are more than a hundred conditions classified as arthritis. What they all have in common is that they cause joint pain, stiffness, and reduced function.

Joints are places where bones meet, allowing for a cohesive skeleton. As you get older, the cartilage that cushions your joints gradually wears away from everyday use.

Of the many types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the form you’re most likely to develop. Osteoarthritis is a wear-and-tear condition that affects many people as they get older. Osteoarthritis develops when your cartilage wears away so severely that the ends of the bones start rubbing together.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

As there are multiple forms of arthritis, there are some symptoms that would only be present with a particular kind of arthritis. For example, psoriatic arthritis leads to patches of thick, white, flaking skin. Symptoms of arthritis that are almost universal are those affecting the joints themselves, which include:

  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Distortion

Arthritis pain is typically constant but varies in severity from a dull ache to throbbing, excruciating pain. A flare-up can occur with a change in the weather or a change in your routine. Stress can also cause a flare-up.

Arthritis is incurable, and symptoms typically worsen over time. Untreated, arthritis can cause loss of function and severely impaired mobility.

How is arthritis treated?

As there’s no cure for arthritis, treatment focuses on reducing pain and inflammation and improving range of movement. The first step in managing arthritis is to make sure you adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

A balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables helps keep your body stronger and healthier, whereas smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a poor diet can all make arthritis worse. Being overweight also puts undue strain on your joints, which makes arthritis worse.

If you need help with making lifestyle changes, Dr. Dave can give you the information and support you need. He can also help if you need to lose weight, manage stress, or quit smoking and drinking.

Exercise and physical therapy are essential to keep you moving when you have arthritis. If you don’t exercise, your joints are likely to stiffen more rapidly so you become immobile much sooner.

Dr. Dave creates an individualized treatment plan for you that could include options such as:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Prescription medications 
  • Steroid injections
  • Hyaluronic acid injections

In some cases, arthritis becomes so severe that you might need to consider surgery, such as osteotomy, or joint replacement.

If you have painful joints, the sooner you seek Dr. Dave’s help, the better your outlook. Call Gulf West Medical Associates today or book an appointment online.