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Is Arthritis Reversible?

Arthritis is a group of more than 100 diseases that cause joint destruction, pain, and disability. Arthritis is chronic, and like other chronic diseases, it requires ongoing management to keep symptoms under control. If you have arthritis, you’re probably wondering if it can be reversed or cured.

As a leading orthopedic specialist in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, Thomas E. Powell, MD, is skilled in helping patients at Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine learn how to manage their arthritis symptoms with patient-centered arthritis treatments tailored to their needs. In this post, learn more about arthritis and whether it’s possible to reverse the joint damage it causes.

Understanding the basics of arthritis

When most people hear the word arthritis, they think of osteoarthritis, the kind of arthritis that happens as a result of years of joint wear and tear. This is the most common type of arthritis, and it happens when years of joint use wear down the joint’s protective cartilage layer, exposing the joint to increased friction and inflammation. 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another well-known type of arthritis, but instead of wear and tear damaging your joint, this type of arthritis happens when your immune system attacks the joint components, also leading to inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Psoriatic arthritis is a similar autoimmune form of arthritis that happens to some people diagnosed with a chronic skin condition called psoriasis.

Although different kinds of arthritis have different root causes or sources, they all destroy joint components and involve inflammation and painful symptoms. Having an arthritis management plan in place plays an important role in keeping those symptoms under control.

Is reversing arthritis possible?

There is currently no cure for arthritis, and once joint damage has occurred, there is no reliable way to reverse that damage. However, our team can develop a plan that helps slow the progression of the disease and reduce its symptoms.

Many people with arthritis benefit from regular movement to maintain joint lubrication and help keep inflammation in check. Dr. Powell routinely recommends physical therapy for people with symptomatic arthritis. 

Physical therapy uses special exercises tailored to your needs, your symptoms, and your joint health, so you can enjoy the benefits of activity without increasing your discomfort.

Oral medications are available to reduce pain and inflammation, while other medicines can help reduce the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. Joint injections supplement natural joint fluids to improve joint function and relieve both pain and swelling inside the joint.

When conservative treatments aren’t effective in providing long-lasting, meaningful relief, Dr. Powell may recommend surgery to repair the joint or to replace it with artificial components designed to work like your natural joint.

Learn how to manage your arthritis

Arthritis affects people in different ways, and managing its symptoms requires a custom approach and ongoing medical management. To learn how we can help you feel better and potentially slow the progression of arthritis, call 205-606-5232 or request an appointment online with Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, today.

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