Primary Care Doctor located in Hampstead, NC

Do you suffer from joint aches and pains?  You may have arthritis.  Arthritis is the name for a wide variety of conditions, all of which affect your joints and cause pain with joints or with movement.  If you are having pain or swelling in your hands, wrists, ankles, feet, knuckles, or back, come see Doctor Manning or Holly Kilian, FNP at Hampstead Internal Medicine.  We will perform a physical exam and take a history.  Depending on our findings we may recommend blood tests or x-rays to better diagnois the exact type of arthritis you are having.  It is very important to get a good diagnosis because getting the best treatment, with the fewest side effects, depends on understanding exactly what is causing your joint to hurt in the first place.

Not all arthritis is best treated with pills.  Sometimes monthly or weekly injections work best, or sometimes pills that are taken weekly or every 2 weeks.  Other times, medicines are not required at all, but physical therapy is the best path to feeling better without side effects.  Other times, we can recommend a medical therapy which will reduce your joint pain and improve your function.

Arthitis FAQ with Dr. Manning

What are the different types of arthritis?

There are many different types of arthritis.  The most common type of osteoarthritis.  This is usually, though not always, associated with older patients.  It comes from a lifetime of wear and tear on a joint.  Treatment may involve medicines to improve pain and functioning, or joint surgery to replace or repair a worn out joint.

Another common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.  This is an autoimmune disease which causes pain and stiffness in joints.  There are many different therapies and it may require blood tests to get a good diagnoisis.  The good news is that there are lots of great therapies to treat this type of arthritis now, so you do not have to suffer and we can really help you to feel much better.

Other common types of arthritis which we see and treat often include PMR (polymylagia rheumatica, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout).

What should I do to treat my arthritis?

The most important step is to find the cause and type of your arthritis.  This is why it is important to see a doctor who is comfortable diagnoising the different types of arthritis.  You want to see a doctor who knows what the different types look like and has seen them before.  For instance, the treatment for gout arthritis is very, very different from the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, so it is important to know which one you are dealing with.  

Can my arthritis be cured?  Will my pain go away completely?

Sometimes, but not always.  For instance, in patients with bad arthritis of the knee, they can get a knee replacement and if everything goes well their pain will basically be cured.  Another example is gout, which we can treat effectively so that it will basically go away over the years.  Some other types of arthritis will never go away completely and our goal is to manage your pain and keep you as functional as possible.