Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint caused by the breakdown of cartilage. Without cartilage to protect the joint and absorb shocks, bones rub together causing pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and limited movement. The treatment of arthritis depends on the type of arthritis you have. The Arthritis Foundation claims that over 100 types of joint diseases are informally referred to as arthritis.

If possible, the treatment of arthritis focuses on eliminating the cause; however, some forms of arthritis like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are managed, not cured.  Depending on the cause of your arthritis, the joints affected, the severity of arthritis, and how the condition affects your daily activities, as well as your age and occupation, an individualized treatment plan may be available for you. Sometimes, lifestyle changes may be enough to improve your pain level and increase mobility.

Some of the non-surgical arthritis treatments are low-impact aerobic activity (also called endurance exercise), range of motion exercises for flexibility, strength training for muscle tone, prescription medications and/or over-the-counter pain relievers heat and cold treatments, water therapy, ice massage, medicated skin creams, nutritional changes, vitamin or mineral supplements, and weight loss. The physicians who participate in the Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center referral line treat osteoarthritis.  Your orthopedic physician and a physical therapist can develop an individualized treatment plan based on your arthritic condition.


Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the most common form of arthritis.  It is caused by the gradual loss of cartilage, and is a progressive disorder of the joints. This may result in the development of bony spurs or cysts at the margins of joints. OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in the knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers, and the bases of the thumb and big toe.

Must Read: Getting Back on Your Feet When You Have Foot and Ankle Problems

Image of knee osteoarthritis. Non-surgical osteoarthritis treatments may include but are not limited to strengthening exercises, weight management, stretching, pain medication, anti-inflammatory medications, physical and occupational therapy. Your orthopedic physician will determine the course of treatment that he/she feels is best for you, based on the severity of your osteoarthritis

Must Read: Knee Osteoarthritis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis. Instead of attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks joints. This causes the tissue that lines the inside of the joints to become inflamed resulting in swelling and pain in and around the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the wrist and small joints of the hand, including the knuckles and the middle joints of the fingers; but it can strike any joint, including the knees, wrists, neck, shoulders, elbows, feet, and hips.
 Image of rheumatoid arthritis

Treatments of rheumatoid arthritis are aimed at remission, meaning the patient has very few to no symptoms of RA. The sooner treatment begins, the more likely you are to have a better outcome. Non-surgical treatments of rheumatoid arthritis include a combination of medication, exercise, rest, and protection of the joints.

Must Read: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Understanding the Difference

If you are experiencing joint pain, joint swelling, reduced ability to move the joint, skin redness around a joint, stiffness (especially in the mornings), or warmth around a joint,
call the Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center at 1-888-608-4762 or click here to schedule an appointment. The participating physicians are committed to helping you live as actively and healthy as possible while managing your treatment of arthritis.


Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center.