Arthritis Specialist

417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics

Sports Medicine Physician & Orthopedic Specialists located in Springfield, MO

Arthritis is a chronic condition that can cause pain in any joint in your body. At 417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics in Springfield, Missouri, sports medicine physician Eric Gifford, MD, uses the most advanced treatments to improve joint pain from arthritis. Hyaluronic acid injections and joint replacement are just a few treatments that Dr. Gifford performs. To learn more, call 417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics or schedule an appointment online. You can also visit the orthopedic walk-in clinic today.

Arthritis Q&A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is joint inflammation that can cause pain, stiffness, and tenderness. The condition can affect one joint or several and can range from mild to severe. In advanced cases, arthritis can limit your range of motion and overall mobility. The earlier you seek treatment for arthritis, the more likely you are to retain function in your affected joints.

Are there different types of arthritis?

While there are several different types of arthritis, the two most common are:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type. It’s a degenerative condition that causes a breakdown of the cartilage that is vital to protecting the joints. As osteoarthritis progresses, the affected joints no longer have the flexible cartilage that cushions them. Eventually, your bones can begin rubbing against one another.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition that causes chronic inflammation of certain joints. While RA can develop in many of your body’s joints, it commonly affects the joints in the hands, wrists, feet, and ankles.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

In its early stages, arthritis may not cause noticeable symptoms. Over time, however, increased joint pain can prevent you from participating in the activities you love. Common symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Sharp or dull pain
  • Intermittent pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness 
  • Tenderness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Stiffness

As your joints become stiffer and more painful, arthritis can diminish your mobility and quality of life. Depending on the type you have, you may find it difficult to stand, walk, or grasp items without pain.

How is arthritis diagnosed?

Diagnosing arthritis typically requires a comprehensive physical exam along with a medical history review. 

If Dr. Gifford at 417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics suspects you have arthritis, he takes X-rays of your affected joints. An X-ray can show any narrowing of the joints and bone spurs that can develop from arthritis.

What are the treatments for arthritis?

Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight can help improve the symptoms of arthritis. Certain medications and braces around the joint may also help relieve your pain. In addition, Dr. Gifford performs a number of safe, effective treatments for arthritis pain, including:

Injections

Hyaluronic acid injections are especially effective at treating knee arthritis. Injecting this viscous substance into the knee lubricates the joint to help it move more smoothly while reducing pain.

Joint replacement

If nonsurgical treatments fail to improve your pain, replacing the damaged joint with an artificial alternative can provide the relief you need.

To learn more about arthritis, call 417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics or schedule an appointment online today.