After sitting for long periods, do you feel stiff? Do you have joint pain that is limiting your movement? Has a past joint injury started hurting again, and you are not sure why?
“One common cause of achy joints is inflammation,” says Matthew Heckler, DO, an orthopedic surgeon. “When bones, tendons, and the cushions around them are injured or worn out over time, the damaged parts can become swollen and sore. Arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis are common types of inflammation.
“Orthopedic specialists treat everything from common arthritis and sports-related injuries to joints that need the latest breakthrough procedures in total joint replacement,” Dr. Heckler says. “If you’ve asked yourself, ‘When do I really need to see an orthopedic specialist about my condition?’ The time is now!”
Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions around joints. Common sites of inflammation are the shoulder, elbow, and hip. Treatment often includes activity modification, home exercises, therapy, medications, and sometimes injections.
Tendonitis can be mistaken for arthritis because tendons help muscles move joints. Tendons are thick, cordlike structures that attach muscles to bone. Your primary care physician can recommend treatment to reduce pain and help preserve movement. But if the pain doesn’t go away, they may provide a referral to a rheumatologist, an orthopedic surgeon, or a physical therapist for specialized treatment.
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