Apr 24, 2017

Do You Know Your Arthritis Lingo?


If you’re received an arthritis diagnosis, you’re probably feeling a lot of different emotions. Fear, worry, and confusion usually top the list. While fear and worry can be eased with a talented doctor and the right treatment plan, confusion can linger—especially if you’re not familiar with the many medical terms associated with arthritis.

In today’s post, we’re going to define and explain seven common and not-so-common terms you’ll probably hear during your appointments and treatments at Carolina Arthritis Associates. We hope that reading through this list will educate you, inform you, and help you understand more about your disease and various ways we can help you.

  1. Autoimmune Disease: A disease in which the immune system, which normally defends the body against viruses and bacteria, turns on itself, causing damage to the body’s healthy tissues and putting the patient’s health at risk.
  1. Cartilage: This is the type of tissue that covers the bone surface of a joint. It helps reduce the friction between bones. When cartilage is lost or deteriorates, it can result in a number of arthritic conditions.
  1. Fatigue: A state of exhaustion in which the patient feels worn-down and listless. While some cases of fatigue are temporary and normal—physical or mental exhaustion, for example—chronic fatigue is another case and should be treated.
  1. Joint: You’ll hear a lot about joints when you visit an arthritis practice. This simply refers to the place where two or more bones are connected.
  1. Osteoarthritis: A painful condition that occurs when bones rub against one another due to the deterioration of cartilage covering the ends of bones. This can be caused by a combination of genetics, previous injuries, the aging process, or stress on the body. For more about the relationships between osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, check out our recent blog post.
  1. Range of Motion: This refers to a patient’s ability to move or extend their joints in various directions. Range of motion is often tested while diagnosing certain diseases. It can also be improved over time through exercise and stretches.
  1. Swelling: When the immune system feels threatened, it goes on the defense. Often, this takes the form of swelling, which is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis. It is often accompanied by redness, heat, pain, and stiffness.

We hope this post helps you understand your arthritis diagnosis a little better! If you have additional questions or simply want to talk to one of our physicians, schedule an appointment today. We’ll make sure you get all the answers you need.