If you are over the age of 30, you may have notice some morning stiffness. You may not be able to bounce out if the bed like you used to. This achiness and stiffness that you feel in the morning is characteristic of arthritis.

Not all arthritis is caused by the same disease. There are actually several different causes of arthritis.


This is the type of arthritis that most of us will develop as we age. It occurs with destruction of the cartilage between 2 bones. If you have this condition, you may have pain and stiffness that has increased gradually over time. You may experience stiffness when first arising in the morning or after prolonged sitting (a symptom known as gelling). It may take you more than 30 minutes to get started in the morning. If this is you and the pain is interfering with your life, contact us for a thorough evaluation and a comprehensive treatment program.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

In the past, this type of arthritis was referred to as crippling arthritis due to the devastating nature of destruction to the affected joints resulting in deformities, especially in the hands and feet. Individuals with this type of arthritis typically have pain in multiple joints that is worse in the morning. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), may take as long as 2 hours to loosen up in the morning from the stiffness. This condition is diagnosed by a thorough history and examination by an experienced clinician as well as blood testing. It is important to be diagnosed with this condition if you have it because the progression of the disease may be slowed with proper treatment.

Psoriatic Arthritis

This type of arthritis can affect individuals with psoriasis. About 5% of patients with psoriasis will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis. It typically affects the hands and feet, but can also affect other joints such as those in the spine. Proper diagnosis allows for better treatment, education, and outcomes for individuals with this condition. Please schedule an appointment with one of our providers for further assistance.

Reactive Arthritis

Arthritis in this condition typically occurs 1-4 weeks after a systemic infection like gastrointestinal (GI) infections. These can occur with bacteria such as Shigella, Salmonella, or Campylobacter. It can also occur after urinary tract infections (UTIs) with bacteria such as Chlamydia. Joint pain with the arthritis may occur with difficulty urinating or pain with urination, or eye irritation/pink eye. Treatment options involve proper diagnosis, treatment of underlying cause, as well as other conservative measures.

Arthritis Can Come From Injury

Injuries from falls, motor vehicle accidents, or contact sports can cause resultant ligament tears, sprains, and cartilage damage. Injuries may also cause dislocations and fractures. Do not wait for a scheduled medical evaluation if you have had an injury with severe pain and swelling, especially if you are unable to bear weight on a leg or arm. You should be seen urgently at the ER, urgent care, or your primary doctor’s office. If the symptoms persist after urgent treatment, you may require a more thorough evaluation. Please contact us if we may be of assistance to you.

Gout Can Cause Arthritis

This condition comes on suddenly in the form of an attack where an individual will have very severe pain in a joint such as the knee, toe, hand, or ankle. It is caused by a metabolic condition where a substance called uric acid is deposited into body tissues. Uric acid actually crystallizes in the joints into needle-like crystals that cause severe pain in the joint, swelling and inflammation. How did the uric acid get there? Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of a substance called purines. Purines are found in a lot of different foods. Food that are high in protein are in general high in purines too. Food such as anchovies, gravies, kidneys, liver, sardines, and sweetbreads, and steak are particularly high. Other foods also cause higher levels of uric acid, such as alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and drinks sweetened with fructose. This condition is diagnosed by clinical examination and sometimes aspiration of the joint.

Treatment requires both immediate intervention as well as sometimes preventative therapy. Please see one of our specialists if needed.