Arthritis Treatment in New Jersey

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a well-known but not well-understood disease. This orthopedic condition is defined as an inflammation of the joint (where two or more bones meet). The term actually refers not to a single disease, but a broad category of over 100 rheumatic diseases that are characterized by pain, stiffness, swelling and limited movement in joints and connective tissues in the body.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) roughly one in four people have some form of arthritis or chronic joint symptom in the United States. Actual numbers may be higher as many individuals do not seek treatment until their symptoms become substantial.

Arthritic symptoms can be intermittent or constant and can range from mild to severe. Severe cases can result in chronic pain that makes daily activities, such as walking or climbing stairs difficult. They are often mistakenly attributed to old age because osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis) occurs most frequently among elderly persons. Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, however, affect people of all ages. They are more commonly reported in women than men, perhaps due to a number of gender-related factors including changes in hormone levels, joint laxity or instability and the drop in estrogen levels following menopause.

Arthritis is usually chronic, which means that changes are gradual as the disease progresses slowly. Specific causes for most forms of arthritis are not yet known.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

The following are the most common symptoms of arthritis, however, individual experiences may differ.

  • Pain and stiffness in the joints
  • Swelling in one or more joints
  • Persistent or recurring pain or tenderness in a joint
  • Difficulty using or moving a joint in a natural manner
  • Warmth and redness in a joint

The symptoms of arthritis may resemble other medical conditions or problems such as lupus, a rheumatic disease. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

What Are the Risk Factors for Arthritis?

Although the cause of arthritis isn’t entirely known, there are a number of risk factors associated with developing it, according to the CDC. They include:

  • Family history. Some types of arthritis are hereditary, increasing your chances of developing it.
  • Gender. Arthritis is more common among women.
  • Infection. Bacteria and viruses can infect joints, potentially allowing certain types of arthritis to develop.
  • Obesity. Extra body weight contributes to wear and tear on the joints and bones, which can lead to arthritis
  • Previous joint injury. This can weaken the bone and joints, making them vulnerable to arthritic conditions.
  • Smoking. This can lead to other medical problems that lead to sedentary behavior, which contributes to developing the disease.

What are the most common types of arthritis?

Some of the most prevalent forms of arthritis include:

  • Childhood or juvenile arthritis. This is an umbrella term that describes a number of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can affect children under the age of 16. Symptoms most commonly include pain and swelling in the joints, redness and warmth on the pain site. As the subtypes vary, other symptoms can include weakened muscles and skin rash, which can involve the eyes, muscles and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Gout. Uric acid production is related to the types and amounts of food that we eat. This metabolic disease results from energy dysregulation in cells, which leads to a buildup of uric acid in the body and the formation of crystals in the tissues. When deposited, they can cause intense inflammation, resulting in pain, sensitivity, redness and swelling in the affected joint (most frequently the knees or toes). Unlike many other forms of arthritis, gout tends to affect more men than women.
  • Osteoarthritis. As the most common type of arthritis, this chronic disease involves the joints, particularly the weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hip and spine. Osteoarthritis is characterized primarily by the destruction of cartilage and narrowing of the joint space. It can also include bone overgrowth, spur formation and impaired function. It occurs in most people as they age, but also may occur in young people as a result of injury or overuse.
  • Psoriatic arthritis (PsA). This type of inflammatory arthritis is characterized by joint pain, stiffness and swelling, combined with psoriasis, a skin disease that causes scaly rashes and brittle nails. According to arthritis.org, most individuals who are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis are diagnosed with psoriasis first, however, as few as 6-41 percent of those patients go on to develop PsA. When not treated, psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint and tissue damage.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. This autoimmune disease is signified by the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking the joints and joint linings in the body. This inflammatory condition can affect the hands, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. When untreated, this condition can lead to damaged cartilage, the tissue that protects the ends of bones and facilitates joint motion. The loss of cartilage can then result in bone erosion, bone loss and joint instability which further impacts a patient’s mobility. This systemic disease can also affect other bodily systems, such as the respiratory or cardiovascular system.

Diagnosing Arthritis

The award-winning RWJBarnabas Health network is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment that is instrumental in identifying and treating a spectrum of arthritis-related conditions. Some of our technologies include:

Arthritis Treatment in New Jersey

The technologies across the RWJBarnabas Health network complement the knowledge and expertise of our orthopedic physicians and surgeons. Together, they facilitate innovative and successful arthritis treatment options that help slow the progression of the diseases, aid in pain management and encourage better patient outcomes. Some of our arthritis and osteoarthritis treatments in New Jersey include:

Do you suffer from arthritis or a related condition? RWJBarnabas can help.

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Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center
300 2nd Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7250
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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
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Medical Specialty Services at Bayonne
16 East 29th Street
Bayonne, NJ 07002
(973) 926-7280
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The Family Health Center (FHC) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
166 Lyons Avenue
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7300
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Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center
200 South Orange Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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Jersey City Medical Center's Ambulatory Care Center
395 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07304
(201) 915-2410
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The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at RWJUH
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center’s Outpatient Physical Rehabilitation Center in Millburn
120 Millburn Avenue
Suite 206
Millburn, NJ 07041
(973) 921-0480
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Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation at the JCC MetroWest
760 Northfield Avenue, Suite 210A
West Orange, NJ 07052
(973) 325-9100
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Short Hills Surgery Center
187 Millburn Avenue
Suite 102
Milburn, NJ 07041
(973) 671-0555
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Hudson Crossing Surgery Center
2 Executive Drive
Suite 102
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
(201) 470-6977
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The Center for Ambulatory Surgery
1450 Route 22 West
Mountainside, NJ 07092
(888) 590-6849
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Jersey City Medical Center Outpatient Services at Colony Plaza
414 Grand Street
Suite 14
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 616-0470
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Trinitas Regional Medical Center – Williamson Street Campus
225 Williamson St
Elizabeth, NJ 07202
(908) 994-5000
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