Improving Health


What You Should Know About Arthritis

Posted by Kate Hunt, MSPT on July 8, 2022


Do you experience joint swelling, pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion?  Do weather changes get you down?  Arthritis comes in many different forms, but you can take charge of your mobility!

What are the Different Types of Arthritis?

220708_CATC_Improving-Health_Blog_Arthritis_1According the the CDC, there are many types of arthritis— including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia— that affect joints, the tissue that surrounds joints, and other connective tissue. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which affects over 30 million US adults. Here is a breakdown of each type. 

Osteoarthritis (OA)

This is a “wear and tear” type of condition, and the most common type of arthritis.  Pain is usually worse at the end of the day and with heat.


Known as the “Disease of Kings” is caused by a build up of uric acid crystals in the joint.  Rich foods, meat, and alcohol contribute to flare ups.  Left untreated or unmanaged, severe joint damage can occur.


Pain in may parts of the body, sleeping issues, and fatigue are all symptoms of fibromyalgia.  Mental and emotional distress are often associated with Fibromyalgia.

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

This is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks healthy tissues and usually starts with skin changes of red patches and silvery scales.  PsA can affect any part of the body causing pain and stiffness with intermittent flare ups.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA is another autoimmune disease that causes pain that is worse in the morning and with cold.  RA mostly affects the hands, wrists, and knees, but can affect any joint in the body.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

AS is an inflammatory condition that can cause your spine to fuse together if it is not treated leading to pain, nerve damage, and complete disability.


Lupus affects all areas of the body due to chronic inflammation including joints, lungs, and even the brain.  Lupus can go undiagnosed for a long time because the disease flares and then goes into remission.

Simple Ways to Manage Arthritis

220708_CATC_Improving-Health_Blog_Arthritis_2While there is no “cure” for arthritis, there are several strategies to slow progress, reduce pain, and help you maintain function.

Get Some Exercise

Maintaining range of motion, flexibility, and strength helps nourish your joints and give your joint space more room to move. It also helps your brain stay happy! Low impact exercises like water aerobics, Pilates, and yoga are great options for movement.  Pro tip: Check out this exercise program you can do every day for healthy hips and knees.

Stick to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Anti-inflammatory diets that include leafy green veggies, red and blue fruits, and are low in fat help keep your acid levels low and inflammation down.  Pro Tip: Eat twice the amount of greens than meat and check out for anti-inflammatory foods.

Use Ice and Heat Appropriately

Cool down angry joints and warm up sticky achy joints.  Pro Tip: Fill a tube sock with rice.  This can be heated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and applied to sticky achy joints for 20 minutes.  Test the temperature of the sock first if your sensation is compromised to avoid a burn.  For the perfect ice pack, double up a Ziploc bag and add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and freeze.  This can be reused and molds nicely to your joints.

Try Physical Therapy

Physical Therapists can customize a movement and nutrition program for you and use modalities like cold laser therapy and infrared that help heal arthritic joints.

Get Sufficient Vitamin D

Make sure your vitamin D levels are appropriate.  For arthritis, it is recommended that you have a Vitamin D level of at least 50 mm/Hg which can be detected with a simple blood draw by your CareATC primary care provider.

Are experiencing signs of arthritis?

Schedule a visit with your CareATC primary care provider to discuss your symptoms and options. If needed, your provider can refer you to a Rheumatologist who can treat arthritis and autoimmune issues.  Rheumatologists are up to date with the most effective treatment strategies that may include biologic infusions and medications.

Schedule an Appointment
Kate Hunt, MSPT

About The Author

Kate Hunt, MSPT

With over 20 years of healthcare, rehabilitation, and wellness experience, Kate brings a unique blend of operations, clinical best practices, and community-based chronic health and wellness programs to CareATC. Her background includes multi-site strategic business operations, new business startups, and multi-specialty health and wellness care coordination and team development. Prior to joining CareATC, Kate was the President of Liveyoung, an integrative healthcare practice in Florida and Georgia. She was also the Regional Vice President of Strategic Operations for Alliance Care, where she co-developed and implemented an industry-leading proactive health and wellness model for seniors. Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Florida and a Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of South Florida. Kate lives in Thomasville, Georgia and loves spending time cooking, camping, surfing, and adventuring with her two teenage boys and doodles.

Post Topics Musculoskeletal health