Arthritis Specialist

Grace Medical

Alice Amah Ajim, MD

Internal Medicine located in Houston, TX

If you have stiff, painful, swollen joints, it could be due to arthritis. Fortunately, you don’t have to accept the pain — a variety of treatments and therapies are available to relieve your pain and restore your mobility. At Grace Medical, Alice Amah Ajim, MD, provides customized treatments for arthritis at offices located in Downtown and Southeast Houston. If your joint pain is interfering with your life, call Grace Medical or schedule a consultation online today.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is an umbrella term for a group of over 100 different diseases that cause joint pain. Arthritis affects patients of all genders, ages, and races and is one of the leading causes of disability in America. 

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which affects around 27 million Americans. Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage in your joints wears away, and your bones rub together without protection or lubrication. This causes friction and irritates your joint, leading to swelling, pain, and stiffness. 

Your risk of osteoarthritis increases if you have a family history of the condition. Additionally, overuse of a joint or a prior injury can increase your chances of developing arthritis. Your age, weight, and activity levels also affect your risk of osteoarthritis. 

Other common types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus. Infectious arthritis develops if you’re exposed to the organisms that cause salmonella, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or hepatitis C. 

When should I talk to a doctor about joint pain?

If you notice joint pain, you should mention it to your doctor at Grace Medical at your next annual physical, even if it’s not affecting your mobility. They can help you manage your pain and reduce the stress on your joints before your condition worsens. 

However, if you find that your joint pain interferes with your ability to move or disrupts your sleep, you should make an appointment right away. Additionally, if your painful joint is extremely swollen or is otherwise deformed, you make an appointment at Grace Medical as soon as possible. 

How is arthritis treated?

If you have arthritis, your doctor at Grace Medical works with you to create and implement a customized treatment plan to relieve your pain and reduce pressure on your joints. They often combine traditional medicine with lifestyle modification and alternative treatments to achieve optimal results. 

For example, you may benefit from participating in a weight loss program. Losing a few pounds and strengthening the muscles that surround and support your arthritic joints can reduce your symptoms. You may also find that following an anti-inflammatory diet helps. 

Your doctor may also recommend:

  • Joint injections
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Supportive devices

If your joint has severely deteriorated and conservative treatments don’t alleviate your pain, your provider may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to discuss surgical treatment options. 

If you have painful, swollen joints, call Grace Medical or make an appointment online today.