Arthritis Specialist

Premier Spine and Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine and Pain Management Specialists located in Hagerstown, MD

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in adults. Seeking early treatment is important because you’ll get relief from pain and can stay active. Dr. Christopher Clark at Premier Spine and Sports Medicine in Hagerstown, Maryland, offers comprehensive pain treatment for arthritis that incorporates joint injections, acupuncture, and exercise therapy. Contact the office or schedule an appointment online to learn how innovative treatment options can help you alleviate arthritis pain and maintain joint mobility.

Arthritis Q & A

What are the most common types of arthritis?

While there are many forms of arthritis, the two most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): RA is an autoimmune disorder that develops when the immune system attacks joint linings. The joints become inflamed and swollen, causing pain and stiffness. If RA goes untreated, the ongoing inflammation damages cartilage and bone, leading to joint deformity.

Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis develops slowly in response to everyday wear-and-tear that wears down cartilage. Cartilage normally cushions and lubricates the ends of bones, which lets them move without friction. When cartilage wears away, bones rub together every time you use the joint, causing pain, stiffness, limited motion, and inflammation.

What factors increase your risk for arthritis?

Your risk for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis increases as you age. You’re also more likely to develop arthritis if it runs in the family or if you’re a woman.

There are several factors that increase your risk for osteoarthritis but can be modified. Being overweight significantly increases the strain on your joints, so maintaining a healthy weight reduces the chance of osteoarthritis. You’ll also prevent or delay osteoarthritis by limiting repetitive joint motions and exercising.

What treatments are available for arthritis from Dr. Clark?

Standard medical treatment for arthritis takes a three-pronged approach: relieve pain, prevent the disease from progressing, and exercise to maintain the joint’s motion. Dr. Clark offers a variety of advanced therapies to achieve all three goals without relying on strong pain medications.

Your treatment plan may include several procedures such as:

  • Platelet-rich plasma injections
  • Stem cell injections
  • Joint injections
  • Exercise therapy
  • Acupuncture

Dr. Clark takes a holistic approach, which means he evaluates the impact of arthritis on your whole body rather than only treating the affected joint. When you try to avoid pain by favoring the arthritic joint, you put extra stress on other parts of your musculoskeletal system. Preventive treatments such as spinal manipulation and exercise therapy can help you avoid secondary pain and musculoskeletal damage.

How do platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections treat arthritis?

Your blood naturally contains platelets, which are packed with proteins that promote new tissue growth and boost healing. Injecting platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, into an arthritic joint helps decrease pain, diminish inflammation, and improve function. Stem cell injections stimulate new tissue growth to replace damaged tissue in the arthritic joint.