Contact Information

2616 Locust Gap Highway
Mt. Carmel, PA 17851
Phone: (570) 339-3909
Fax:     (570) 339-1745
E-Mail:mcncopb@ptd.net

Insurance Accepted

- Geisinger Health Plan
- Blue Cross / Blue Shield
- Medicare
- Aetna / US
- Keystone
- Health America
- Auto Insurance
- Workers Compensation

Arthritis

The word Arthritis is derived from two root words, arthro, meaning “joint” and itis, meaning “swelling”. The two most common forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis, and pathologies that fall in the family of Rheumatoid disease.

Osteoarthritis occurs due to many different factors of which most are caused by movement or injury. Rheumatoid diseases occur as a result of Systemic pathologies, that is, due to the body’s own immune system attacking itself.

Osteoarthritis(OA) can occur in any joint in the body but tends not to effect the joints of the upper neck, the elbow, and the ankle. Joints most commonly affected are the joints of the fingers, the shoulder, the hip and knee, and the low back and neck. OA is also called Degenerative Joint Disease although this is a bit misleading. OA is not generally a disease process (although joint infection due to a disease process can speed the onset of arthritis), but the result of the gradual breakdown of the structures within the joint due to wear and tear over time.

Muscle imbalances around joints can cause abnormal motions in the joint, which will also cause it to break down. An example of this is chronic tight hamstring muscles in the leg. Tight hamstrings cause the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh to work harder to straighten the leg in walking or running activities. This puts increased pressure on the knee cap which eventually causes wearing away of the cartilage, resulting in swelling and pain in the knee joint.

Symptoms of OA due to gradual degeneration in the joint normally start with onset of soreness/aching in the joint after activity. This is usually of a short duration, a few hours, and resolves with rest. Typically warmth, swelling, and redness do not occur at the joint at this point.

As degeneration progresses, pain during activity begins to occur, with onset of swelling and possibly heat and redness at the joint after activity. Loss of movement in the joint, with residual stiffness after rest occurs.

With severe degeneration, permanent loss of motion, deformity, and laxity of the joint begin to occur. Muscle strength begins to decline as pain in the joint prevents use of the limb. Once OA becomes this advanced, surgery is usually the only cure for the symptoms.

Because OA is a progressive, non-reversible process, early identification and treatment is necessary to avoid surgery. Although OA cannot be reversed, its progress can be slowed considerably, or even halted with appropriate care in the early stages. Physical Therapy is commonly prescribed for the treatment of swelling, pain, loss of motion and, and loss of strength in acute and chronic arthritis states.

For more information about ARTHRITIS or Physical Therapy for painful joints, please contact Mount Carmel Outpatient Rehab. and Fitness Clinic at 339 3909