Arthritis Q&A

Arthritis services offered in Belle Meade, Nashville, TN

Around one in four adults has arthritis in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At Advanced Sports Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, Jim Johnson, MD, specializes in treating conditions that damage the musculoskeletal system. Dr. Johnson focuses on safe and nonsurgical treatments that can restore full function. To learn more about arthritis, call Advanced Sports Medicine today or schedule an appointment online.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis refers to more than 100 diseases that cause joint inflammation. Many degenerative conditions, autoimmune diseases, and infections can cause arthritis. Determining the type of arthritis you have can influence your treatment. Arthritis tends to worsen with age, so early intervention is important to protect your joint health.

What are the types of arthritis?

Many types of arthritis exist, but the most common are:


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of degenerative arthritis. OA occurs when the cartilage that protects and cushions the joints breaks down. Without healthy cartilage, friction between bones can lead to joint inflammation, stiffness, poor range of motion, and pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that targets the lining inside the joints. As the lining swells, your joints become painful and stiff.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes scaly, red patches of skin. Many people with psoriasis develop a type of joint inflammation called psoriatic arthritis.


Gout occurs when urate acid crystals accumulate in a specific joint. Unlike other forms of arthritis, gout tends to develop suddenly and typically affects one joint at a time. Redness, swelling, and pain can be severe with gout. While it can develop in nearly any joint, gout commonly occurs in the knees or joint at the base of the big toe.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

Symptoms of arthritis can range from mild to severe. Arthritis can affect a single joint or multiple. Common symptoms of arthritis include:


  • Stiffness in the morning
  • Redness
  • Visible swelling
  • Low range of motion
  • Pain that improves with physical activity


If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may also experience fever or fatigue, as RA affects the entire immune system.

What causes arthritis?

While anybody can develop arthritis, common risk factors for the condition include:


  • Being female (for RA) or male (for gout)
  • Being older
  • Having a family history of arthritis
  • Carrying excess weight


Having a previous joint injury can also lead to arthritis. That’s why early intervention is essential when treating arthritis.

What are the treatments for arthritis?

Dr. Johnson’s goal is to reduce pain in your joint and restore its range of motion without surgery. At Advanced Sports Medicine, Dr. Johnson may recommend:


  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Muscle-strengthening exercises
  • Rehabilitative stretches
  • Massage therapy


To learn more about arthritis, call Advanced Sports Medicine today or schedule an appointment online.