Patient Education

Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinical Center of Northern Virginia would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinical Center of Northern Virginia provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis caused by the wearing down of the cartilage that protects the bones of a joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition caused by an inflammation in the lining of the joints. Both forms of arthritis, cause pain, tenderness, and swelling, and may result in loss of movement in the affected joints. Over time, joints affected by arthritis may become severely damaged. Arthritis occurs more frequently in older individuals, however it sometimes develops in athletes from overuse of a joint or after an injury. It can however, affect people of any age, including children. ...


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Arthrocentesis

Arthrocentesis, commonly known as joint aspiration, is a minor surgical procedure during which excess synovial fluid (fluid from a joint) is drained with a sterile needle and syringe. Usually performed in the doctor's office, arthrocentesis is administered to provide relief to patients with swelling, inflammation and pain in any joint where there is an excess accumulation of fluid (effusion). Joints typically drained in this way include the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, wrist or ankle. ...


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Physical Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes fatigue and widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia may have specific tender points on their body where they are particularly sensitive when pressure is applied. Patients with fibromyalgia typically experience constant dull muscle aches and additional pain from pressure on certain tender points throughout the body, including the upper chest, inner knees, or upper shoulders. ...


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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome, also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is a form of chronic pain that often develops after an injury. The pain experienced is often long-term and intense, and tends to get worse over time instead of getting better. This condition often affects the arms, legs, hands or feet and can spread to nearby areas as it progresses. In addition to pain, patients may also experience swelling, redness and skin sensitivity. The exact cause of complex regional pain syndrome is unknown however it may be linked to emotional stress and a sympathetic nervous system. ...


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Steroid Injections for Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes, pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Treatment for arthritis may vary, but the main goal is to reduce inflammation and pain. Most patients may try several different treatment options before finding a method that works best for their individual condition. Steroid injections are an advanced treatment option for patients with arthritis and other sources of joint pain, that have not responded well to other treatments such as exercise and oral medications. These injections deliver relief directly to the source of the pain and are considered safe for nearly all patients. ...


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Behcet's Syndrome

Behcet's syndrome, also referred to as Behcet's disease or Silk Road disease, is a rare condition involving inflammation in certain blood vessels throughout the body. It can result in a wide range of symptoms. This condition is more common in the Middle East and Asia than in other parts of the world. The long-term effects of Behcet's syndrome are not precisely known, although symptoms are believed to become less severe after about 20 years. ...


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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes fatigue, as well as widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. People with fibromyalgia have specific tender points on their bodies that are particularly sensitive when pressure is applied. Fibromyalgia is also associated with sleep problems, headaches and trouble concentrating. Women are more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia, as are people between 40 and 60 years old. ...


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Hand Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is the most common form of arthritis and it commonly affects the hands because of their frequent use. Patients can also suffer from an autoimmune condition known as rheumatoid arthritis which causes many of the same symptoms as osteoarthritis in the hand, but has other causes and other systemic effects. ...


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Knee Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and it commonly affects the knees. Arthritis of the knee may develop as the cartilage protecting the bones of the knee joint wears down over time. Over the years, as stress is put on the joints, cartilage wears thin and sometimes even erodes completely, resulting in stiffness and pain. Arthritis of the knee occurs more frequently in older individuals, however it sometimes develops in athletes from overuse of the knee joint or after an injury. ...


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Lupus

Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues and organs, causing inflammation and damage to different parts of the body. Lupus may damage various parts of the body including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels and brain. Lupus is a serious disease that affects women more than men and is more common in women of African-American, Hispanic or Asian descent. There is currently no cure for lupus, however there are treatments available that help to relieve the different symptoms of lupus. ...


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Lupus Nephritis

Systemic lupus erythematosus, commonly known as lupus, is a disease in which the the immune system produces proteins that attack the body and causes damage to the kidney, brain, joints and skin. Lupus nephritis is a condition where the the kidneys become inflamed as a result of the systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus nephritis can lead to impaired kidney function or in extreme cases, kidney failure. ...


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Mixed Connective Tissue Disease

Mixed connective tissue disease, sometimes referred to as an overlap disease, is a disorder that includes signs and symptoms of a combination of disorders including lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis, and in some cases, rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease don't always appear all at once and may occur in sequence over a number of years, which can make diagnosing this disease difficult. Mixed connective tissue disease can cause inflammation and damage to various parts of the body and can affect joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and the brain. It is most common in women under 30, however children may sometimes be affected by this disorder. ...


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Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and stiffness in certain muscles of the body. Polymyalgia rheumatica commonly affects the neck, shoulders and hips and the symptoms are often experienced after long periods of rest or sitting. Polymyalgia rheumatica commonly occurs in people over the age of 50 and becomes more common as age increases. This condition affects women more than men and in many cases the symptoms may appear suddenly and develop rapidly. In severe cases, polymyalgia rheumatica may affect a person's ability to perform simple tasks and everyday activities. ...


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Myopathy

Myopathy, also known as disease of the muscle, occurs when the muscles of the body are attacked by the body's immune system. This attack damages the fibers of the muscles in the body leaving the body's muscles in a weakened condition. Myopathy can cause problems with muscle tone and voluntary muscle movement. Myopathy can be either genetic or acquired, and may be present at birth or develop later in life. ...


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Myositis

Myositis is a rare autoimmune disease that causes muscles to become swollen and inflamed. This disorder affects the voluntary muscles of the body that consciously control movement. Myositis may develop slowly over time and can range in severity from mild to severe. Myositis causes progressive weakness and inflammation in muscles throughout the body and can affect adults and children. ...


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Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It develops as the cartilage protecting the bones of a joint wears down over time. Over the years, as stress is put on the joints, cartilage wears thin and sometimes even erodes completely, resulting in stiffness and pain. It occurs more frequently in older individuals, however it sometimes develops in athletes from overuse of a joint or after an injury. It commonly affects the fingers, knees, lower back and hips and is often treated with medication and certain forms of exercise and physical therapy. In severe cases, joint replacement surgery may be suggested. Osteoarthritis tends to get worse over time. ...


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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle and at a high risk for fracture. In all individuals, bone breaks down over time, but is replaced with new bone tissue. As people age, bone loss occurs at a faster rate than new bone mass is created, resulting in osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the result of increasing bone loss and is more common in older people, especially women. ...


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Pseudogout

Pseudogout is a condition in which salt crystals form in the joints, causing bouts of arthritis, swelling and pain. Also known as calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, pseudogout was named for its similarity to the condition of gout. Both conditions cause similar symptoms, however the causes of these conditions may differ and the salt crystals are formed by the production of different substances within the body. While the salt crystals formed by gout are the result of an overproduction of uric acid or monosodium urate, the salt crystals formed by pseudogout are made up of calcium pyrophosphate. ...


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Raynaud's Phenomenon

Raynaud's phenomenon is condition that causes the fingers and toes to turn blue or white and become numb after exposure to cold temperatures, or in response to emotional stress. Raynaud's phenomenon is caused by a constriction of blood vessels in the affected area that cause the skin to change color temporarily. Although it most commonly affects the fingers and toes, this condition can also affect the nose, lips or earlobes. Raynaud's phenomenon is more common in women and people who live in cold climates. ...


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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes symptoms of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. It may also affect other organs of the body including the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than men and it usually develops in individuals over the age of 40. Treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and preventing joint damage, and commonly includes medication to suppress the immune system and reduce pain and inflammation. ...


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Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that affects the cells of any organ in the body. Sarcoidosis is thought to be a common disease and can affect people of any age, race or gender. It commonly affects African Americans, specifically African American women, and people of Scandinavian descent. ...


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Scleroderma

Scleroderma is a disease that involves the formation of scar tissue within the skin and in some case, other organs of the body. This condition causes a hardening and thickening of the skin and may also affect the blood vessels, digestive tract, and in severe cases, the heart, lungs, kidneys or other vital organs. Localized scleroderma only affects the skin on the hands and face and rarely affects other areas of the body. Systemic scleroderma may affect additional areas of the skin as well as internal organs. Scleroderma is considered a rare condition, and it is more common in women than in men. Symptoms of scleroderma often occur between the ages of 30 and 50. ...


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Sjogren's Syndrome

Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that has two common identifying symptoms: dry mouth and dry eyes, but it may progress to affect joints, skin and vital organs. Women are more likely to suffer from this condition and patients are usually diagnosed with the disorder after the age of 40. The cause of Sjogren's syndrome is unknown, although genetic components seem to put some individuals at greater risk for developing the disease. There is some evidence that Sjogren's syndrome may be triggered by a viral or bacterial infection. Often the syndrome occurs in patients who have another immune disorder, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. ...


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Still's Disease

Still's disease is a form of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that affects children. The exact cause of Still's disease is unknown, yet it is believed to be the result of an immune disorder, in which the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues. Another theory is that the inflammation caused by Still's disease may be the result of an infection. ...


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Temporal Arteritis

Temporal arteritis is a condition in which the blood vessels supplying the area of the head are inflamed, swollen and tender. Most frequently, temporal arteritis involves the large or medium arteries branching off from the carotid artery in the neck to supply the temporal area. If such an inflammation occurs in the arteries in the neck, upper body and arms it is called giant cell arteritis. ...


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Vasculitis

Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels. This condition occurs when the immune system attacks a blood vessel, causing it to narrow and possibly close off. If this happens, the affected blood vessel stretches and weakens, resulting in a bulge known as an aneurysm. Since vasculitis may disrupt the flow of blood to any part of the body, it can lead to tissue and organ damage and may be life-threatening. ...


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