Published on May 09, 2016

Arthritis: A Growing Concern

PELLA, Iowa – May is recognized each year as National Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is a condition that impacts the mobility of your joints and can cause pain. It can affect any joint in the body. There are many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. If symptoms are mild, medications may be enough to reduce pain and swelling. For more severe arthritis, surgery may be needed to improve the condition of the joint or replace the joint entirely.

“Anyone, at any age can be affected by arthritis. Don’t ignore those aches, pains or stiffness in your joints,” said Brenda Birdsell, OT, occupational therapist in Rehabilitation at Pella Regional. “Yes, there are temporary causes–and solutions–for these issues, but it can also be a sign of arthritis.”

Cartilage is a smooth substance that protects the ends of your bones and provides cushioning. When you have arthritis, this cartilage breaks down and can no longer protect your bones. The bones rub against each other, causing pain and swelling. Over time, bone spurs (small pieces of rough or splintered bone) may develop, and the joint's range of motion can become limited.


  • Joint pain and stiffness. Pain and stiffness get worse with long periods of rest or using a joint too long or too hard.
  • Joints that have lost normal shape and motion.
  • Tender, inflamed joints. They may look red and feel warm.
  • Grinding or popping noise with joint movement. 
  • Feeling tired all the time.

Pella Regional’s physical and occupational therapists, physicians and surgeons work to find the best course of treatment to get the best outcome for each and every patient. For more information speak with your doctor, or call Rehabilitation at Pella Regional at 641–628–6623.

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