Many patients wake up with joint pain and inflammation or experience worsening symptoms throughout the day. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, suffered by millions of people around the world. It is caused by a degeneration of the joints as we age, such as the loss of cartilage causing the bones to grind together. At first, this can just present with symptoms of pain or joint stiffness associated with exercise but can then gradually worsen to persistent pain and inflammation.
Joint pain can also be due to other disease processes or types of arthritis, such as those with autoimmune components, where the body mistakenly attacks itself. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the joint spaces leading to symptoms of joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Lupus (SLE) patients can also experience joint pain as a result of the autoimmune disease attacking the body. In psoriatic arthritis, along with patchy skin manifestations, patients can experience painful, swollen and stiff joints.
Many patients suffering with arthritis and joint pain depend on potent medications to alleviate their daily pain and discomfort. Deconditioning can occur from decreased mobility due to pain and contribute to low endurance tolerance for exercise. However, proper exercise and nutrition are hallmarks for maintaining healthy joints.
Dr. Tabby embodies the “art of medicine” philosophy, forging strong relationships with her patients built on trust and mutual respect, and pursuing a rigorous diagnostic work-up. She will take a careful medical history and perform a thorough examination of the affected joints as well as other areas of the body to look for signs of related stress and tension. In some cases, further tests, such as X-ray, MRI, or labs may be ordered, or the results from prior exams reviewed, to determine a diagnosis and develop the most appropriate treatment plan.
The goal of treatment from a physical medicine and rehabilitation perspective is to use physical and occupational therapeutic tailored exercises, topical medication and other modalities to reduce pain and inflammation, so that patients can better function in their daily lives. Dr. Tabby wants patients to feel comfortable leading active lives and hopes to provide them with the resources to reduce their pain and discomfort to get to that point.
Easy booking and appointment availability are benefits of working with Dr. Tabby. She encourages all patients to visit her in the office, but for patients with extreme mobility limits, she makes home visits or virtual appointments through HealthTap. Feel free to inquire when speaking with the office staff about all of the available options.
Once a diagnosis is made, Dr. Tabby will provide a personalized treatment plan. Dr. Tabby is an advocate of vitamins, nutrition and exercise as part of a healthy self-care routine and utilizes these methods in her treatment of patients. Often specific therapeutic exercises will be demonstrated and “prescribed” to aid in the healing process. Education measures may also be implemented as part of the treatment plan to prevent future injury to arthritic joints.
She employs a nonnarcotic treatment method rooted in the judicious use of medications, therefore treatments are more likely to center around “hands on” methods such as topical pain relief, massage, heat or ice application and active participation of the patient to complete recommended therapeutic exercises. Customized bracing (orthotics) may be employed in combination with any of the above methods to provide support. It is a multi-disciplinary approach with collaboration between rheumatologists, surgeons, orthopedists, physical and occupational therapists and other providers in an attempt to provide a well-rounded, versus just pharmacologic approach to arthritis and joint pain.