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Arthritis

  • About Arthritis

    Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. Severe arthritis, particularly if it affects your hands or arms, can make it difficult for you to do daily tasks. Arthritis of weight-bearing joints can keep you from walking comfortably or sitting up straight. In some cases, joints may become twisted and deformed.

    There are two main types of arthritis — osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis — and they each damage joints in different ways.

    Osteoarthritis
    The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis involves wear-and-tear damage to your joint's cartilage — the hard, slick coating on the ends of bones. Enough damage can result in bone grinding directly on bone, which causes pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection.

    Rheumatoid arthritis
    In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining, known as the synovial membrane, becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.

    See How EQ Virtual Can Help
  • How We Can Help

    At EQ Virtual, we understand that arthritis can be a debilitating and painful disease that affects the joints making it difficult to manage your usual daily activities. We want to make it easier for you to access care from the comfort of your home. If you are experiencing joint pain, EQ Virtual can help with:

    • Referrals to medical specialists (physiotherapists, physicians, etc.)
    • Ordering of diagnostic tests (blood tests, x-rays)
    • Medication refill and delivery – no need to leave home for your prescriptions (new or existing prescriptions)
    • Communication with your family doctor on your condition

    EQ Virtual provides the support you need when your condition requires immediate attention.
  • Symptoms

    The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. Depending on the type of arthritis, your signs and symptoms may include:

    • Pain
    • Stiffness
    • Swelling
    • Redness
    • Decreased range of motion

    In addition, you may be at a greater risk of developing arthritis or existing symptoms may increase based on:

    • Family history: You may be more likely to develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder. Your genes can make you more susceptible to environmental factors that may trigger arthritis.
    • Age: The risk of many types of arthritis — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout — increases with age.
    • Your sex: Women are more likely than are men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more likely to have gout, another type of arthritis.
    • Previous joint injury: People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.
    • Obesity: Carrying excess pounds puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips and spine. Obese people have a higher risk of developing arthritis.

    The EQ Virtual doctors are prepared to serve all arthritis patients, regardless of your medical history or personal health risks. We are here for you health, whenever you need us.
  • Treatment

    The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. You may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of treatments, before you determine what works best for you. Commonly used arthritis medications include:

    • Analgesics: These medications help reduce pain, but have no effect on inflammation.
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs reduce both pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Some NSAIDs are also available as creams or gels, which can be rubbed on joints.
    • Counterirritants: Some varieties of creams and ointments contain menthol or capsaicin, the ingredient that makes hot peppers spicy. Rubbing these preparations on the skin over your aching joint may interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.
    • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs): Often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, DMARDs slow or stop your immune system from attacking your joints.
    • Biologic response modifiers: Typically used in conjunction with DMARDs, biologic response modifiers are genetically engineered drugs that target various protein molecules that are involved in the immune response.
    • Corticosteroids: These help to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. Corticosteroids can be injected directly into the painful joint.

    • Many people use alternative remedies for arthritis, but there is little reliable evidence to support the use of many of these products. The most promising alternative remedies for arthritis include:

    • Acupuncture: This therapy uses fine needles inserted at specific points on the skin to reduce many types of pain.
    • Glucosamine: Although study results have been mixed, it now appears that glucosamine works no better than placebo. However, glucosamine and the placebo both relieved arthritis pain better than taking nothing.
    • Yoga or tai chi: The slow, stretching movements associated with yoga and tai chi may help improve joint flexibility and range of motion.
    • Massages: Light stroking and kneading of muscles may increase blood flow and warm affected joints, temporarily relieving pain.

    Physical therapy can be helpful for some types of arthritis. Exercises can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints. In some cases, splints or braces may be needed.If conservative measures don't help, your doctor may suggest surgery, such as a joint repair or joint replacement. For more treatment options or information, please speak with an EQ Virtual doctor today. We are here for your health, every step of the way.

Real Patients. Real Stories.

  • "Yesterday was my first time using this service and I could not be happier. The doctor was very thorough and gave me the impression that she actually cares about her patients. The appointment and booking was all completed within 20 minutes. They even faxed my prescription to the pharmacy of my choice, making life so much easier!"

    Heidi Lipppa
    BC, 2016
  • "Friendly and professional, and helped to get everything set up for me. I spoke to Dr. Clark and she was also lovely to deal with. I had my appointment and prescription refilled in a matter of 5 min and I didn't have to leave my house. So much nicer than waiting for hours at a clinic"

    Kimberly Michelle
    BC, 2016
  • "I've used EQ several times and each time, it was easy and fast. I've had appointments with EQ in my car, at work, at home. It's easy to use, the doctors I've seen have all listened well to my concerns and been helpful, and I would absolutely recommend it to everyone I know!"

    Michelle Martin
    BC, 2016

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