Tender, Swollen Joints? Evaluating and Treating Early May Prevent Long-Term Debilitating Damage

Tender, Swollen Joints? Evaluating and Treating Early May Prevent Long-Term Debilitating Damage

There’s a misconception that inflammatory conditions affect mostly older patients, but they often impact much younger people—in their 20s and 30s. By catching inflammation of the joints early, rheumatology providers can help people save their joints and keep productive lives.

A range of advanced treatments, including ultrasound-guided injections and infusion
Rheumatology Clinic providers have additional training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones. Valley’s rheumatology providers offer advanced medical treatments including injections with and without guided ultrasound, oral medications, as well as infusion services.

Infusion medications are very effective in taking away the swelling and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other conditions when oral medications aren’t managing the inflammation. Valley has a full infusion suite to provide this kind of treatment. Once the swelling is gone, pain improves significantly. Now more and more, it makes sense to see patients sooner and catch the disease early so there’s no joint damage.

Osteoporosis, a disease that weakens the bones and increases risk for fractures, can be treated by rheumatology providers, the earlier the better
More than 50% of women with osteoporosis get the disease between ages 50 and 65. By intervening earlier, a rheumatology provider can help prevent patients from getting fractures and bad backs. For early detection, a patient found to be higher at risk based on age, gender, family history, and some medications, can be referred for bone density screening by their primary care provider.

What inflammatory conditions do Valley’s Rheumatology Clinic providers diagnose, treat and help manage?
Valley’s Rheumatology Clinic providers specialize in inflammatory arthritis and other autoimmune disorders including: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, scleroderma, myositis, Sjogren’s syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, vasculitis,  osteoporosis, tendonitis, bursitis and gout.

What conditions can be seen without a referral at the Rheumatology Clinic?* If you have any of the following:

  • Swelling in a joint lasting two weeks or longer or new onset of swelling in multiple joints, without fever or signs of infection
  • Back pain for longer than one – two months, if you are under age 40 and it’s not related to injury
  • Evaluation of osteoporosis or Raynaud’s
  • Repeated episodes of uveitis or plantar fasciitis
  • Previous diagnosis of rheumatic diseases and transferring care from another rheumatologist
  • Gout

*Please consult your primary care provider if you are unsure about your condition and symptoms, or if your insurance requires a referral for specialty care.

Valley’s Rheumatology Clinics are located in Renton and Covington. For more information, visit valleymed.org or talk to your primary care provider about a referral.

About The Author

Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office