UH Divisionof Rheumatology Offers Improved Quality of Life and Relief from Pain Caused by Arthritic Conditions

Arthritis and other rheumatologic diseases can affect people at any age and impair their overall quality of life. The University Hospitals Division of Rheumatology is committed to relieving the arthritis pain and helping restore quality of life for those suffering from the disease.

University Hospitals provides expert diagnosis and treatment for the full range of arthritic conditions, osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory arthritis of the spine, joints and ligaments (ankylosing spondylitis).

Offering Pain Relief from Osteoarthritis Through Surgery and Medications

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.Approximately 20 million-or-more adults in the United States have osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritisis a type of arthritis that affects primarily the cartilage and often leads to joint degeneration, causing subsequent pain.

Generally, osteoarthritis medications are one way to relieve some of the discomfort --in addition to exercise and weight loss. In some cases, surgery is advised. The Division of Rheumatology works closely with the UH Department of Orthopedic Surgery to offer several innovative procedures that can restore cartilage and offer relief from pain.

Our team of rheumatology specialists are leaders in their field and identified the first genetic defect as a cause of familial osteoarthritis and have been involved in research to explore and demonstrate the efficacy of various therapies in osteoarthritis treatment.

Treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis Joint Pain

Psoriatic arthritis causes pain and swelling in the joints and is typically associated with a skin rash called psoriasis. The arthritis may affect the peripheral joints and/or the spine. Pain can also occur in the wrists, knees, ankles, fingers, toes, lower back and buttocks. Generally, psoriatic arthritis is treated with anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce pain and stiffness.

Seeking Alternative Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the lining of the joints. This process often leads to severe damage and disability. The average onset of RAis between 20 and 45 years of age. Although it is more prevalent among women, RA can also affect men. The disease may be genetically transmitted, but it is a controllable one whose treatment has been made easier thanks to a number of rheumatoid arthritis medications, including corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic agents directed against specific inflammatory processes.

The UH Division of Rheumatology has been involved in studying tocilizumab, an approved drug for the treatment of mild to severe rheumatoid arthritis, and its effect on the metabolism of cartilage.In addition, our physicians –who specialize in rheumatoid arthritis and other connective tissue diseases in which the immune system is deregulated–are studying the proteins present in our cells that protect them from attack by our own immune system. This is important in treating connective tissue disease.

Get Relief from Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis of the spine, joints and ligaments, resulting in pain and stiffness. More common in men, the disease creates pain that is generally alleviated through exercise and medications.

However, dramatic pain relief can also occur with biologic agents that are administered through the Division of Rheumatology’s Infusion Center at UH Chagrin Highlands Health Center in Orange Village.