Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can occur in various locations throughout the body including:Arthritis Pain Management

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which results from overuse, trauma or the degeneration of joint cartilage that occurs with age. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage covering the ends of the bone gradually wears away. In many cases, bone growths called “spurs” develop at the edges of osteoarthritic joints, and the bone can become hard and firm (sclerosis). The joint becomes inflamed, causing pain and swelling and making continued use of the joint painful.

Osteoarthritis is often more painful in joints that bear weight, like the knee, hip and spine. However, joints that are used extensively in work or sports, or joints that have been damaged from fractures or other injuries may show signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Common symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Weakness (atrophy) in the muscles
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Limited ability to move the joint passively (with assistance) and actively (without assistance)
  • Grating feeling or sound (crepitus) with movement
  • Pain when pressure is placed on the joint or the joint is moved
  • Signs that other joints are painful or swollen (an indication of rheumatoid arthritis)

Through careful evaluation of symptoms and a physical examination, our physicians are able to properly diagnose arthritic conditions. X-rays also play an important role in showing the extent of damage to the joints, and blood and other laboratory tests can help determine the exact type of arthritis.

Arthritis Treatment Options

Some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are typically treated by a team of healthcare professionals. These specialists may include rheumatologists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists and orthopaedic surgeons.

Non-surgical options to reduce pain and stiffness and improve function include:Arthritis Pain Management

For patients with severe cases of arthritis, orthopaedic surgery can often provide dramatic pain relief and restore lost joint function. Surgical options include arthroscopy for mechanical symptoms and total or partial arthroplasty.

In most cases, patients with arthritis can continue to perform their normal daily activities. But, if left untreated, arthritis can progress and lead to worsening dysfunction and pain. Joints can swell, become tender to the touch and stiffen up when left immobile for too long.

All Access Sports Medicine’s doctors can treat patients with arthritis. While some may specialize in certain parts of the body, the treatment of arthritis is often a non-operative one that can be initiated by any provider.


Auburn, NH Ambulatory Surgery Center

45 Dartmouth Dr.
Auburn, New Hampshire 03032

Dover, NH Orthopaedic Clinic

19 Webb Place
Dover, NH 03820

Rochester, NH Orthopaedic Clinic

120 Washington Street Suite 101
Rochester, NH 03839

Portsmouth, NH Orthopaedic Clinic (Walk-In Clinic)

155 Borthwick Avenue, Suite 102
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Raymond, NH Orthopaedic Clinic

6 Freetown Road
Raymond, NH 03077

30 Million

The number of adults in the U.S. that are affected by osteoarthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Understanding Arthritis Pain

There are many treatment options available for the various types of arthritis. All Access Sports Medicine physicians and locations are equipped to diagnose and treat patients with arthritis pain.

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Joshua A. Siegel, MD

Knee & Shoulder

Dr. Siegel is an award-winning surgeon with more than 20 years of experience. He is a US Olympic Committee team physician, a US ski team physician and covers USGA and PGA tour events. Locally, he is the team physician for several high schools, including Phillips Exeter Academy.

Meet Dr. Siegel

David Davis, MD

Knee & Shoulder

Dr. Davis specializes in the treatment of sports-related injuries and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications. His experience includes working as an assistant team physician for the Boston Celtics and Tufts University football and hockey programs. Currently, he is a team physician for several New Hampshire Seacoast high schools.

Meet Dr. Davis

Benjamin Thompson, MD

Knee & Shoulder

Dr. Thompson is an award-winning surgeon, with team physician experience working with the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Lowell Spinners, the Pro Bull Riders Tour and Worcester Polytechnical Institute football team.

Meet Dr. Thompson

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is at risk for developing arthritis?

There are certain factors that are associated with a greater risk for developing arthritis, including older age, genetics, obesity, joint injuries, infections and overuse of the joints

Can I prevent arthritis?

The different types of arthritis can affect patients differently, meaning the causes vary. But maintaining a healthy body weight has been shown to decrease the chances of developing gout and osteoarthritis. It’s also wise to protect joints from overuse and injury.

How can I tell if I have arthritis?

There are many common symptoms of arthritis, including weak muscles, pain when applying pressure to the joints, tenderness and swollen joints.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should visit a specializing physician for a proper diagnosis. The doctor will begin by understanding your full medical history, performing a physical examination and taking X-rays and blood work.

Will cracking my knuckles cause arthritis?

Studies have shown that knuckle cracking does not directly cause arthritis. However, those who are frequent knuckle-crackers are more likely to have swollen hands and reduced grip strength.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive disease that occurs when the body’s immune system begins to attack tissues, including the joints, and causes very painful swelling. Physical therapy and medication can help slow the progression of the disease.