Your joints support your body’s mobility and flexibility. Arthritis, which is joint inflammation, affects joint health and function as well as your quality of life. But with the right treatment, your arthritis doesn’t have to interfere with your daily life. At Quality Primary Care in Rockville, Maryland, board-certified internal medicine physician Suresh Malik, MD, and the team take an integrative approach to care. They develop personalized arthritis treatment plans to reduce joint pain, prevent permanent joint damage, and improve overall health. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

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Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis isn’t a single diagnosis, but a term used to describe joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness. 

Arthritis can affect any joint in your body, and it may begin at any age. However, when left untreated, arthritis worsens over time and may lead to permanent joint damage and disability. 

What are common types of arthritis?
A few of the most common forms of arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis occurs over time as the cartilage that cushions the bones in your joints wears away. This is the most common type of arthritis. 

Rheumatoid arthritis

With rheumatoid arthritis, joint inflammation and stiffness occurs when your immune system attacks the lining of your joints. 

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis occurs in people with psoriasis, which is a chronic skin condition that triggers an overproduction of skin cells, creating red, scaly patches of skin. 

With psoriatic arthritis, the immune system attacks the healthy cells and tissues that make up your joint, leading to inflammation and pain. 


Gout is a painful form of arthritis that develops from an accumulation of uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid turns into needle-like urate crystals, which settle into joints and cause swelling and pain. Gout most often affects the joint of the big toe. 

What happens during an arthritis evaluation?

When you visit Quality Primary Care for an arthritis evaluation, the team takes an integrative approach to care, evaluating your whole health, not just your arthritis and symptoms.

During your evaluation, your provider reviews your symptoms and medical history, and performs a physical exam, paying close attention to the affected joint or joints.

To determine the type of arthritis you have and the severity of the joint damage, the team may run lab work and request diagnostic imaging.

How is arthritis treated?

The team creates a customized treatment plan for your arthritis based on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying condition causing your joint pain and stiffness. 

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Other disease-specific medications (rheumatoid arthritis, gout)
  • Activity modification
  • Joint injections
  • Weight loss
  • Physical therapy


When arthritis is diagnosed early by the team at Quality Primary Care, the treatments may help prevent your arthritis from causing permanent joint damage and disability. 

However, if your joint damage is severe and fails to respond to medical treatment, the team may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to discuss joint surgery options.

Don’t let your arthritis keep you from living your life. Call Quality Primary Care or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment options.