More than just chronic pain, arthritis refers to an umbrella of diseases with a plethora of uncomfortable and often life-changing symptoms.


Z. Rafael Abad, M.D., P.A., is a caring board-certified family medicine physician who offers compassionate and personalized support and effective treatments for arthritis at his private practice conveniently located in Miami.

His overarching goal is always to relieve your arthritis pain and symptoms and improve your quality of life. Request an appointment online or call the friendly office staff today.


What is arthritis?

Arthritis is the medical term for numerous conditions that involve painful inflammation in one or more of your joints. Arthritis symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Decreased mobility
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness

The symptoms of arthritis vary and typically come and go in flare-ups. Symptoms become more severe and prominent during one of these flare-ups. Over time, arthritis can lead to joint deformity.


What causes arthritis?

Various factors can cause or exacerbate arthritis. Arthritis is associated with:

  • Underlying diseases
  • Infections
  • Uric acid crystals

Other risk factors for arthritis include:

  • Previous joint injuries
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Family history

Lifestyle factors, such as physical activity level and nutrition, might also play a role in the development of arthritis.


What are the different types of arthritis?

There are different forms of arthritis that range from mild to severe.


Osteoarthritis is a condition involving wear and tear and damage to the cartilage in your joints over time.

Severe cases of osteoarthritis can cause bone to grind directly on bone, resulting in limited movement and pain. An infection or an injury can trigger or exacerbate osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system starts attacking the lining of joint capsules (the synovial membrane). Your joints become swollen and inflamed, and the disease process can destroy bone and cartilage over time.

Other inflammatory arthritic conditions

Ankylosing spondylitis and other inflammatory arthritic conditions might be associated with genetics, bacteria, and environmental factors.

Many of these conditions also cause the immune system to attack itself, leading to systemic inflammation throughout the body that can affect other organ systems like the eyes. Damage to the cartilage and bone can lead to abnormal bone fusion.


What methods diagnose arthritis?

To diagnose arthritis, Dr. Abad discusses your medical history and your symptoms and performs a physical exam. He also assesses your joints for indications of arthritis.

To gain a clearer picture of your overall health and arthritis, Dr. Abad might recommend additional testing, such as an X-ray, or urine, blood, or joint fluid tests.


What methods treat arthritis?

To treat your arthritis, Dr. Abad might suggest:

  • Nutrition counseling
  • Vitamin supplementation
  • Regular appropriate exercising and stretching
  • Assistive devices (such as a cane)
  • Weight loss if you’re overweight
  • Cold and heat therapies, such as ice packs or a warm compress
  • Medications, such as steroids, pain relief, biologics, and anti-inflammatories

Intra-articular injections can be especially helpful for relieving your pain. The right lifestyle modifications can be pivotal in controlling and managing your arthritis long-term.

 If you have the right support system, arthritis doesn’t have to be a life sentence of pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. Call Dr. Abad or request an appointment online.

Request an Appointment | Dr. Abad

Please Note: Our office will reach out to you directly to confirm your appointment date and time.

Office hours: Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Request an Appointment | Dr. Abad

Please Note: Our office will reach out to you directly to confirm your appointment date and time.

Office hours: Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.