Back Pain and Arthritis Related Groups and Organizations
There are many back pain and arthritis related groups and organizations that are designed to educate both the patients with pain as well as the medical doctors and other back specialists who treat the symptoms and causes of disease. Some of these organizations are educational for patients while others are educational for doctors interesting in learning the emerging breakthroughs in diagnostics and innovative treatment options. Other back pain groups are designed to provide patients with supportive voices and listeners so that they know that they are not the only ones suffering out there. Other arthritis organizations have current databases to get patients in touch with the best doctors out there who are available locally to treat their specific condition. Other organizations allow patients to research their doctors so that they know how experienced they are and how their past patients have rated them according to patient care and service. Here is a partial list of the Organizations and resources available to hopefully help patients to manage and/or cure their pain condition.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS): This organization provides education and practice management services for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals. The AAOS website is located at aaos.org, and has information about arthritis and the specific types of injuries and diseases which may negatively affect the joints. The website has search tools that help you to find orthopaedists in your area who may be specialized to treat your specific arthritis condition. The AAOS website also hosts annual meetings so that patients, patient advocacy groups, and physicians may learn the latest research breakthroughs that offer to most promise towards curing arthritis. The AAOS website has a physical education section that offers patients information about the importance of physical fitness, and appropriate physical therapy techniques that patients may used while rehabilitating their specific types of injuries.
The American Academy also serves as an advocate for improved patient care and informs the public about the science of orthopaedics. The AAOS website defines what an orthopaedist is and which types of musculoskeletal problems he or she is trained to treat. An orthopaedist is a specialist in recognizing and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system. An orthopaedist may be the first doctor to see you for your joint pain, and he or she may see you throughout the whole process until you finally find a treatment that offers you significant pain relief. An orthopeadist is also known as an orthopaedic surgeon. Your orthopeadist may be directly involved in diagnosing the cause of your pain. Your orthopaedist may also prescribe non-invasive treatments, such as physical therapy, and closely monitor your progress as you continue your rehabilitative program. Your orthopaedic surgeon, if he or she is good, will take the time to recognize any work related movements or other lifestyle factors which are negatively affecting your joints, and will offer alternative techniques for you to use so that your corrected body mechanics no longer cause injury to your back and joints. If necessary, your orthopaedic surgeon will be qualified to tell you if you need surgery, and he or she will also be qualified to perform the specific surgical procedure. Surgeries that orthopaedic surgeons are qualified to perform include arthroscopy, fusion, internal fixation, joint replacement, osteotomy, and soft tissue repair.
American Academy of Rheumatologists: The American Academy of Rheumatologists is a professional organization of rheumatologists and doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating rheumatic diseases. A rheumatologist is an osteopath (D.O.) or medical doctor (M.D.) who diagnoses the cause of arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases, and offers an appropriate treatment specific to the patient's diagnosis. Musculoskeletal diseases are conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and bones as a result of injury, wear and tear, poor posture, and diseases. Rheumatologists are trained to differentiate between joint inflammation caused by wear and tear and those caused by inflammatory diseases. Inflammatory diseases that rheumatologists specialize in recognizing and treating include systemic lupus erythematosus, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever, Vasculitis, and Buerger's disease (thromboangiitis obliterans).
The Arthritis Foundation: osteoarthritis - a wear and tear type of arthritis - and rheumatoid arthritis - which is a systemic inflammatory disease, are the two most common forms of arthritis which may cause severe pain and the loss of function in severe cases where patients are not properly treated. The Arthritis Foundation illustrates the causes of these types of arthritis, and the types of treatments that promise to provide patients with some degree of relief. The foundation also provides information about 100 other types of arthritis which are less common but also affect millions of other arthritis sufferers. The website for the arthritis foundation may be found at arthritis.org. In addition to providing a valuable educational and research resource, the organization also serves several different advocacy functions for patient who are failing to find the right doctors to treat their pain and for those that need a supportive voice to vent their frustrations to. The advocacy department of the Arthritis Foundation helps patients to find affordable healthcare and also offers information as to where patients can go in their local areas to find physical educational activities that are appropriate to their conditions.