Arthritis Specialist

Vigel M. Varkey, MD

Internal Medicine Provider & Medical Aesthetics Specialist located in New Port Richey, FL

Arthritis affects more than 54 million adults and is the leading cause of disability in America today. At Vigel Varkey M.D. in New Port Richey, Florida, Vigel M. Varkey, MD, offers comprehensive diagnosis and customized treatment to help relieve the painful and debilitating symptoms of arthritis helping you maintain a healthy and active life. If you’re suffering from joint pain, call or make an appointment online today.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is actually a collection of several diseases that cause inflammation and pain in your joints. There are three primary forms of arthritis.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 31 million people in the United States. This form of arthritis causes the cartilage to wear away from the ends of your bones where they meet in a joint. This creates excess friction in the joint, leading to inflammation, swelling, and pain. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in your body.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where your immune system attacks the synovial lining of your joints to cause swelling and pain. When this inflammation isn’t controlled, it can damage the cartilage in your joints, which can lead to osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is typically symmetrical and affects the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles.


Gout is the result of an excessive amount of uric acid in the blood, which causes deposits of uric acid crystals to build up in a joint. Gout typically affects the toes and feet and occurs in the form of attacks. Even if you aren’t experiencing an attack, there are still uric acid crystals in your joint causing inflammation and damage.

What causes arthritis?

The cause of arthritis varies depending on the specific form of the disease. For example, osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear on your joints and is exacerbated by issues like being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an immunologic malfunction, and gout is caused by your diet and genetics.

How do you treat arthritis?

Dr. Varkey provides a variety of customizable treatments to address arthritis. Depending on your specific kind of arthritis and the severity of your condition, you may benefit from a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and physical therapy. For example, Dr. Varkey encourages all of his arthritis patients to change their diet to include more anti-inflammatory foods and to lose some weight to reduce pressure on your joints.

Exercise and physical therapy are also helpful to relieve arthritis pain. You can build strength and flexibility in the muscles surrounding your arthritic joint to provide better support. Dr. Varkey can teach you how to exercise safely.

Anti-inflammatory medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories are helpful. Some patients also benefit from corticosteroid injections to reduce swelling and inflammation in the affected joints. In severe cases, you may need surgery to partially or fully replace the joint.

If you’re suffering from joint pain, call or make an appointment online today.