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Arthritis Specialist

Health First Primary Care -  - Primary Care

Health First Primary Care

Primary Care & Internal Medicine located in Tampa, FL

According to researchers, as many as 22% of American adults are living with some form of arthritis. For those in and around Tampa, Florida, the care of Gisela Vargas, MD, of Health First Primary Care is a valuable resource in addressing the discomfort and limitations of arthritis. If you or a loved one is struggling with this type of joint pain, reach out to book an appointment today. Online scheduling is available, or you can always call to speak with a friendly staff member.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is not a single condition, but a term used to describe more than 100 different conditions that affect your joint health. It’s also the leading cause of disability in America and can affect anyone at any age, including children. 

Living with arthritis often requires making adjustments to accommodate symptoms. Far too many men and women accept these limitations as an inevitable part of growing older. It’s important to know that there are treatments that can help you live a full and active life, even with arthritis. 

What are some symptoms of arthritis?  

Joint pain is the most common symptom of arthritis. That pain can range from mild to severe and can be steady or intermittent. It might flare up only under certain circumstances, or it could be part of your daily experience. 

Additional symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Joint stiffness, often after a period of sitting still
  • Swelling in and around the affected joint
  • Limited range of motion in a joint
  • Cracking or popping sounds within a joint
  • Sleep disruptions


If you’ve noticed these changes, schedule a visit to Health First Primary Care to determine if arthritis is to blame and to explore treatment options. 

What are some treatments for arthritis?

Because there are so many forms of arthritis, the first step involves determining which type of arthritis is causing your symptoms. Dr. Vargas then creates a customized treatment plan to meet your needs and lifestyle. 

In the early stages, lifestyle modifications can relieve many symptoms. Improving your diet can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, and certain foods can provoke arthritis pain. 

Getting plenty of exercise without overtaxing your joints is also a great way to treat arthritis pain. Dr. Vargas can help you identify if your work tasks or hobbies might be making matters worse. Physical therapy can help you strengthen your joints and improve range of motion. 

Medication can play a role in treating arthritis pain, but every effort is made to find non-pharmaceutical therapies that can help. Your pain management plan might shift and change over time, but you’ll have the support of the Health First Primary Care team as you navigate your treatment options. 

When you’re ready to begin, call the office to set up an appointment. If you have limited mobility, Health First Primary Care offers transportation services to bring you to and from your appointments. Online scheduling is also available, allowing you to book from home any time of day or night.