Thursday, June 13, 2024

Can Arthritis Affect Your Muscles

What’s New In Arthritis Research

How arthritis affects your body

Progress is so fast in some areas of arthritis research today that the media often report new findings before the medical journal with the information reaches your doctor’s office. As a result, you need to know how to evaluate reports on new arthritis research.

Arthritis researchers are looking at four broad areas of research. These include causes, treatments, education and prevention.

Researchers are learning more about certain conditions. For example in osteoarthritis, researchers are looking for signs of early destruction of cartilage and ways to rebuild it. For rheumatoid arthritis and other types that involve inflammation, researchers are trying to understand the steps that lead to inflammation and how it can be slowed or stopped. An initial study suggests that fibromyalgia affects more older people than originally thought and often may be overlooked in this group. Your doctor can tell you about other new research findings. If you would like to take part in arthritis research, ask your doctor for a referral to a study in your area.

Many people help make arthritis research possible. The federal government through its National Institutes of Health is the largest supporter of arthritis research. Drug companies do the most research on new medications.

Replacing All Of A Hip

Sometimes the whole hip joint must be replaced. The whole hip joint is the top of the thighbone and the surface of the socket into which the head of the thighbone fits. This procedure is called total hip replacement or total hip arthroplasty. The head of the thighbone is replaced with a ball-shaped part , made of metal. The prosthesis has a strong stem that fits within the center of the thighbone. The socket is replaced with a metal shell lined with durable plastic.

Can Imaging Exams Detect Arthritis

Imaging exams can help your healthcare provider get a clear picture of your bones, joints and soft tissues. An X-ray, MRI or ultrasound can reveal:

  • Bone fractures or dislocations that may be causing you joint pain.
  • Cartilage breakdown around your joints.
  • Muscle, ligament or tendon injuries near your joints.
  • Soft tissue inflammation.

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Ways Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects The Body

Although often mistaken for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1.3 million Americans.

Along with joint pain and swelling, about four out of 10 people with RA have related problems in other body parts, says Eric Matteson, MD, professor of medicine and chair of the department of rheumatology at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn.

RA can decrease life expectancy, but with modern therapies, we are seeing less rheumatoid disease outside of the joints, and patients are living longer, he says.

Here, 10 different body parts, how they’re affected by RA, and what helps the symptoms.

The Chicken Or The Egg

Health Scoop : JOINT PAIN AND ARTHRITIS

If strength and volitional control is so poor in several muscle groups bilaterally in patients with knee arthritis, the classic which came first, the chicken or the egg question comes to mind. Does knee arthritis have such a dramatic impact on muscle impairments of the body or did these impairments precede, and potentially facilitate, the develop of knee arthritis?

There have some studies published that prospectively showed that weaker quadriceps strength was correlated to the development of knee arthritis. This makes sense to me, as it certainly appears that several of the above factors could be related to general deconditioning of the patient.

Perhaps there is a reason that we see bilateral deficits with the involved knee showing greater impairments. Maybe knee arthritis begins with a certain level of weakness, imbalances, and overall deconditioning. Then overtime, this deconditioning is superimposed with inhibition from the natural consequences of knee arthritis, such as effusion, pain, and inflammation.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Your Hands And Feet

Since RA is a condition of the joints, its obvious that it affects a persons hands and feet. But beyond pain, RA can cause other distortions and deformities if it is not treated as early as possible with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs .

Some of the most common symptoms affecting the hands include locking joints, ulnar drift , swan neck deformities , and even ruptured tendons. All these effects can make basic life tasks such as writing, holding objects, and unscrewing lids difficult.

The hands can also be affected by muscle cramping, which can be relieved by gentle movements and warm compresses. More concerning, the swelling of RA may put pressure on the median nerve , causing numbness or carpal tunnel syndrome. See your doctor if you experience any of these.

In the feet, uncontrolled inflammation may lead to painful conditions like hammertoes , bunion , pes planus , and valgus hind foot .

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In addition to seeing your rheumatologist and, if necessary, a podiatrist, you may also consult an occupational or physical therapist. These experts help you learn ways of moving that are less painful and that strengthen muscles, says Rebecca Manno, MD, a rheumatologist and adjunct assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

How Does Arthritis Feel

Arthritis usually causes stiffness pain and fatigue. The severity varies from person to person and even from day to day. In some people only a few joints are affected and the impact may be small. In other people the entire body system may be affected.

The joints of the body are the site of much of the action in arthritis. Many types of arthritis show signs of joint inflammation: swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness or warmth. These joint symptoms may be accompanied by weight loss, fever or weakness.

When these symptoms last for more than two weeks, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis may be the cause. Joint inflammation may also be caused by infection which can lead to septic arthritis. Degenerative joint disease is the most common type of arthritis joint inflammation is not a prominent feature of this condition. While normal joints can support a vast amount of use, mechanical abnormalities of a joint make it susceptible to degeneration.

It is healthy for you to keep active and move your joints. If you do not move a joint regularly, the muscles around it weaken and/or become tight. The joint can stiffen or even freeze. When you do try to move the joint and muscles hurt because they have been still for so long.

Arthritis can make it hard to do the movements you rely on every day for work or taking care of your family.

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What Is Arthritis Pain

When your pain comes from a body joint like the knees, ankles or fingers, it is called arthritis pain. There are many types of arthritis , but the most common type is known as arthrosis. This is a degenerative disease of the joints that results in the cartilage wearing down. It normally develops as we grow older, and causes a pain that returns often.

If you suffer from arthrosis, you may find:

  • that this pain appears following a period of inactivity
  • a tenderness when you touch the joint
  • joint stiffness
  • discomfort during fluctuations in temperature.

Other types of arthritis, as with rheumatoid polyarthritis, also cause inflammation in addition to pain.

The Effects Of Psoriatic Arthritis On The Body

Exercise for Knee Arthritis

PsA is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack healthy parts of the body, mostly the skin and the joints.

This causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, either singly or throughout the body. Early treatment is essential to avoid long-term joint and tissue deterioration.

Psoriatic arthritis usually develops within 10 years of developing psoriasis. Skin psoriasis causes flare-ups of red, patchy skin that can occur anywhere on the body.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about 30 percent of people with psoriasis eventually develop PsA.

In some cases, PsA is diagnosed before you have skin psoriasis because the arthritic symptoms might be more noticeable.

Its also possible to develop PsA without having psoriasis, especially if you have a family history of psoriasis. Both skin psoriasis and inflammatory types of arthritis are considered autoimmune disorders.

PsA is a chronic, or long-term, condition. Anyone can get it, but its most common between ages 30 and 50 years. Since theres no cure, treatment is aimed at managing symptoms and preventing permanent joint damage.

Research theorizes that genetics play a part in the development of psoriatic arthritis. Scientists are trying to find out which genes are involved. Identifying the genes may allow the development of gene therapy treatment.

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Being A Stomach Sleeper

You may snore less when you sleep on your stomach instead of on your back, but the rest of your body may suffer. People who sleep on their stomachs have to twist their heads and necks to the side. This, in turn, places stress on nerves. It also compresses your spine, leading to awkward spinal alignment. You want to sleep in a neutral position so that your head and neck are in a straight line with your spine to reduce the risk of strain on your back, neck, and muscles. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Switch to sleeping on your side or back. Look for special pillows for side sleepers and back sleepers that promote healthy spine alignment.

How Can I Best Learn To Cope With Musculoskeletal Pain

To help yourself cope with musculoskeletal pain:

  • Avoid smoking, which increases inflammation.
  • Eat a healthy, non-inflammatory diet.
  • Rest the injured muscle, joint or bone.
  • Stretch daily or as often as your healthcare provider advises.
  • Take pain medications as prescribed.
  • Use ice and heat to decrease swelling and inflammation.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Musculoskeletal pain can cause discomfort and disrupt your daily activities. Sometimes, a sudden injury such as a broken bone causes severe pain. For some people, underlying conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia lead to pain. Whether your musculoskeletal pain is acute or chronic, the right treatment can relieve your symptoms.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/10/2021.

References

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How Is Arthritis Treated

Theres no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can help you manage the condition. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of the arthritis, its symptoms and your overall health.

Conservative treatments include:

  • Medication: Anti-inflammatory and pain medications may help relieve your arthritis symptoms. Some medications, called biologics, target your immune systems inflammatory response. A healthcare provider may recommend biologics for your rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.
  • Physical therapy: Rehabilitation can help improve strength, range of motion and overall mobility. Therapists can teach you how to adjust your daily activities to lessen arthritic pain.
  • Therapeutic injections: Cortisone shots may help temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in your joints. Arthritis in certain joints, such as your knee, may improve with a treatment called viscosupplementation. It injects lubricant to help joints move smoothly.

Does Osteoarthritis Affect Muscles

Detox to Help Arthritis and Joint Problems

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. Herein, can osteoarthritis cause muscle weakness?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis to affect synovial joints. The principal clinical features reported by patients are joint pain, decreased function, joint instability, periarticular muscle weakness, and fatigue.

Subsequently, question is, does osteoarthritis affect the whole body? But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.

Also Know, can arthritis affect the muscles?

Many types of arthritis show signs of joint inflammation: swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness or warmth. These joint symptoms may be accompanied by weight loss, fever or weakness. Many things affect how your joints and muscles feel. Pain may be caused by swelling, joint damage, muscle tightness or spasm.

How does osteoarthritis affect movement?

As part of normal life, your joints are exposed to a constant low level of damage. But in osteoarthritis, the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. Bony growths can develop, and the area can become red and swollen.

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What Causes Arthritis

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. What causes most types is unknown. Because there are so many different types there are likely to be many different causes.

Scientists are currently researching what roles three major factors play in certain types of arthritis. These include the genetic factors you inherit from your parents, what happens to you during your life and how you live. The importance of these factors varies for every type of arthritis.

What Are Bone Spurs

Bone spurs are of two basic types. One is the kind that arises near a joint with osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. In this situation, the cartilage has been worn through and the bone responds by growing extra bone at the margins of the joint surface. These “spurs” carry the formal name “osteophytes.” They are common features of the osteoarthritic shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle. Removing these osteophytes is an important part of joint replacement surgery but removing them without addressing the underlying arthritis is usually not effective in relieving symptoms.

The second type of bone spur is the kind that occurs when the attachment of ligaments or tendons to bone become calcified. This can occur on the bottom of the foot around the Achilles Tendon and in the coroacoacromial ligament of the shoulder. These spurs often look impressive on X-rays, but because they are in the substance of the ligaments rarely cause sufficient problems to merit excision.

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The Goal Of Treatment In Osteoarthritis Is To Reduce Joint Pain And Inflammation

There are plenty of treatments for spinal arthritis

  • Back-strengthening exercises
  • Warming pad or ice pack
  • Topical pain reliever
  • Losing excess weight
  • Refrain from activities that aggravate pain

For persistent pain that is interfering with your daily activities, see a rheumatologist to make the correct diagnosis and begin the proper treatment.

Contact Us For More Information to Request an Appointment

About Tristate Arthritis and Rheumatology

Tristate Arthritis and Rheumatology is first and largest Rheumatology practice in the Northern Kentucky area. Founded by Dr. Arthur Kunath in 1986, our rheumatology practice now consists of six doctors who are board certified in both Internal Medicine and Rheumatology and a Physician Assistant. Patients see one doctor , thereby assuring continuity of care and an individualized doctor-patient atmosphere giving the physician the ability to establish personalized and detailed relationships. Our doctors have received numerous awards, including being listed as Top Doctors in Cincinnati Magazine, receiving the Patients Choice Award, the Most Compassionate Doctor Award, and the American College of Rheumatologys My Doc Rocks award.

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Threatens Bone Health

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RA can increase your risk of osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become less dense and more fragile, increasing the likelihood they will break.

The reason: The inflammation of RA accelerates the normal bone resorption when bone tissue is broken down to release minerals into the blood that leads to osteoporosis. Normally, the bone tissue thats broken down gets replaced, but as we age, the rate of resorption exceeds the rate of new bone growth, reducing bone mass and setting the stage for osteoporosis. RA makes it even harder for bones to keep pace. The hip, forearm and pelvis are typical sites where breaks can occur, although breaks are more likely near the joints where the RA is active.

Steroids, which are sometimes used to control RA, can especially speed bone loss.

The best way to protect bones: Eat calcium-rich and vitamin Drich foods like eggs and fish, as well as D-fortified foods do weight-bearing exercises that your doctor approves if you smoke, quit and get a bone mineral density test so your doctor can consider whether you need medication.

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Other Pain Relief Treatments

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

A TENS machine sends electrical pulses to your nerve endings through pads placed on your skin. It produces a tingling sensation and is thought to relieve pain by altering pain signals sent to the brain. The research evidence on the effectiveness of TENS is mixed, but some people do find it helpful. A physiotherapist will be able to advise on the types of TENS machine available and how to use them. Or they may be able to loan you one to try before you buy.

Hyaluronic acid injections

Hyaluronic acid, or hyaluronan, is a lubricant and shock absorber thats found naturally in the fluid in your joints. Injections of hyaluronic acid have sometimes been used as a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. The treatment isnt currently available on the NHS because research evidence on its long-term effectiveness is mixed. The treatment is, however, available privately.

Isnt Tendon Involvement For Spondyloarthropathy Like Psoriatic Arthritis & Ankylosing Spondylitis

Thats a common notion, but tendons are frequently involved in RA. In a poster session at ACR last fall, Italian investigators presented US Examination of Wrists and Hands: A Comparison Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis. They used ultrasound to compare tendon involvement frequency between RA and PsA wrists and hands. They found no difference in tendon involvement frequency, but found more aggressive inflammation of the tendons in patients with RA who had tendon involvement . They reported no other significant differences in the results of the two groups.

Postblog: Combatting confusion like this is one reason RAW exists. Tendon involvement is on a recent list of symptoms dismissed as not related to Rheumatoid. When a rheumatologist is dismissive, an expert in the specific specialty is usually helpful .

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