What Does Osteoarthritis Feel Like
Osteoarthritis can cause all, or some, of the following symptoms in one, or multiple, joints:
- Pain when moving the affected joint
- Tenderness when applying pressure to the area
- Reduced movement and flexibility
- Stiffness in the joint after long periods of rest, such as waking after a nights sleep
- External swelling, which indicates inflammation inside the joint
- A grating sensation on the inside of the joint when moving it
- A popping or clicking sound when moving
- Hard lumps forming on the joint, which indicates the development of bone spurs
What Are The Types Of Juvenile Arthritis
There are several different types of juvenile arthritis. The main types are:
- oligoarticular/pauciarticular the most common type, usually begins at 2 to 4 years of age, and affects up to 4 joints, usually large joints like the knees and ankles
- polyarticular develops in children 1 to 12 years of age, and affects 5 or more joints. The same joints on each side of the body are affected, including fingers, toes, wrists, ankles, hips, knees, neck and jaw
Less common types of juvenile arthritis include:
- systemic onset JIA as well as affecting the joints, this also causes widespread inflammation with fever, rash, swollen glands, fatigue and aching limbs. It is also called Stills disease
- enthesitis-related affects the points where bones meet tendons and ligaments. It most commonly affects the spine, heel, hips, knees and ankles
- psoriatic affects the skin as well as joints, causing a scaly rash
Doctors who specialise in diagnosing and treating juvenile arthritis are called paediatric rheumatologists.
Will Changing My Diet Help My Rheumatoid Arthritis
When combined with the treatments and medications your provider recommends, changes in diet may help reduce inflammation and other symptoms of RA. But it wont cure you. You can talk with your doctor about adding good fats and minimizing bad fats, salt and processed carbohydrates. No herbal or nutritional supplements, like collagen, can cure rheumatoid arthritis. These dietary changes are safer and most successful when monitored by your rheumatologist.
But there are lifestyle changes you can make that may help relieve your symptoms. Your rheumatologist may recommend weight loss to reduce stress on inflamed joints.
People with rheumatoid arthritis also have a higher risk of coronary artery disease. High blood cholesterol can respond to changes in diet. A nutritionist can recommend specific foods to eat or avoid to reach a desirable cholesterol level.
Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis also causes pain and swelling in the joints. Usually, the small joints of the fingers and toes are affected first. The most common symptom is stiffness, and it takes a long time to get the joints moving, especially in the morning.
The disease is symmetrical, meaning that if your left index finger is swollen and painful, youll usually have the same symptoms in the right index finger.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be systemic, meaning it can also affect the whole body.
Other non-joint symptoms can include:
- shortness of breath
Can You Have Children
Plan ahead for pregnancy if you can. Tell your rheumatologist when youâd like to start a family, even if thatâs in a few years. If your treatment plan keeps your RA well controlled, youâre more likely to be able to conceive and have a healthy, safe pregnancy.
Some RA medications, like leflunomide and methotrexate, can cause serious birth defects if theyâre passed to an unborn baby by either its mother and father. Others may lower sperm count in men with RA. Talk with your doctor about when to stop these drugs so they can clear out of your system before you try to conceive a baby.
Almost half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. If you donât want to have a baby right now for any reason, use birth control every time you have sex. Talk with your rheumatologist about safe, effective options to prevent pregnancy.
There are RA treatments that you can take while youâre pregnant or breastfeeding so you keep your RA under control. Thatâs important, because high disease activity during pregnancy could cause your baby to have a low birth weight. Your rheumatologist will prescribe safe, effective treatments to help you control your RA during these times. Find out more information on family planning with RA.
You May Like: How To Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
How Common Is Osteoarthritis In Young Adults
Osteoarthritis typically affects people over the age of 50, but young people can be affected as well.² The CDC estimates that about 7% of the U.S. population aged 1844 had been diagnosed with OA from 20132015.
Younger people who are active in sports or other physically demanding activities, or who have sustained an injury such as a torn meniscusa tear in the cartilage of the kneemay be more prone to developing the condition earlier in life.²
Over 32 million people across the U.S. live with osteoarthritis.³ While this condition can affect any joint, it typically affects the knees, hips, back, hands, and neck. Symptoms such as pain or swelling may not occur right away and can worsen over time.²
How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may refer you to a physician who specializes in arthritis . Rheumatologists diagnose people with rheumatoid arthritis based on a combination of several factors. Theyll do a physical exam and ask you about your medical history and symptoms. Your rheumatologist will order blood tests and imaging tests.
The blood tests look for inflammation and blood proteins that are signs of rheumatoid arthritis. These may include:
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate or sed rate confirms inflammation in your joints.
- C-reactive protein .
- About 80% of people with RA test positive for rheumatoid factor .
- About 60% to 70% of people living with rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides .
Your rheumatologist may order imaging tests to look for signs that your joints are wearing away. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause the ends of the bones within your joints to wear down. The imaging tests may include:
In some cases, your provider may watch how you do over time before making a definitive diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
Read Also: Can Statins Cause Arthritis Pain
What Is The Safest Drug For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The safest drug for rheumatoid arthritis is one that gives you the most benefit with the least amount of negative side effects. This varies depending on your health history and the severity of your RA symptoms. Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop a treatment program. The drugs your healthcare provider prescribes will match the seriousness of your condition.
Its important to meet with your healthcare provider regularly. Theyll watch for any side effects and change your treatment, if necessary. Your healthcare provider may order tests to determine how effective your treatment is and if you have any side effects.
How Is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Diagnosed
Diagnosing JIA may be difficult. There is no single test to confirm the disease. Your childs healthcare provider will take your childs health history and do a physical exam. Your child’s provider will ask about your child’s symptoms, and any recent illness. JIA is based on symptoms of inflammation that have occurred for 6 weeks or more.
Tests may also be done. These include blood tests such as:
Your child may also have imaging tests. These can show how much damage the bones have. The tests may include:
- X-rays. This test uses a small amount of radiation to make images of organs, bones, and other tissues.
- CT scan. This uses a series of X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than regular X-rays.
- MRI. This test uses large magnets and a computer to make detailed pictures of organs and structures in the body.
- Bone scan. This uses a small amount of radiation to highlight the bones in a scanner.
Other tests may include:
- Urine tests. These look for blood or protein in the urine. This can mean the kidneys are not working normally.
- Joint aspiration . A small sample of the synovial fluid is taken from a joint. It’s tested to see if crystals, bacteria, or viruses are present.
- Full eye exam done by an ophthalmologist
When To See A Doctor
RA can become worse the longer its left untreated. Its important to visit your doctor if youve been living with some of these symptoms for more than a few weeks, especially if youve been noticing joint stiffness that takes a while to loosen up in the mornings.
Even if its not RA, persistent fatigue and a general sense of illness can be the precursor to many inflammation-related issues, so the sooner youre seen by a physician, the better.
Theres no single test that can reveal an RA diagnosis. Instead, youll most likely be diagnosed through blood tests, joint and organ examinations, and X-ray or ultrasound images.
If a positive rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is found, youll probably be referred to a rheumatologist, a doctor whos had extra training around the treatment of diseases that affect the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons.
How Is Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed
Your childs doctor will ask about your childs symptoms and do a physical exam. It can be hard to diagnose. You doctor may do an X-ray or blood test to rule out other illnesses. X-rays also can show more severe damage or deformities. Your childs doctor may want to take a sample of fluid from an actively inflamed joint or spinal fluid. It may take a few months before your doctor makes a diagnosis. This is so he or she can watch your childs symptoms over time.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Neck Arthritis Pain
Helping Your Child Live With Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Help your child manage his or her symptoms by sticking to the treatment plan. This includes getting enough sleep. Encourage exercise and physical therapy and find ways to make it fun. Work with your child’s school to make sure your child has help as needed. Work with other caregivers to help your child take part as much possible in school, social, and physical activities. Your child may also qualify for special help under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. You can also help your child find a support group to be around with other children with JIA.
Jia Affects Every Child Differently And Symptoms Can Vary On A Daily Basis Even In The Same Child
Children with JIA may have pain and stiffness that can change from one day to the next or from morning to afternoon. Mornings are usually more difficult. When the condition becomes more active and the symptoms worsen, it’s known as a “flare” or a “flare-up.
If the arthritis is not treated, it can lead to joint damage, muscle tightening, joint misalignment, and a longer limb or shorter digit due to its effect on the growth of the bones.
Read Also: Does Coffee Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis
Whats The Age Of Onset For Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA usually starts to develop between the ages of 30 and 60. But anyone can develop rheumatoid arthritis. In children and young adults usually between the ages of 16 and 40 its called young-onset rheumatoid arthritis . In people who develop symptoms after they turn 60, its called later-onset rheumatoid arthritis .
Further Information Help And Support
Versus Arthritis provides help and support for people in the UK with arthritis, plus their families and friends.
They have a free helpline you can call for further information and support on 0800 5200 520, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. The helpline is closed from 12pm on the last Friday of every month for training.
Read Also: How To Keep Arthritis From Getting Worse
Your Everyday Life With Ra
It may be a shock when your doctor tells you that you have RA. You may be worried that you wonât be able to stay in your job, stay active, or clean your house. You may fear that your body will change or that you wonât be able to have an enjoyable, full life.
But you can treat and manage your RA. Newer, more aggressive treatments help more people stay active and control their pain. These advances mean you could have a better quality of life with RA than many people diagnosed before you.
Your doctor will tell you to exercise. Do it. Exercise is good for your joints if you have arthritis. No matter what activity you do, it can give you more energy, strengthen your muscles and bones, and improve your quality of life. If youâre worried about doing any activity with RA, talk to your doctor or physical therapist first.
You can also stay on your career track. If RA symptoms make some of your work duties difficult, you have a legal right to ask your employer to make reasonable changes. You can ask for an ergonomic desk. You can ask for flexible work hours or a relaxed dress code.
Some activities are not a good idea if you have RA. Donât smoke. Even social smoking can make your inflammation worse. Your RA can become more severe when you smoke. Youâre less likely to go into remission. If you smoke, quit or get help to quit. Skip alcohol, too. It can affect the way your meds work. Get more tips on living with RA.
Tips For Managing Arthritis
Despite the impact of her arthritis, Carrie says that having a strong support network, keeping a diary to stay on track with hospital appointments, tests and medication, and taking time out when things become too tough are just some of the strategies that help her to manage day to day.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also important, with regular exercise particularly helpful in combatting joint pain and fatigue, Ellis notes. He adds that talking to people who understand can be valuable.
“Healthcare teams can offer advice and support, and many people find it helpful to be in touch with other people like them who can share their experiences, the challenges they have faced and the approaches that have helped them,” he says.
However, arthritis affects approximately one child in a thousand, so youngsters are unlikely to meet people their own age with a similar condition by chance. The Young People and Families Service run by Arthritis Care, a part of Arthritis Research UK, offers a solution.
“The service provides opportunities to meet someone with a similar experience through a range of activities including family events, residential weekends and workshops,” Ellis explains. “This aims to reduce isolation, supporting people to increase their resilience and develop a more positive outlook for the future. It also helps young people and their families achieve a greater understanding of the condition and develop a support network.”
Also Check: Is Massage Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Symptoms Of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Symptoms are different among children. Typically, joints become swollen, stiff, painful and warm to the touch. They may start as early as 6 months of age. Your child may limp, especially in the morning when stiffness is the worse. He or she may have lower back pain and avoid normal activities. Symptoms may come and go. They may be mild or intense. Symptoms can last for a short time or for years. There are four types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms depend on the type.
Serious cases of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can affect a childs growth. See your doctor if your child has symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
What Is Juvenile Arthritis
Arthritis is a medical condition that affects the joints, causing symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness. When arthritis develops in someone under 16, it is called juvenile idiopathic arthritis .
Arthritis in children can be mild or severe and may last for months or years. It can be similar to or different from arthritis in adults.
Read Also: How Much Pineapple To Eat For Arthritis
Other Symptoms Of Bone Cancer To Look Out For
The symptoms of chondrosarcoma can vary depending on the location and stage of the cancer. Pain is a common symptom of chondrosarcoma. The pain might feel worse at night, might not improve after significant rest, and might gradually worsen over time, per the University of Virginia. Some weakness and/or limitation of movement may also be present in the affected bone, explains the University. According to the Cedars Sinai Medical Center, you might also notice a large lump and feel pressure around the mass. Other possible symptoms include weakness or bladder and bowel control problems, if the tumor pushes on the spinal cord, explains the Mayo Clinic.
Generally speaking, it’s important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it’s essential to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis if you are experiencing these symptoms persistently. It is also important to note that symptoms may not be present in the early stages of chondrosarcoma.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Your doctor may recommend medicine for pain and swelling. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medicine. Over-the-counter medicine includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs This includes ibuprofen . It reduces joint swelling.
If this does not help, your childs doctor may suggest more powerful NSAIDs. This would be a prescription. For severe symptoms, your childs doctor may need steroid treatments to reduce swelling. Your childs doctor may prescribe medicine to treat an autoimmune illness. These medicines slow your childs immune system to reduce further joint damage.
Children rarely need surgery to treat the disease. Badly damaged joints may require soft tissue surgery. This is if the joints are bent or deformed. Joint replacement surgery can help badly damaged joints. With proper treatment, many children lead full, normal and symptom-free lives.
Also Check: Can Sugar Cause Arthritis Pain