Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
There is no cure for RA. But it is important to help keep your joints working well by reducing pain and inflammation. Work on a treatment plan with your healthcare provider that includes medicine and physical therapy. Work on lifestyle changes that can improve your quality of life. Lifestyle changes include:
- Activity and rest. To reduce stress on your joints, switch between activity and rest. This can help protect your joints and lessen your symptoms.
- Using assistive devices. Canes, crutches, and walkers can help to keep stress off certain joints and to improve balance.
- Using adaptive equipment. Reachers and grabbers let you extend your reach and reduce straining. Dressing aids help you get dressed more easily.
- Managing the use of medicines. Medicines for this condition have some risks. Work with your healthcare provider to create a plan to reduce this risk.
- Seeking support. Find a support group that can help you deal with the effects of RA.
How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed
Diagnosing RA may be difficult in the early stages. This is because symptoms may be very mild, and signs of the disease may not be seen on X-rays or in blood tests. Your healthcare provider will take your medical history and give you a physical exam. Tests may also be done, such as:
- X-ray. This test uses a small amount of radiation to create images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
- Joint aspiration. For this test, a small fluid sample is taken from a swollen joint. It is done to look for signs of infection or gout.
- Nodule biopsy. Tiny tissue samples are taken to look at under a microscope. This helps to check for cancer or other abnormal cells.
- Blood tests. These tests are done to find certain antibodies, called rheumatoid factor, cyclic citrullinated antibody, and other signs of RA.
- Ultrasound or MRI. These imaging tests can look for bone damage and inflammation.
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.
Rheumatoid Arthritis In The Hips: Symptoms And Treatments
Although rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the smaller joints in the hands, wrists, and knees, it can affect many different parts of the body. For some people, RA affects the larger joints in the hips, causing discomfort and stiffness and impacting quality of life.
RA is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the bodys healthy tissues, causing joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. The condition is associated with a variety of symptoms when it affects the hips. Fortunately, there are treatments that can help bring some relief to your hips and surrounding regions.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms In The Spine
Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine can lead to neck pain, back pain, and/or pain that radiates into the legs or arms. In advanced cases, the joint deterioration in the spine can lead to compression of the spinal cord and/or the spinal nerve roots.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the spine are generally similar to the symptoms of osteoarthritis . The range of symptoms is broad and can include any combination of the following:
- Pain is the most common symptom, especially pain at the base of the skull as rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the joints connected to the upper cervical vertebrae
- Swelling and warmth in one or more joints, may even be described as burning
- A feeling of local tenderness when the joint of the affected area of the spine is pressed
- Loss of flexibility of the joint in the affected area of the spine
- A crunching feeling when the joint is moved , particularly notable in the neck
- Headaches, related to cervical rheumatoid arthritis
- Pain that radiates down one or both arms, indicating that a cervical spinal nerve root is affected
Symptoms of bowel or bladder dysfunction or change in the ability to walk or move the arms are serious medical symptoms and immediate medical attention should be sought.
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Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Muscles
Rheumatoid arthritis is a rheumatic disease that involves the abnormality of your immune system. Still, it primarily affects the joint causing classic symptoms of arthritis such as joint stiffness, swelling and pain. But its not only about joint problem since its effect is systemic. In other words it can affect the entire body, including non-joint structures. Can it also affect your muscles?
Hot And Cold Treatments For Symptom Relief
Hot and cold packs cant treat the underlying causes of back pain, but they can help to reduce the pain and stiffness you feel during a flare-up.
Use a heat pack to help improve blood flow and reduce muscle spasms. It can also help make your pain more manageable.
Use a cold pack to help reduce RA inflammation. It should mainly be used for flare-ups or acute pain.
Cold packs may feel uncomfortable at first, but they can reduce swelling and help the pain. Cold packs should only be applied for 20 minutes at a time, 3 to 4 times a day.
Medication can be an effective way of controlling chronic back pain. The type of medication youll need depends on how severe your pain is and how often you experience it.
A variety of medications can alleviate pain and even slow the progression of RA.
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Find Out What Type Of Arthritis You Have
Learn about the type of arthritis you have and your treatment options. Ask your doctor about creating a tailored management plan and team care arrangement for you. This includes subsidised care from a team of healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, dietitians, and others. Your local Arthritis office may also run self management courses to help you develop skills to manage your symptoms, communicate with your healthcare team and lessen the impact of arthritis on your life.
Surgery For Spinal Arthritis
Surgery may be recommended for spinal arthritis if other treatments donât sufficiently relieve pain. The goals of the surgery may include:
Stabilizing the spine by fusing several segments together in a procedure called spinal fusion
These surgeries can be performed as open procedures or with a minimally invasive approach. There are pros and cons to each method. The surgeon will review and discuss the options before the operation.
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Complications Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Because RA damages joints over time, it causes some disability. It can cause pain and movement problems. You may be less able to do your normal daily activities and tasks. This can also lead to problems such as depression and anxiety.
RA can also affect many nonjoint parts of the body, such as the lungs, heart, skin, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and kidneys. These complications can lead to severe illness and even death.
Symptoms Of Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Patients with SI joint pain often report diffuse pain of
- Pain in the lower back
- Pain in the buttocks, hips, and pelvis
- Pain in the groin
- Pain limited to just one of the SI joints
- Increased pain when standing up from a sitting position
- Stiffness or a burning sensation in the pelvis
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Axial Spondyloarthritis And Ankylosing Spondylitis
Axial spondyloarthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the back and sacroiliac joints , though it can affect other joints too.
AxSpA is an umbrella for a spectrum of disease that includes non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis in which there is inflammation in the spine and sacroiliac joints but no visible changes to the joints on X-ray and ankylosing spondylitis , which is when joint damage is visible on X-rays.
Hip involvement is common in axSpA studies suggest it can affect up to 20 to 30 percent of patients and can often be disabling. Hip symptoms in axSpA may, in fact, be an indicator of having more severe disease and be associated with a likelihood of having more bone damage over time, research shows.
Treatment Options For Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Hips
Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms. Medical treatments are available that can help you to achieve periods of remission, when symptoms lessen or disappear.
If you are experiencing hip pain, using warm compresses can help to reduce stiffness in your joint while ice packs can relieve pain. Relaxation and meditation can help to lessen stress, which reduces overall inflammation in the body. Low impact exercises such as walking, swimming and yoga can help to ease pain and improve mobility.
In the early stages of the disease, over the counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories can help to manage pain. As the condition worsens, your doctor may offer injections of corticosteroids into your hip joint to help relieve symptoms. Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs slow the progression of the disease and reduce inflammation, while a new class of anti-rheumatic drugs called biologics target specific parts of the immune system that trigger an inflammatory response.
As the disease becomes progressively worse you may need hip replacement surgery which involves removing the diseased hip joint and replacing it with a prosthetic implant.
If you have symptoms that could indicate rheumatoid arthritis of the hip, contact us to discuss a diagnosis and relevant treatment options. Although the disease cannot be cured, early diagnosis can help to slow its development and improve your quality of life.
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Explain The Pain Is It Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis
If opening jars becomes more difficult because of painful hands, or if climbing stairs produces pain in your knees, “arthritis” is often the first thing that comes to mind. The two most common forms of arthritisosteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritiscan cause similar aches and pains, but there are a few key differences between them. For example:
Onset. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage wears away. Pain occurs when bone rubs against bone. This type of arthritis pain tends to develop gradually and intermittently over several months or years.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting 27 million Americans. Many people believe it’s a crippling and inevitable part of growing old. But things are changing. Treatments are better, and plenty of people age well without much arthritis. If you have osteoarthritis, you can take steps to protect your joints, reduce discomfort, and improve mobility all of which are detailed in this report. If you don’t have osteoarthritis, the report offers strategies for preventing it.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an inflammatory condition in which your immune system attacks the tissues in your joints. It causes pain and stiffness that worsen over several weeks or a few months. And joint pain isn’t always the first sign of rheumatoid arthritissometimes it begins with “flu-like” symptoms of fatigue, fever, weakness, and minor joint aches.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Your Muscles
Now you know that RA is systemic inflammatory disease that can affect many parts of the body. It can also affect your muscles. For example, sometimes it is associated with muscle problems such as myositis and myocarditis!
It is a term that refers to the inflammation of the muscles. It can result from certain medications, infections, or an underlying medical condition with the immune system .
There are several types of myositis. The main ones associated with the abnormality of the immune system are polymyositis and dermatomyositis.
It can affect many different muscles of your body especially muscles of your hips, thigh, shoulders, neck, and upper arms. The symptom usually develops gradually.
Typically, the muscle weakness affects both sides of the body. For example, if you have it in your left shoulders muscles, you tend to also have the same problem in your right shoulder. But it is usually not followed with skin rash.
Polymyositis is quite rare, but it can occur together with RA or another autoimmune disease. Its incurable, though prompt treatment can help preserve and improve your muscle strength & function. The goal of the treatment is to make the disease go into remission.
Poorly-controlled polymyositis can turn into serious. Over time, it may cause some of the following complications:
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So What Are The Most Shocking Ways Arthritis Could Impact Your Sex Life In Short:
1. Pain2. Stiffness 3. Fatigue8. Reduced libido 9. Depression10. Negative body image
Okay. They may not be earthshattering shocking but oftentimes they are just not thought of during the diagnosis and course of a condition like arthritis. Some are intuitively more obvious than others if you stop and think about arthritis affecting your sex life at all. But they really boil down to two issues: physical variables and psychological ones. And of course, many of these issues are interrelated.
Nonsurgical Treatments For Ra Shoulder Pain
In most cases, treatment begins with nonsurgical options. They can help reduce your symptoms and help them from getting worse. The options may include:3
- Limiting or stopping activities that make your shoulder pain worse. You might need to change the way you move your arm to do things.
- Applying ice to your shoulders for 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day, to reduce pain and inflammation. Do not apply ice directly to your skin.
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen to help reduce pain and inflammation
- Applying moist heat to your shoulders
- Doing exercises that help improve the range of motion and function in your shoulder. Your doctor may have you work with a physical therapist to find exercises that work best for you.
- Getting steroid injections into your shoulder joints can help reduce inflammation, though the improvement is usually temporary
If the above steps do not control your RA symptoms, your doctor may prescribe disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs . These are drugs that are designed to stop the immune system from attacking the joints. This slows or prevents joint deformity. There are both benefits and risks of DMARDs, so talk to your doctor about whether these drugs are right for you.7
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Is My Hip Pain From Arthritis Or Bursitis
Your hips have a herculean task: they must support the weight and movement of your entire body while simultaneously allowing for a wide range of motion. Hips accomplish this through a system of complicated biological machinery. However, the complexity of this system brings with it several drawbacks. First, the more moving parts a system has, the more likely a problem may arise. Second, when a problem does arise, it affects the entire system. In the hips, this means finding out what exactly went wrong can be difficult.
Two of the most common issues with the hip are bursitis and arthritis. They are completely different conditions with their own unique causes, yet they exhibit extremely similar symptoms, making it difficult to differentiate which is which.
This article provides information about each condition, including their causes, symptoms, and treatment options. Note that this article is not a substitute for an evaluation from a medical professional. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms in this article, schedule an appointment with Dr. Steve Hamilton, a hip joint expert at Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.
Ra Affects Your Body Systematically
This inflammatory disease can be both a debilitating and disfiguring condition. Its effect to the joints can be significant enough to make your daily activities extremely difficult.
Typically, it initially tires your daily tasks. And then eventually, you will not able to do them at all .
Some common complications caused by RA that affect your bone and joint include:
The good news, new treatments are more effective to control the disease. With prompt treatment, RA is not the end of everything and you can have an average expected lifespan .
The bad news, however its not always easy to cope with the disease. Although RA mainly affects your joints, again it can affect the entire body.
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Hip Replacement Surgery For Hip Ra
For severe hip RA, a total hip joint replacement may be the best treatment. This surgery provides pain relief and restores motion. If RA has started to destroy your hip joint, will not be able to prevent further pain and disability.
Total is recommended for people with continuing pain and signs of joint destruction on X-rays. More than 80% of people who have joint replacement surgery have good results that will last for up to 15 years.