How Cognitive Therapy Can Help
Because one of the most trying aspects of rheumatoid arthritis is learning to live with pain, many doctors recommend pain management training. They may call it âcognitive therapy.â
The goal is to improve your emotional and psychological well-being as you develop ways to relax, handle stress, and pace yourself. For instance, it may include activity scheduling, guided imagery, relaxation, distraction, and creative problem-solving.
Ra And Foot Deformities
In the feet, rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the metatarsophalangeal joints of the toes. These are the joints that connect your toes to your feet.
RA can cause serious foot deformities. This is especially true if it goes untreated.
- Lateral drift: Over time, the toes may âdriftâ outward, toward the little toe. This is sometimes called a lateral drift or lateral deviation. It looks like the toes are leaning.
- Bunions: The feet may develop bunions . These are painful bony lumps on the side of the foot by the big toe.
- Contractures: RA may also cause your forefoot to shift. This can lead to contractures. A contracture is a permanent shortening of muscles or tendons in your toes. A well-known type of contracture is hammertoes. In this condition, the toe is permanently flexed and curled under. Contractures can lead to and pain under the ball of the foot.
- Flat feet: The talonavicular joint, which is part of the footâs arch, can become destabilized. When this happens, the arch may collapse.
All these changes to a footâs structure and shape can make finding a comfortable shoe more difficult.
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Get In The Weeds With Medication Details
Arthritis treatments arent one-size-fits-all. Finding the right treatment plan may take fine-tuning over months or years to find what works best for you. Be an active participant in this process by asking questions about medication timing, how long it takes to kick in, how it interacts with other treatments, how to tell if its working, and what the side effects are, Brandy says. She was surprised to discover recently that some of the treatments shed been using for years particularly high doses of NSAIDs can have serious long-term side effects. On that note
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Managing Sleep Problems With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sleeping Well: Wrens 5 WaysWren“Lets face it: sleeping is sometimes tough as nails for those of us who live with rheumatoid disease. Joint pain, which runs the gamut from mild-but-annoying to oh-man-just-shoot-me-now severe, can totally ruin a good nights sleep. And then theres the drugs we take to treat the disease and its symptoms.“
The Importance of ZzzzzzzzzTamara Haag“For those of us with rheumatoid arthritis, sleep can be even more critical, as getting enough rest has been shown to increase immune function and even decrease pain sensitivity. While Ive always noticed that my RA symptoms decrease at least a little bit with a good nights sleep, I never would have guessed that I may have actually decreased my sensitivity to the pain in my joints while I slumbered.“
What Are The Temporomandibular Joints
The temporomandibular joints are the 2 joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. More specifically, they are the joints that slide and rotate in front of each ear, and consist of the mandible and the temporal bone . The TMJs are among the most complex joints in the body. These joints, along with several muscles, allow the mandible to move up and down, side to side, and forward and back. When the mandible and the joints are properly aligned, smooth muscle actions, such as chewing, talking, yawning, and swallowing, can take place. When these structures are not aligned, nor synchronized in movement, several problems may occur.
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Other Health Conditions May Affect Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
The CDC reports that about 47 percent of U.S. adults with arthritis also have at least one other condition, referred to by doctors as a comorbid condition.
So another crucial step in treating RA is to find out if you have any comorbidities. Its very important to see if you have any associated diseases or disorders that your rheumatologist needs to take into account,says Husni.
If you have depression, for example, your rheumatologist may not want to prescribe certain RA medications, because they could make your depression worse.
Another example is if you have a family history of multiple sclerosis. In that case, there are some other medications that cant be prescribed , Husni notes.
It’s also important to have a primary care physician who oversees all aspects of your health, and who can help treat any comorbid conditions you may have, along with the rheumatologist.
How Do You Fix Rheumatoid Arthritis
The main treatment goals with rheumatoid arthritis are to control inflammation, ease pain, and reduce disability linked to RA. Treatment usually includes medications, occupational or physical therapy, and exercise. Some people need surgery to correct joint damage. Early treatment is key to good results.
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Plastic Surgery Options For Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
The joint pain, swelling, and stiffness that accompanies rheumatoid arthritis can make everyday activities feel like a chore. Approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have this chronic autoimmune condition that can cause bone erosion and joint deformities in the hands and wrists. Left untreated, RA can impair normal function of the knees, ankles, elbows, hips, and shoulders, as well.
RA tends to worsen over time and can lead to inability to grip, grasp, and pinch with the hands and fingers. While there is no known cure for RA, medication can reduce symptoms, improve function, and minimize damage to the joints. However, when drugs alone are not enough, plastic surgery can be an effective if unexpected treatment option. Along with treating symptoms, plastic surgery can slow the progress of RA and restore the look and appearance of the hands.
Tests That Help Diagnose Ra
To help confirm or disprove RA, your rheumatologist will also have lab tests done. The lab tests would point to likelihood of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as potentially rule out other possibilities on the differential diagnosis, says Dr. Neogi. These tests may include:
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein blood tests detect and measure inflammation in your body. If inflammation levels are elevated, it helps build the case for an RA diagnosis. If inflammation levels are normal, says Dr. Neogi, That might dissuade us from thinking about an inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, but would not rule it out. Since inflammation is present in many diseases, these tests do not confirm whether you have RA by themselves.
Rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody blood tests look for proteins associated with RA. Testing positive for one increases your chances of RA diagnosis, while testing positive for both raises your odds even more. However, up to 50 percent of RA patients dont have RF or anti-CCP antibodies. They are diagnosed based on other factors. In these cases, the RA is considered to be seronegative.
The possibility of some autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and SjÃ¶grens syndrome, can be eliminated with the help of an antinuclear antibody blood test, while a synovial fluid analysis, which examines the fluid that lubricates your joints, can help count out gout by looking for crystals under the microscope.
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How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed
The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is based on a combination of factors, including:
- Morning stiffness that lasts at least one hour and has been present for at least six weeks
- Swelling of three or more joints for at least six weeks
- Swelling of the wrist, hand, or finger joints for at least six weeks
- Swelling of the same joints on both sides of the body
- Changes in hand x-rays that are hallmarks of rheumatoid arthritis
- Rheumatoid nodules of the skin
- Blood test that is positive for rheumatoid factor* and/or anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibodies
* The rheumatoid factor may be present in people who do not have rheumatoid arthritis. Other diseases can also cause the rheumatoid factor to be produced in the blood. A test called CCP antibody can sometimes help to determine whether the rheumatoid factor antibody is due to rheumatoid arthritis or some other disease. This is why the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is based on a combination of several factors and NOT just the presence of the rheumatoid factor in the blood.
It is also important to note that not all of these features are present in people with early rheumatoid arthritis, and these problems may be present in some people with other rheumatic conditions.
In some cases, it may be necessary to monitor the condition over time before a definitive diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis can be made.
What To Expect After Plastic Surgery For Ra
Most surgical procedures for rheumatoid arthritis use minimally invasive techniques so patients have less scarring and shorter recovery times, usually ranging from two to four weeks. While some surgical procedures require a hospital stay, most can be done on an outpatient basis.
Physical therapy and rehabilitation might be necessary to improve patients hand or joint function and help them regain strength and flexibility. At UT Southwestern, we take a team approach to RA plastic surgery. Our patients have access to rheumatologists, plastic surgeons who specialize in RA procedures, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. Our collaborative approach, combined with the latest treatments, gives our patients the most comprehensive care at any stage of RA.
To find out whether you might benefit from plastic surgery for RA, call or request an appointment online.
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Nalebuff Type I Deformity
Swan-neck deformity can arise at the PIP or DIP joint in either case, it can lead to the classic appearance of PIP joint hyperextension with DIP joint flexion. Patients with type I deformity maintain the ability to actively flex the PIP joint. When the deformity originates at the PIP joint, it is caused by stretching of the capsule secondary to active synovitis or rupture of the flexor digitorum superficialis tendon, removing the restraint to PIP joint hyperextension.
If the synovitis involves the DIP joint, the deformity begins with stretching or rupture of the terminal tendon attachment of the extensor mechanism to the distal phalanx, resulting in a mallet deformity. This subsequently causes extensor mechanism imbalance, with relative overpull of the central slip these problems, together with laxity of the PIP joint’s volar plate, result in PIP joint hyperextension.
The treatment of type I deformity is focused on correcting PIP joint hyperextension and restoring DIP joint extension. Conservative treatment can be used, with Silver Ring splints employed to permit active PIP flexion and limit hyperextension of the PIP joint. Alternatively, an inexpensive figure-8 thermoplastic splint can be fashioned by a hand therapist. These splints can be useful in the early stages of the disease.
Physical Therapy For Jaw Pain
Its my least favorite thing in the world, but is invaluable for anyone with arthritis of the jaw. The exercises and stretches your doctor or physical therapist will give you tend to be very simple and can be done while watching TV, and some can even be done while doing laundry or driving .
These exercises need to be done frequently, but often only for a few minutes at a time and tend to help the pain immediately.
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When Psa Invades The Jaw
PsA can affect the TMJ, just like any other joints in your body.
When Candace Primack of Scottsdale, Arizona, started to feel a sharp pain in her left ear in her law class one day, she didnÃ¢t know what to do. All she knew was that the slightest movement made the pain that much worse.
After consulting with multiple otolaryngologists who could not provide any meaningful insight into her condition, she realized that the unanswered questions had also baffled a majority of medical professionals she had been seeing. It wasnÃ¢t until she was referred to a dentist who specialized in the temporomandibular joint that the cause of her pain was found Ã¢ a cause that shocked Primack: psoriatic arthritis .
TMJs are the joints that connect the jawbone to the skull. PsA can affect the TMJ, just like any other joints in your body. An estimated 35 percent of people with PsA will experience symptoms in their TMJ. Despite those high numbers, there still seems to be quite a bit of confusion when it comes to treating PsA in the jaw.
What Do Rheumatoid Nodules Feel Like
Rheumatoid arthritis nodules can range in size from very small to larger . Theyre usually round in shape, though its possible they may have irregular borders.
The nodules typically feel firm to the touch and will usually move when pressed. Sometimes the nodules can form a connection with tissues or tendons underneath the skin and may not move when pressed.
The nodules may be tender to the touch. This usually occurs when a person is experiencing a rheumatoid arthritis flare-up.
Very large nodules or nodules on certain areas can press on nerves or blood vessels. This can cause discomfort and affect a persons ability to move their hands, feet, and more.
Nodules vary in size, shape, and location on the body. Sometimes a person may have one nodule. Other times they may have a collection of smaller nodules.
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Home Remedies For Arthritis Jaw Pain
You can also try a few simple treatments and behavior modifications to treat jaw pain, and reduce your risk of having it in the first place:
- Eat softer foods
- Apply heat and/or ice. Ice tends to help me numb it out, Hannah M. told us on Facebook.
- Keep up with oral hygiene
- Try an arthritis pain cream. I put a bit of Tiger Balm on the tip of the jaw near the front of the ear, that where it was the most sore, Hannah said on FB.
- Dont chew gum, Karin says. Repetitive chewing motions, like chomping gum or biting your nails, put too much strain on the jaw.
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What Is Temporomandibular Disorder
Temporomandibular disorders are disorders of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and the nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Any problem that prevents the complex system of muscles, bones, and joints from working together in harmony may result in temporomandibular disorder.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research classifies TMD by the following:
Myofascial pain. This is the most common form of TMD. It results in discomfort or pain in the fascia and muscles that control jaw, neck and shoulder function.
Internal derangement of the joint. This means a dislocated jaw or displaced disk, , or injury to the condyle .
Degenerative joint disease. This includes osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint.
You can have one or more of these conditions at the same time.
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Meditation Is A Seriously Powerful And Underused Treatment
Most autoimmune disorders react negatively to stress so learning how to manage your day-to-day stress is huge, Dr. Levitan says. In fact, one of the first prescriptions he gives his patients is to download a meditation app and start using it regularly. Personal time and positive self-talk are also important stress reducers, he adds.
If You Have Been Suffering From Ra For A Long Time Here Is How A Diet And Exercise Regimen Can Change Your Life
Written by Pavitra Sampath | Updated : May 4, 2015 10:50 AM IST
Rheumatoid arthritis is an extremely painful condition that can be quite often debilitating. But despite what you might know about the disease, living a life with the condition is definitely possible — with the right kind of diet and exercise. In this post Rachna Chhachhi, a certified nutritional therapist, says that she has devised a unique method for people with RA. She says that with her regimen people can reverse their condition and lead a healthy life. Here are excerpts from the interview.
What is rheumatoid arthritis? How does it affect people?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disorder, where your immune system works against you. Unlike other forms of arthritis, RA is caused by age and lack of adequate calcium. Basically, RA is your immune system s response to things going wrong within your body. The smaller joints get affected first, then larger ones and slowly the organs of the body also get affected. It is not very uncommon for RA patients to develop heart and other organ related diseases as their immune system works towards destroying their bodily functions. Read more about rheumatoid arthritis causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
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Surgery Is One Option
The loss of hand function is a serious matter, especially when the hands are also painful. When other therapy has not helped enough to allow you to do necessary tasks, such as holding a fork or zipping clothing, surgery may be the answer. In addition, some people with arthritis are concerned about deformity in their hands. While surgery may improve the look of the hands, remember that the main purposes of surgery are to decrease severe pain and to restore function.
Social Media Can Be A Helpful Tool
Many rheumatoid arthritis patients have realized that they can use social media to their advantage and get help. Many patients came to know about new medications and rheumatology treatments through social media. There are several websites online that connects rheumatoid arthritis patients and caregivers throughout the world.
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