What Is The Main Cause Of Arthritis
Rose Silva | Answered January 25, 2021
Most forms of arthritis are thought to be caused by a fault in the immune system that causes the body to attack its own tissues in the joints. This may be inherited genetically. Other forms of arthritis can be caused by problems with the immune system or by a metabolic condition, such as gout.
Stop Ignoring Your Physical Limitations
Just as there are people with arthritis who aren’t active at all, there are those who push beyond their limits. The trick is to pace your activities. Overdoing it is just as harmful as underdoing it.
Pushing your limits can increase pain and put you at higher risk of joint damage. Respect pain and choose activities with your physical limitations in mind.
Does Postpartum Arthritis Go Away
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis. However, early treatment and a healthy lifestyle could help you manage the condition .And lead a near normal life.
If you have a history of arthritis or if it is genetic, then talk to a rheumatologist about its management during and after pregnancy. While postpartum joint pain or arthritis cannot be cured, you may take measures to manage it while following a healthy life style and taking a balanced diet.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis In A Child
The skin condition psoriasis may start before or after the arthritis. Psoriasis causes a scaly, red, itchy rash on the knees, elbows, scalp, face, and the folds of the buttocks. It can also cause pitting of fingernails or toenails.
Each childs symptoms may vary. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may include:
Inflamed, swollen, and painful joints, usually in the fingers and toes
Morning stiffness in the joints
Reddened skin over the affected joints
Sausage-like swelling of fingers and toes, plus swollen wrists
Deformed joints from chronic inflammation
Symptoms in the spine or sacroiliac joint
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can seem like other health conditions. Make sure to see your childs healthcare provider for a diagnosis
Adjusting Exercise For Your Ra
No matter what exercise you do with RA, be sure to respect and protect your body with smart adjustments to equipment and various types of movement. When people are in a flare of their disease, I often tell them to focus on flexibility and low-impact exercises, such as swimming, yoga, and walking, says Anisha Dua, MD, MPH, a rheumatologist and associate professor at Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. When RA is well controlled, its highly beneficial to engage in regularly scheduled physical exercise, including aerobic and strengthening exercises. Just remember to do them with the right posture and form, and give yourself time to work up to a regular regimen.
Additional reporting by Andrea Peirceand Erica Patino
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Take Notes About Pain Frequency Intensity And Triggers
Try keeping a diary of how you feel each day, rating your pain at different times and after different activities. Record what makes your pain feel better, and what makes it worse. Also share with your doctor what you can and cannot do because of your pain. For instance, make note of whether you can drive a car comfortably but have difficulty holding a fork. Your doctor will also want to know about any other symptoms you are experiencing, such as fever or a skin rash, which could point to another kind of arthritis.
The long-term impact to your health from arthritis varies widely from person to person and by the type and severity of arthritis. Still, a diagnosis and treatment is important for more than just your physical health its necessary for your emotional health, too. Anxiety and depression can occur with almost any chronic illness arthritis is no exception, Ruthberg says. So, if youre struggling with pain, see your doctor to figure out the source and the solution.
Injections Are Another Low
If other strategies dont provide enough relief, injection therapy is an option with low risk.
A corticosteroid injection involves delivering this anti-inflammatory drug directly to the knee. The benefits are typically short lived. But it varies from person to person. I tell my patients the pain relief can last anywhere from a week to a year, says Dr. Day. One cautionary note with corticosteroids is the potential to increase blood sugar, which is a concern for people with uncontrolled diabetes.
For a possibly longer lasting effect, an injection of hyaluronic acid can be tried. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that healthy joints have a lot of and arthritic knees dont, says Dr. Day. It takes longer to start working than a corticosteroid injection, but the effect often lasts six months to a year.
Two other injection therapies are platelet-rich plasma and stem cells, neither of which is covered by insurance. PRP involves drawing some blood, spinning it in a centrifuge, and injecting part of it into the knee. Theres currently more science backing up the effect of PRP than stem cells, says Dr. Day.
If youre not able to get your symptoms under control with a combination of these measures, she says, it could be time to talk to your doctor about surgery.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.
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Exercise Adaptations For People With Arthritis
The ACSM has outlined several modifications for exercise for persons with arthritis.
- Begin slowly and progress gradually. The hallmark of a safe exercise program is gradual progression in exercise intensity, complexity of movements, and duration. Often patients with arthritis have lower levels of fitness due to pain, stiffness or biomechanical abnormalities. Too much exercise during a flare may result in increased pain, inflammation and damage to the joint. Thus, beginning with a few minutes of activity, and alternating activity with rest should be the initial goals.
- Avoid rapid or repetitive movements of affected joints. Special emphasis should be placed on joint protection strategies and avoidance of activities that require rapid repetitions of a movement or those that are highly percussive in nature. Because faster walking speeds increase joint stress, walking speed should be matched to biomechanical status. Special attention must be paid to joints that are malaligned or unstable. Control of pronation and shock absorption through shoe selection or use of orthotics may be indicated.
- Adapt physical activity to the needs of the individual. Affected joints may be unstable and restricted in range of motion by pain, stiffness, swelling, bone changes or fibrosis. These joints are at higher risk for injury and care must be taken to ensure that appropriate joint protection measures are in place.
Other Forms Of Arthritis
If you have another form of arthritis, your doctor may recommend some of these same medications. NSAIDs are often recommended to help people with various forms of arthritis cope with pain caused by their condition.
DMARDs are also used to treat other types of arthritis, like PsA and ankylosing spondylitis. Doctors often prescribe corticosteroids for people with various forms of arthritis because they can decrease inflammation.
However, more specific treatments are required for some types of arthritis. For example, someone with gout might need to take a drug that lowers the bodys levels of uric acid. A buildup of uric acid crystals is what causes joint pain and swelling.
Another example is someone with PsA who may need anti-inflammatory medications, such as a DMARD or a biologic drug. They may also need topical creams or light therapy to address the skin disease that can occur with PsA.
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It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
You may be able to minimize wear and tear on your joints with the right kinds of exercise even if you cant escape your genetics or the effects of age.
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, primarily affects the hips, knees, shoulders, and hand joints. The cushiony cartilage at the end of bones wears away so that bone rubs on bone. The pain and swelling that result may make it more difficult to move and perform everyday activities.
Moderate exercise helps ease pain and stiffness in your joints. It strengthens your muscles, which in turn protects and supports your joints. Ifarthritis pain, swelling, and stiffness have tempted you to stop moving, think again, says the Arthritis Foundation.
Not exercising can cause your muscles to shrink and weaken and contribute to bones becoming more brittle and more prone to breaking.
Factors That Can Worsen Knee Osteoarthritis
When you live with osteoarthritis the most common type of arthritis knee pain and stiffness can seem difficult to avoid. Your knees and other joints may feel swollen, especially after being active, and the symptoms can worsen over time. More than just wear and tear on your joints, osteoarthritis is a joint disease.
Some of the factors that can worsen knee osteoarthritis pain wont come as a surprise. For example, if youve had a long career working at a job that requires you to stand for extended periods of time, bend a lot, or lift heavy objects, this can impact your cartilage, or the connective tissue in the joints between bones. When cartilage wears away, this causes swelling, pain, and trouble moving the knee joint. Athletes who sustained injuries, even long ago, can also be at risk for faster cartilage breakdown and osteoarthritis.
As osteoarthritis progresses, the knee and other bones may break down and develop what are called spurs, which are growths around the bones edges. Little pieces of bone or cartilage can also break off and float around in the knee joint, according to the Arthritis Foundation. In the later stage of osteoarthritis, the cartilage between the knee bones wears away completely, causing bone to rub against bone, which can lead to even more pain as well as joint damage.
Is your lifestyle contributing to your osteoarthritis pain? Find out if these habits may be harming your knee joints.
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Whats The Difference Between Reactive Arthritis And Adult
Reactive arthritis and Adult-Onset Stills disease have similar symptoms and causes. Unlike AOSD, researchers have pinpointed the bacteria that cause reactive arthritis.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Reactive arthritis is a painful condition caused by a bacterial infection. It can come and go over several months. Your healthcare provider will help you treat the infection and manage your symptoms. Keep track of your symptoms and contact your provider if they get worse or you have new ones. Talk to your provider about what to expect throughout your recovery and what you can do to recover more quickly.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/06/2021.
What Exercises Are Good For Knee Arthritis
When you have knee arthritis, the simplest daily tasks can seem impossible. Activities that you once loved to become too painful to enjoy, and you feel as though you are missing out on life.
While you might believe that medication is the only remedy, daily exercise can lessen and even relieve the pain and swelling in your knee due to arthritis. Here at Coastal Orthopedics, we know that you have better things to do with your life than worry about pain in your knee caused by arthritis. Here are just a few simple exercises that will help keep you pain free.
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What Are The Benefits Of Exercise As An Arthritis Treatment
A tailored program that includes a balance of three types of exercises — range-of-motion, strengthening, and endurance — can relieve the symptoms of arthritis and protect joints from further damage. Exercise also may:
- Help maintain normal joint movement
- Increase muscle flexibility and strength
- Help maintain weight to reduce pressure on joints
- Help keep bone and cartilage tissue strong and healthy
- Improve endurance and cardiovascular fitness
What Blocks Pain Signals
Many scientists think pain control methods help reduce pain by blocking pain signals. Pain signals are sent through a complex system of nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
There are many things that can block these signals and thus prevent the pain message from reaching your brain.
Pain signals are blocked by chemicals made by the brain called endorphins. There are several things that can cause the brain to produce endorphins. These include natural controls, such as your own thoughts and emotions, or outside controls such as medicines.
A father driving with his children is hurt in a car accident. The father is so worried about his children that he doesnt feel the pain from his own broken arm. The concern for his children somehow blocked the pain signal and kept the pain from affecting him.
Certain medicines such as morphine imitate the bodys endorphins and block the pain signal. Other pain control methods, such as heat and cold treatments, physical therapy, exercise, relaxation and massage can stimulate the body to release its own endorphins or to block the pain signal in other ways.
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What Are Endurance Exercises
- Use oxygen to more efficiently supply the entire body with larger amounts of oxygen-rich blood
- Build stronger muscles for endurance activity
When paired with a healthy diet, aerobic activity also is fundamental for controlling weight and for improving overall general health.
At first, people with arthritis should perform about 15 to 20 minutes of aerobic activity at least three times a week, and then gradually build up to 30 minutes daily. The activity also should include at least five to 10 minutes of warm-up plus five to 10 minutes of cool-down.
Although peak benefits are achieved when an aerobic activity is performed continuously for at least 30 minutes, aerobic exercise can be spread out in smaller segments of time throughout the day to suit your comfort level, without overexerting yourself. Aerobic exercise should be performed at a comfortable, steady pace that allows you to talk normally and easily during the activity. Ask your therapist what intensity of exercise is appropriate for your fitness level.
Biking is another good choice for people with arthritis, because it places less stress on knee, foot, and ankle joints. Swimming is also often recommended because there is minimal pressure on joints while in water.
How Exercise Helps Arthritis Pain
Arthritis pain naturally causes most adults to slow down and limit activity. Not exercising, however, can result in more problems. Recent research shows that over time inactivity actually worsens osteoarthritis pain, and puts adults at greater risk for eventual total loss of mobility.
Because exercise is painful for so many adults with arthritis, it may be hard to understand how exercise helps to relieve pain. Here’s how it helps:
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Why Should I Also Do Strengthening Exercises
Strong muscles help keep weak joints stable and comfortable and protect them against further damage. A program of strengthening exercises that targets specific muscle groups can be helpful as part of your arthritis treatment.
There are several types of strengthening exercises that, when performed properly, can maintain or increase muscle tissue to support your muscles without aggravating your joints.
Some people with arthritis avoid exercise because of joint pain. However, a group of exercises called “isometrics” will help strengthen muscles without bending painful joints. Isometrics involve no joint movement but rather strengthen muscle groups by using an alternating series of isolated muscle flexes and periods of relaxation.
Isotonics is another group of exercises that involve joint mobility. However, this group of exercises is more intensive, achieving strength development through increased repetitions or by introducing increasing weight resistance such as with with small dumbbells or stretch bands.
A physical therapist or fitness instructor can tell you how to safely and effectively perform isometric and isotonic exercises.
How Is Reactive Arthritis Diagnosed
The process starts with a health history and a physical exam. Diagnosis can be difficult. This is because there are no specific tests that can confirm the condition. Some blood tests may be done to rule out other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Other tests may include:
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate . This test looks at how quickly red blood cells fall to the bottom of a test tube. When swelling and inflammation are present, the blood’s proteins clump together and become heavier than normal. They fall and settle faster at the bottom of the test tube. The faster the blood cells fall, the more severe the inflammation.
- Tests for infections. This includes a test for chlamydia. It may also include tests for other infections that are linked to reactive arthritis.
- 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.
- Urine and stool samples. These are used to look for bacteria or other signs of disease.
- X-rays. This test uses a small amount of radiation to create images of tissues, bones, and organs. X-rays are used to look for swelling or damage to the joint. This can check for signs of spondylitis or sacroiliitis.
- Gene testing. A test may be done to check for HLA-B27.
You may also have testing to rule out other forms of arthritis.
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Can Exercise Help Ease Arthritis Pain
Arthritis is a terribly painful medical condition that affects joints, particularly as we age. The good news is that regular exercise improves function and mobility while reducing pain. While proper movement and pressure can nourish the cartilage in joints, inactivity can increase arthritic pain and worsen the condition. Lack of exercise causes stiff joints that are malnourished, unlubricated and dry.