Key Points About Arthritis
Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases cause pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective tissues in the body.
Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases can affect people of all ages. They are more common in women than men.
Symptoms may include pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, or redness in 1 or more joints.
There is no cure for arthritis. The treatment goal is to limit pain and inflammation and preserve joint function.
Treatment options include medicines, weight reduction, exercise, and surgery.
Spinal Arthritis: What You Need To Know
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect the spine.
Arthritis can occur anywhere along the spine, but is more frequent in the lower back and neck.
Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of spinal arthritis.
Causes of spinal arthritis are still largely unknown except for osteoarthritis, which is typically a result of wear and tear.
Spinal arthritis treatment may include pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy and surgery in severe cases.
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Ra Vs Oa Treatment Approach
The primary goal in treating both these condition includes-
Reducing pain Improving mobility or functionality Minimizing the damage caused to your joints
People suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis must seek professional help before the condition worsens. The doctor will analyze each case and will provide a customized treatment plan based on your condition. Well, diagnosing the condition can sometimes become very challenging as the systems may overlap particularly in the early stages. So, doctors may conduct some blood tests, x-rays, MRI and even ultrasound scans to determine the condition before prescribing medication.
Usually, some anti-inflammatory and corticosteroid medications are generally prescribed by the doctors for treating either of these conditions. The only OA and RA difference regarding treatment is that while treating RA, doctors will prescribe such drugs to gradually suppress your immune system and prevent damage by stopping your body from attacking the joints. Otherwise, most doctors provide some steroid-based medication to reduce the inflammation and recommend taking several physical therapysessions to improve a persons mobility and maintain their joints flexibility.
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What Drugs Should I Be Taking For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Q) Im 61 and Ive had rheumatoid arthritis in both my hands for about five years.
At first I was in complete denial and refused to go onto any sort of medication, which, looking back on it, was extremely foolish. Since then Ive been on several types of medication, including methotrexate. I lasted precisely 11 weeks on it before developing nausea and shortness of breath. I consequently got very frightened and came off it immediately.
For the past 18 months, Ive been on sulfasalazine, which, although is keeping it at bay, isnt preventing the damage to my joints. Ive had several flare-ups, which have rendered me almost immobile at times.
My rheumatologist is now trying to persuade me to try methotrexate again, this time by injection, or biological medication, which will also be by injection.
Ive got to the stage where I feel like coming off all drugs, as I feel that I keep taking all this awful, toxic medication yet nothing is working. My left hand is constantly swollen and my right hand is extremely disfigured. I dont have much pain, which is a good thing, but my main concern is that nothing is stopping the damage to my joints.
I know Im lucky that its only in my hands but it really can render me useless at times. Im afraid to pick up my grandson for fear of dropping him.
Im at a loss as to what to do for the best. I just want something that works.
Rhona, via email 2015
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Bone Spurs And Psoriatic Arthritis And Psoriasis
The study authors also wanted to understand how bone spur growth compares in people with psoriatic arthritis and those with psoriasis. These bone formations, called enthesiophytes, occur where tendons attach to bones. They can make it painful to move and cause even more inflammation in joints, since the bone is now protruding in places it shouldnt be.
Bone spurs have also been detected in patients with psoriasis, which suggests that psoriasis and PsA share some underlying effects on bone, according to MedPage.
The researchers detected 9.5 enthesiophytes in the hands of people with PsA, compared with 5.6 among people with psoriasis. The spurs were also larger in people with PsA than in those with only psoriasis.
The degree of bone spurs in people with both psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis was less tied to age, and more related to how long people have had their disease.
Since bone spurs were also found in patients with psoriasis which precedes the development of psoriatic arthritis in most PsA patients the researchers suggest more studies are needed to see if the development of bone spurs in psoriasis can help predict the onset of psoriatic arthritis.
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Figuring Out Which Arthritis Is Causing My Pain Can Be A Guessing Game Even For My Doctors
When I feel any type of joint pain, I make the trek to my general practitioner or rheumatologist. The same scene often plays out: I describe the severe stiffness pulsing through my hand, foot, neck, or back. They put me through a medical ringer drawing blood, checking for inflammation, and scanning me with MRIs, X-rays, and ultrasounds. Then they tell me that yes, there are nodules in my joints, but all of the test results are normal.
Sometimes I get lucky and the doctors are able to pinpoint which arthritis is to blame. Usually, at that point, Ive already been self-treating for the other. But hey, at least I got an official answer. Part of the difficulty is that rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis have many similarities.
- Both can cause swelling
- Both cause joint pain, occasionally at the same time
- Both cause mobility problems
Tips For Identifying Psoriatic Arthritis And Osteoarthritis
The best way to identify psoriatic arthritis vs. osteoarthritis is to take a close look at unique characteristics or key symptoms. In the case of PsA, increased swelling in the hands and feet can often lead to deformities. Severe foot pain is another common element to watch for. This is due to the arthritis targeting the area in joints where tendons and ligaments attach to the bone. This tends to happen a lot in the Achilles tendons and soles of the feet. People with PsA can also develop a painful swelling in the spinal joints at a point where the spine meets the pelvis. This condition is known as spondylitis.
Keep in mind that psoriatic arthritis can impact just about any joint. It also attacks in a cycle, with the symptoms growing worse for a period of time and then becoming less severe.
With osteoarthritis, the joints in your body that move the most are more likely to be involved. This includes joints in your hands, knees, feet, and spine. Unlike PsA, it does not cycle. The symptoms grow worse over time and as the disease progresses.
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Osteoarthritis And Bone Spurs
When you have OA, one complication that you could see is bone spurs. Not many people realize how serious these can be, and the pain they cause can be difficult to deal with when you dont get the treatment you need.
By learning more about how bone spurs occur, what treatment is offered, and pain management techniques, you can better manage this issue should it occur.
Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis: Whats The Difference
Arthritis is a general description that describes pain in the joints. However, there are many different kinds of arthritis that each have their own causes, symptoms, and ways to treat it for example, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to distinguish.
While each can be described as joint pain and each of them can feel the same, its important to be able to tell which is which, and the difference might even surprise you.
This guide breaks down osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, key differences between the two, and how each can be soothed even just a bit.
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Unusual Symptoms Linked To Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA inflammation affects more than joints. The signs and symptoms of RA and conditions related to it may be felt all over the body, including in the ears, eyes, skin, lungs, and heart. Below is a description of 9 unusual symptoms that may be related to your rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes painful swelling, stiffness, and deformities of the joints. Watch:Rheumatoid Arthritis Overview Video
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Bone Spur Treatment Options
The approach to treatment for bone spurs will depend on the severity of the spur, the severity of the symptoms, and the affected joint.
Conservative treatment options such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and injections can help alleviate the pain and loss of mobility associated with bone spurs, and also decrease the underlying inflammation.
In severe cases, spurs can be removed through surgical procedures. This treatment option is more invasive, so is most commonly for severe cases where other treatment options havent been effective.
If you are experiencing pain or stiffness that you think could be caused by a bone spur today, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bhatti at Atlanta Spine. Our team will identify the root cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan to improve your quality of life.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis
Joint pain and rigidity are the primary and earliest symptoms of osteoarthritis. Whenever a joint is moved or bent, it causes severe pain, and the condition becomes even worse with age.
The symptoms can be continuous or discontinuous. Weather and the amount of joint activity can change the severity. Another symptom of the disease is the crumbling sound heard while moving, especially while bending the joint.
Weakness in the surrounding muscles and numbness are also a few crucial signs. The movement of joints is also limited according to the severity of the condition.
Pain Across The Ball Of Your Foot
The medical term is metatarsalgia and its the most common foot issue associated with RA, says Jonathan Rouse, DPM, a podiatrist based in Nebraska and spokesperson with the American Podiatric Medical Association. Once the intrinsic muscles in your foot lose their stabilizing forces, dislocations or deformities can occur at the metatarsophalangeal joint , thus increasing pressure on the forefoot and causing pain and inflammation across the ball of the foot, explains Dr. Rouse. People with RA may also experience fat pad atrophy or a thinning and wearing out of the normal fat pad that goes across the ball of your foot which can exacerbate pain, adds Dr. Sachs.
Spinal Arthritis Causes And Risk Factors
The causes of arthritis in the back or neck vary depending on the type of arthritis you have. Besides normal wear and tear and autoimmune triggers, in many cases the exact cause remains unknown. Genetic components have been identified in connection with some forms of spinal arthritis, meaning that it may be hereditary.
Other spinal arthritis risk factors include:
Presence of certain conditions such as diabetes, gout, psoriasis, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome and Lyme disease
What Happens When Someone Has Jia
People with JIA may have pain and stiffness that can change from day to day or from morning to afternoon. These symptoms can come and go. When the condition becomes more active and the symptoms worsen, it’s known as a “flare” or a “flare-up.”
JIA often causes only minor problems, but in some cases it can cause serious joint damage or limit growth. Although JIA mostly affects the joints and surrounding tissues, it can also affect other organs, like the eyes, liver, heart, and lungs.
JIA is a condition, meaning it can last for months and years. Sometimes the symptoms just go away with treatment, which is known as remission. Remission may last for months, years, or a person’s lifetime. In fact, many teens with JIA eventually enter full remission with little or no permanent joint damage.
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Osteoarthritis Versus Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition where the cartilage in joints is damaged, disrupting the smooth gliding motion of the joint surfaces. The result is pain, swelling, and deformity that can worsen over time. The most common joints affected are knees, hips, spine, and hands. The pain of osteoarthritis increases with overuse and improves with rest.
Rheumatoid arthritis , on the other hand, is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects connective tissue throughout the body. The most common result is redness, swelling, and tenderness in the joints. RA symptoms and severity can vary significantly between people. Some may have mild symptoms over a short period of time and some may have more severe forms that last many years. RA may occur in cycles of remission with no symptoms and flare ups where symptoms are more severe.
Joints Affected by Osteoarthritis:
Causes Of Flat Feet And Fallen Arches
Flat feet in adults can arise from a variety of causes. Here are the most common:
- An abnormality that is present from birth
- Stretched or torn tendons
- Damage or inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon , which connects from your lower leg, along your ankle, to the middle of the arch
- Broken or dislocated bones
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time for a trip to the doctor.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis
Each persons symptoms may vary. The most common symptoms include:
Pain in 1 or more joints that doesnt go away, or comes back
Warmth and redness in 1 or more joints
Swelling in 1 or more joints
Stiffness in 1 or more joints
Trouble moving 1 or more joints in a normal way
These symptoms can look like other health conditions. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How Is Oa Treated
There is no cure for OA, so doctors usually treat OA symptoms with a combination of therapies, which may include the following:
- Increasing physical activity
- Medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs
- Supportive devices such as crutches or canes
In addition to these treatments, people can gain confidence in managing their OA with self-management strategies. These strategies help reduce pain and disability so people with osteoarthritis can pursue the activities that are important to them. These five simple and effective arthritis management strategies can help.
Physical Activity for Arthritis
Some people are concerned that physical activity will make their arthritis worse, but joint-friendly physical activity can actually improve arthritis pain, function, and quality of life.
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How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects The Feet
Joints are covered with a lining called synovium. Its job is to lubricate the joint so it moves more easily. RA causes an overactivity in this lining. The synovium becomes inflamed, thickens, and produces an excess of joint fluid. That extra fluid along with the inflammatory chemicals released by the immune system causes swelling, damages cartilage and softens the bone within the joint. A systemic disease, RA also affects ligaments and surrounding soft tissue, says Brett Sachs, DPM, foot and ankle surgeon in Colorado. When that happens, the joints start to weaken and thats when the deformities can occur, explains Dr. Sachs, who is also a fellow member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the joints in your feet more quickly in part because they are smaller, says Dr. Sachs. Research shows in about 20 percent of RA patients, foot and ankle symptoms are the first signs of the disease.
Schedule A Surgery Consult
Depending on how much cartilage damage you have and your response to other RA treatments, your doctor may recommend foot surgery. Fusion of the affected joints is the most common type performed for RA, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The procedure takes the two bones that form a joint and fuses them together to make one bone. Other types of surgery can help correct bunions or hammertoes in some patients. Your doctor will determine your best course of treatment.
Changes In The Shape Of Your Foot
Flatfoot deformity a progressive flattening of the arch of your foot can occur in rheumatoid arthritis, when tendons, ligaments, and bones shift out of their normal positions, causing pain and discomfort along inside or outside of your ankle. If RA damages ligaments that support the top of your foot, your arch may also collapse, which can cause the front of the foot to point outward, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Shape changes in the front of the foot and toes can create pressure sites that then develop calluses, or areas of hard thickened skin. All of these changes in the shape of the foot can make it very difficult to comfortably wear shoes.
What Do Doctors Do
It’s not always easy for doctors to diagnose JIA right away. JIA itself can have lots of different symptoms, and some infections, like Lyme disease, have similar symptoms to JIA. So doctors will want to rule out any other possibilities before deciding something is JIA.
If a doctor suspects a patient has JIA, he or she will ask about the person’s symptoms, find out if others in the family have had arthritis, and do a complete physical examination to look for joint swelling, eye problems, and rashes. A doctor may do blood tests and X-rays. In some cases, doctors may use a needle to take a sample of synovial fluid from a person’s joint.
Sometimes, a doctor might need to see a patient for several months to determine the particular type of JIA the person has.