How To Know If You Have Hip Arthritis
Having problems with one particular routine task is a common giveaway that hip arthritis is affecting your life: putting on your socks and shoes. You need an adequate range of motion in your hips to put your foot up on your opposing leg to put on your shoes and socks. People with hip arthritis tend to lose the range of motion in the hips. Problems putting on your socks and shoes are not always associated with pain but rather just becomes more difficult to do.
You can also tell how long you have been affected by hip arthritis by looking back at how long you have been having problems putting on your socks and shoes. Hip arthritis can onset rapidly and deteriorate the range of motion in the hips quickly. A patient can go from seeing no signs to needing a hip replacement in less than 24 months.
While that is a common symptom, there are many others that a person could be experiencing. Regardless of the type of arthritis, other signs of hip arthritis can include:
- Pain in the groin or thigh that radiates to your knee, outer thigh or buttocks.
- Pain that is worse in the morning or after sitting for a while.
- Flare ups after vigorous activity.
- Limping or pain that causes difficulty walking.
- Sticking or locking of the hip joint.
- Difficulty getting out of a car.
- Pain when leaning over.
- Grinding noises during movement.
- Increased pain in rainy weather.
How Is Arthritis Treated
There are many treatments that can help relieve pain and help you live with arthritis. You should talk to your doctor about the best treatments for you, which can include:
- Medications to relieve pain, slow the condition, and prevent further damage.
- Surgery to repair joint damage or relieve pain.
Doctors who diagnose and treat arthritis and other rheumatic diseases include:
- A general practitioner, such as your family doctor.
- A rheumatologist, who treats arthritis and other diseases of the bones, joints, and muscles.
What Osteoarthritis Pain Feels Like
Pain is pain, right? It just plain hurts. But for your doctor to figure out whether your joint pain stems from osteoarthritis, which develops as cartilage wears away, youll need to be specific about when the pain occurs, how bad it is, and the ways it’s affecting you.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis that may help you identify and better describe your pain to your doctor:
- Pain that aches deep into the joint
- Pain that feels better with rest
- Pain that isn’t noticeable in the morning but gets worse throughout the day
- Pain that radiates into your buttocks, thighs, or groin
- Joint pain that affects your posture and gait and may cause limping
- Pain that occurs after using the joint
- Swelling in the joint
- Not being able to move the joint as much as usual
- Feeling a sensation of bones grating or catching on something when moving the joint
- Pain during certain activities, like standing from a seated position or using stairs
- Pain that interferes with work, daily activities, and exercise
- Joint stiffness first thing in the morning that improves with time
- Stiffness after resting the joint
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Gradual Increase In Pain
Arthritis pain usually starts slowly, although it can appear suddenly in some cases.
At first, you may notice pain in the morning or after youve been inactive for a while. Your knees may hurt when you climb stairs, stand up from a sitting position, or kneel. It may hurt just to go for a walk.
You may also feel pain when youre simply sitting down. Knee pain that wakes you up from sleep can be a symptom of OA.
For people with RA, the symptoms often start in the smaller joints. They are also more likely to be symmetrical, affecting both sides of the body. The joint may be warm and red.
With OA, symptoms may progress rapidly or they may develop over several years, depending on the individual. They can worsen and then remain stable for a long time, and they can vary by days. Factors that may cause them to worsen include cold weather, stress, and excessive activity.
With RA, symptoms usually appear over several weeks, but they can develop or worsen in a few days. A flare can happen when disease activity increases. Triggers vary, but they include changes in medication.
With OA, this can be:
- hard swelling, due to the formation of bone spurs
- soft swelling, as inflammation causes extra fluid to collect around the joint
Swelling may be more noticeable after a long period of inactivity, like when you first wake up in the morning.
This is because RA is a systemic disease, which means it affects the whole body. OA, meanwhile, only has a direct impact on the affected joint.
Are There Any Other Treatment Options Being Investigated
For osteoarthritis, some clinical research trials are underway in the U.S. exploring stem cell treatment. Early findings are encouraging. Stem cell therapy so far has shown to provide some pain relief and improvement in function. The ultimate goal would hopefully be to use stem cells to regrow cartilage.
Over the past decade, researchers developed many new medications for psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, with more studies underway.
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Bring On The Chili Peppers
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers and it can be used topically over symptomatic joints first thing in the morning to help ease the pain. It doesnt work for everyone, but some find it helpful. Be careful, it does burn a little at first!! Don R. Martin, MD, a rheumatologist with Sentara RMH Rheumatology
Is It Safe To Take Tylenol Daily For Arthritis Pain
Question: I suffer from osteoarthritis. My doctor says I should keep exercising even though my joints hurt. He says its okay for me to take a pain medication like Tylenol in order to remain active. But Ive read that Tylenol can damage my liver. What am I to do?
Answer: You are right to be concerned about medication safety. But your doctors also right that you need to be physically active. So how do you balance these seemingly competing objectives?
I posed your question to two specialists at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre: One is a surgeon who performs joint replacement operations and the other is an expert in drug safety.
Lets start with the surgeon. Dr. Jeffery Gollish, Medical Director of Sunnybrooks Holland Orthopaedic and Arthritic Centre, says he sees lots of people who feel the same way you do.
Many patients, he says, fear that exercise will lead to additional damage of their joints. The fact that it hurts when they move is taken as a sign that they are doing harm to themselves. And they worry medications that mask their pain will simply allow them to do even more harm.
The issues of exercise and medication are two areas where the public has misconceptions, says Dr. Gollish. They think both are harmful. In fact, both are beneficial.
Exercise, in general, is good and wont harm the joints. The only thing we tell people to stop doing is running and avoiding any impact activity.
An extra-strength tablet contains 500 milligrams.
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Managing Arthritis Pain And Fatigue
Several approaches can be used to manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip including:
- Activity modification appropriate kinds of exercise and weight loss when necessary may alleviate some hip arthritis symptoms
- Nutritional supplementation are helpful to some patients, although the literature on these supplements is not consistently in favor of their use
- Non-narcotic pain tablets , or over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, if medically appropriate, sometimes are helpful
- Prescription strength, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs are useful for some patients, though, in general, long-term use of these drugs is discouraged
- Arthritis unloader braces or hip sleeves are helpful for some patterns of arthritis
- Joint injections might help
- Total hip replacement surgery may be used if non-operative interventions dont suffice.
Treatment For Hip Arthritis
There is no cure for any type of arthritis, including hip arthritis, but there may be more ways to treat the pain and other symptoms than you would imagine.
For most patients with mild hip arthritis, early stages of treatment can include:
- Rest and ice.
- Anti-inflammatory medications .
- Acetaminophen .
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What Is A Bone Marrow Lesion
It was originally believed that the degree of cartilage degeneration was associated with pain. So the more pain you were in, the greater the degree of arthritis, but we now know the cartilage loss seen on MRI does not equate to pain. However, based on many research studies and our own experience, it is clear that there is one MRI finding that does directly relate to painthe presence of BMLs.
A bone marrow lesion is a swollen area in the bone. You can imagine it as a very angry area of bone. What might cause it to get so angry? Excess forces on the bone from instability or bad cartilage can cause microscopic fractures in that specific area of the bone. Since BMLs can form in the knee, the ankle, or other bones, what makes them so much more common in the hip? Its thought that the specific shape of the ball-and-socket hip joint puts more concentrated pressure on one area compared to the more flattened hinge joint of the knee, and the hip joint contains fewer native stem cells resulting in less cartilage repair and less new cartilage being formed. These hip BMLs are closely linked to worsening pain, and in the hip when these BMLs are left unaddressed, they tend to form bone cysts, which are areas of bone that die off, leaving voids in the bone.
Dr. Centenos video below explains more about this process.
Make Cooking Breakfast Easier With The Right Tools
There are a number of ergonomic tools that can help with painful morning hands. Look for kitchen tools that decrease joint stress, mounted jar openers instead of trying to twist open jars, knives with saw handles. The more you take advantage of these, the more you can rest your hand and the less pain youll have. A. Lee Osterman, MD, professor of hand and orthopedic surgery and president of the Philadelphia Hand Center
Why Is Osteoarthritis So Painful
OA i.e. osteoarthritis is a type of chronic arthritic disease and it characterizes local tissue damage, pain and attempts to repair tissues. Especially, the problem involves cartilage damage and as cartilage is a type of aneural or avascular tissue, it involves relatively complex pain mechanisms related to osteoarthritis.
Moreover, osteoarthritis-based pain is influenced by non-cartilaginous joint structures, such as bone, synovium, and soft tissue. Imaging studies also highlight the presence of bone marrow lesions and synovitis, which may mediate the pain. After this, the presence of altered cartilage and joint inflammation, along with bone turnover implicates a big role for various molecular mediators in osteoarthritis pain.
Pain mechanisms may even include the release and activation of local pro-inflammatory mediators, like cytokines and prostaglandins accompanied by the tissue destruction mediated via proteases. However, you may even find the disparity between the level of pain perception and the extent of changes in the joint related to Osteoarthritis.
Functional MRI has even identified different areas of the brain, which involved in the processing of osteoarthritis pain. These data highlight various complications related to osteoarthritis pain perception based on local factors as well as the activation of many central pain-processing paths.
What Is Arthritis Pain
When your pain comes from a body joint like the knees, ankles or fingers, it is called arthritis pain. There are many types of arthritis , but the most common type is known as arthrosis. This is a degenerative disease of the joints that results in the cartilage wearing down. It normally develops as we grow older, and causes a pain that returns often.
If you suffer from arthrosis, you may find:
- that this pain appears following a period of inactivity
- a tenderness when you touch the joint
- joint stiffness
- discomfort during fluctuations in temperature.
Other types of arthritis, as with rheumatoid polyarthritis, also cause inflammation in addition to pain.
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What Is Arthritis Of The Hand
Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues of your joints. A joint is where two bones meet. Arthritis can attack the lining of your joint or the cartilage, the smooth covering at the ends of bones. Eventually the cartilage breaks down, the ends of your bones become exposed, rub against each other and wear away. You have many joints in your hand, therefore its a common site for arthritis to happen.
Arthritis of the hand causes pain and swelling, stiffness and deformity. As arthritis progresses, you cant use your hands to manage everyday tasks as you once could.
Describing Painful Symptoms To Your Doctor
To determine whether your pain is due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or another type of arthritis, your doctor will ask you many questions about your pain, how it affects your life and body, when it occurs, and how bad it gets. Your doctor may ask you to rate your pain on a scale from 1 to 10 .
Before you speak with your doctor, think about the words you want to use to describe your joint pain. Here are some terms that will help your doctor get the full picture. Choose the ones that best describe how your arthritis pain feels:
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Stop Eating An Unhealthy Diet
What’s your diet got to do with arthritis? Eating well and maintaining your ideal weight is especially important if you’ve got arthritis. Excess pounds can put lots of stress on weight-bearing joints, which is likely to make arthritis pain worse. Even moderate weight gain can stress joints that are already burdened by arthritis.
Alternative Remedies And Treatments
Nutritional supplementation is helpful to some patients though the science on this is not entirely supportive of their effectiveness.
There are some studies to suggest that acupuncture can decrease the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip.
Although there is little hard science on this point, most hip surgeons and rheumatologists believe that patients with osteoarthritis of the hip should consider avoiding impact sports such as running in order to avoid increasing the rate at which the disease progresses.
It is important that patients with osteoarthritis of the hip avoid decreasing their activity level and it is important that they remain fit. However this often does require some modification of exercise programs running and walking programs are usually poorly tolerated by patients with osteoarthritis of the hip. Stationary bike, swimming and water aerobics usually are well-tolerated and they are recommended.
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Joint Pain Is A Common Denominator
Arthritis can be separated into two types: inflammatory, such as rheumatoid arthritis , versus mechanical disease , such as osteoarthritis. Both are often characterized by joint-related symptoms. Pain involving joints knees, hips, wrists indicates the problem is arthritis, explains Andrew D. Ruthberg, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at Rush Medical College in Chicago. Back pain, neck pain, and joint swelling are also markers of arthritis.
How Doctors Diagnose Arthritis Hand Pain
To determine whats behind your hand pain, your doctor will rely on your medical history, a physical exam, and imaging and blood tests to make a diagnosis and determine what kind of arthritis hand pain you have.
Feeling a patients joints during the exam can help differentiate between OA and inflammatory arthritis, Dr. Byram says. The swelling feels harder in those with OA because extra bone at the joints, called osteophytes, forms over time. The swelling in RA and other inflammatory disease feels softer.
Imaging tests, such as X-rays or an MRI, can reveal joint erosion and osteophytes and loss of cartilage .
If your doctor suspects inflammatory arthritis, they will also order blood tests to detect the presence of certain antibodies, such as rheumatoid factor or anti-CCP, that help identify RA and other types of inflammatory arthritis.
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Managing Foot Pain In Ra
Getting treatment for RA can help relieve your foot pain and prevent deformities. This usually involves prescription medications to stop the immune system from attacking your joints.
You may also need to find other ways to manage your foot pain and cope with deformities.
Common strategies include:
- Therapeutic footwear, or special shoes designed for people with RA
- Foot orthotics, shoe inserts that can help provide support and reduce pain
- Occupational therapy, which can help you with daily activities
The success of these strategies will depend on which joints are affected and to what degree. If these approaches don’t work, you may need to consider surgery. Deformities like bunions and hammertoes can often be surgically treated.
For some cases, a doctor can fuse bones that form a joint. This involves connecting bones together permanently, which limits motion and reduces pain. Depending on which bones are fused, you may or may not notice the loss of motion.
How Bad Can Osteoarthritis Get
Osteoarthritis makes your joint cartilage stiff and in turn, forces it to lose elasticity and makes it highly susceptible to cause damage. With time, the cartilage wears away in various areas to reduce the ability to work as a shock absorber.
Wearing of cartilage causes stretching of ligaments and tendons and thereby, causes pain. If your pain becomes worse or condition becomes worse, the bones rub against one another to cause elevated levels of pain combined with the loss of your physical movement.
Other than cartilage breakdown, osteoarthritis may affect the bone joints completely. It mainly leads to changes in various bones followed by deterioration of connective tissues responsible to hold your joints together, while attaching muscles and bones. The problem also causes joint lining inflammation to make the entire situation worse.
But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.
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