What Are The Types Of Arthritis
Arthritis most often affects areas in or around joints. Joints are parts of the body where bones meet such as your knee. The ends of the bones are covered by cartilage, a spongy material that acts as a shock absorber to keep bones from rubbing together. The joint is enclosed in a capsule called the synovium. The synovium’s lining releases a slippery fluid that helps the joint move smoothly and easily. Muscles and tendons support the joint and help you move. Different types of arthritis can affect one or more parts of a joint. This often results in a change of shape and alignment in the joints.
Certain types of arthritis can also affect other parts of the body, such as the skin and internal organs. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. It is important to know which type of arthritis you have so you can treat it properly. If you don’t know which type you have, call your doctor or ask during your next visit. Some common types of arthritis are described below.
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.
Shoulder Arthritis Due To Avascular Necrosis
Avascular necrosis refers to the disrupted blood supply to an area of the body, which results in that area dying . In the shoulder, the humeral head may lose blood supply due to disease, traumatic injuries, and other causes. Without a blood supply, the bone will slowly collapse, becoming uneven and causing arthritis.
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Your Injuries Seem To Take A Long Time To Heal
Its possible to think you have an injurysuch as a sprained ankle that doesnt seem to healwhen the symptoms are actually due to RA.
This is more common in younger people, says Lisa A. Mandl, MD, MPH, assistant attending rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
One day a patient is playing soccer and the next day her knee is swollen, she says. “I have seen people who have had two arthroscopic surgeries and extensive physical therapy in their knee and they have rheumatoid arthritis.”
Injuries That May Lead To Knee Swelling
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease and a leading source of chronic pain and disability in the United States. Knee osteoarthritis comprises over 80% of the diseases total burden and affects almost 20% of Americans over the age of forty-five.
The knee is the largest and most solid joint in the body. It is the connector between the lower end of the femur , the upper end of the tibia , and the kneecap.
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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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Causes And Risk Factors Of Osteoarthritis
Researchers suspect that osteoarthritis is caused by a combination of factors in the body and the environment. The chance of developing osteoarthritis increases with age.
Putting too much stress on a joint that has been previously injured, improper alignment of joints, and excess weight all may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.
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Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis also causes pain and swelling in the joints. Usually the small joints of the fingers and toes are affected first. The most common symptom is stiffness, and it takes a long time to get the joints moving, especially in the morning.
The disease is symmetrical, meaning that if your left index finger is swollen and painful, youll usually have the same symptoms in the right index finger.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be systemic, meaning it can develop to the point that it affects the whole body.
Other non-joint symptoms can include:
- shortness of breath
How Is Arthritis Treated
Theres no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can help you manage the condition. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of the arthritis, its symptoms and your overall health.
Conservative treatments include:
- Medication: Anti-inflammatory and pain medications may help relieve your arthritis symptoms. Some medications, called biologics, target your immune systems inflammatory response. A healthcare provider may recommend biologics for your rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.
- Physical therapy: Rehabilitation can help improve strength, range of motion and overall mobility. Therapists can teach you how to adjust your daily activities to lessen arthritic pain.
- Therapeutic injections: Cortisone shots may help temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in your joints. Arthritis in certain joints, such as your knee, may improve with a treatment called viscosupplementation. It injects lubricant to help joints move smoothly.
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Surgery For Back Arthritis
Surgery is a last resort when it comes to arthritis in the back. Know that 95 percent of people with back pain will not need surgery, and 75 percent will fully recover within three months, says Dr. Tiso.
Doctors recommend that you try medications, physical therapy, and weight loss before considering surgery, says Dr. Kilian. The best surgical outcomes often occur in patients who are actively involved in physical therapy and have a healthy body weight, he says.
The type of surgery depends on the type of arthritis and region of the back that is affected. Depending on the procedure performed, surgery aims to decompress any pinched nerves and free up the nerve roots from bone spurs and other tissues that may be pressing on them.
Why Do Joints Make Popping And Cracking Noises
Joints can make different noises–some are serious and some are not.
Some people learn how to “pop their knuckles.” By pushing or pulling a joint in a certain way an air bubble can suddenly appear in the joint with a “pop.” Once the bubble is there the joint cannot be popped again until the air has been reabsorbed.
Some joints crack as the ligaments and tendons that pass over them slide past bumps on the bones. Individuals who “crack their neck” make noise in this way.
Other joints lock up intermittently–often with a loud pop–because something gets caught in between the joint surfaces. A torn cartilage in the knee or a loose piece of bone or cartilage in the joint can do this. Once a joint is stuck in this way, it may need to be wiggled around to unlock it. This may also cause a pop.
Finally joints that are arthritic may crack and grind. These noises usually occur each time the joint is moved. This noise is due to the roughness of the joint surface due to loss of the smooth cartilage.
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What Is Arthritis Of The Knee
Arthritis is a disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints. It can affect the largest and strongest joints in your body. Its common in knees. Arthritis of the knee can be a serious, debilitating disease.
Although there is no cure for knee arthritis, there are steps you can take that might ease your symptoms and potentially slow the progression of your disease.
What Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain And Discomfort Feels Like
Rheumatoid arthritis can be like the old box of chocolates adage you never know what youre going to get, according to the blogger Katie Singh, 38, of Austin, Texas. Singh was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she 23 years old. Sometimes it feels like burning, other times it feels like throbbing throbbing so bad that you can’t think about anything else, Singh explains. There are times I’ve almost considered wanting to cut off a foot or a hand, the pain is so excruciating.
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Other Options For Relieving Arthritis In Cats
Arthritis is a condition where lots of small things can add up to a big improvement. So dont feel helpless, because making minor adjustments can help.
For example, my favorite tips are:
- Heat Therapy: Get your cat a heat pad, or better still a heated cat bed. Theyll love you fur-ever as they snuggle up in that lovely warmth that penetrates their joints to ease those aches.
- Warm Bags: Invest in some microwaveable wheat/corn bags. Then place the warm bag over the sore joint for extra relief.
- Jumping Assistance: Provide a stool or chair as a staging post to help your cat jump up to a favorite spot.
- Massage: When done correctly, massage helps remove inflammatory toxins away from inflamed joints and increases the supply of healing oxygen. However, do massage wrong and you can do harm. Therefore, find a veterinary physiotherapist and have them teach you what to do.
- Nail Trim: Watch out for overgrown nails that can dig into the pad. When an arthritic cat is less active, those nails can grow surprisingly fast.
Time To Call The Doctor
A gout attack will usually go away in about 3 to 10 days. But you can feel better sooner if you treat it. To be sure that you have gout, see your doctor. Theyâll examine you, and they might do some tests.
These test help your doctor know if you have gout, or something else with similar symptoms:
- Joint fluid test. Fluid is taken from the painful joint with a needle. The fluid is studied under a microscope to see if the crystals are there.
- Blood test. A blood test can check the level of uric acid. A high level of uric acid doesnât always mean gout.
- X-ray. Images of the joints will help rule out other problems.
- Ultrasound. This painless test uses sound waves to look for areas of uric acid deposits.
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Tips On Easing Arthritis Pain
You can lessen your arthritic pain by adopting a few good habits. For example:
- Change posture often to lessen stiffness in your muscles and joints.
- Move the painful joint as often as possible.
- Always squat down before picking up something off the ground.
- When not sitting, always stand straight so as to properly align the neck, spinal column, hips and knees.
- Perform body stretches once or twice daily.
- Choose and wear proper footwear with shock-absorbing soles.
To help ease arthritis pain, the first choice of pain medication is acetaminophen. An effective pain reliever for this type of pain, it has the advantage of being very safe and has few secondary effects.
In some cases, you can use anti-inflammatory medication, many of which are sold over-the-counter. These products are not for everyone, and may cause undesirable effects. Always ask your pharmacist for advice before using them.
Was Your Pet Food Recalled
Drugs called NSAIDs should also be on your watchlist. Cats break down NSAIDs very differently from humans or dogs. This is why aspirin should never be given to cats without supervision.
However, an NSAID called meloxicam is now well-established as licensed pain relief in cats. And because its a liquid that you place on food, its easy to give.
Of course there are some risks attached, which well look at shortly. But for those uneasy about giving cats medication, weigh the benefits against a small risk when used correctly.
- Meloxicam is currently the only licensed pain relief medication for long-term use in cats.
- It comes in a specific cat formula that is easy to give.
- It should always be given with or after food, just as you shouldnt take aspirin on an empty stomach because this risks gastric ulceration.
- Never combine meloxicam with certain other meds, so check with your vet if youre unclear.
- Stop medication if the cat has sickness or diarrhea.
- Cats with kidney disease are at increased risk of side effects. So its wise to have periodic blood tests to check that the kidneys are healthy before continuing with long-term use.
These steps above are all sensible ones that will help keep your cat well. They arent meant to scare you, but in the same way the insert on human aspirin makes a scary read, you need to know what to avoid in order to dodge the problem.
Meloxicam Dosage and Side Effects
Side effects may include:
- Kidney damage
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Do: Wear Comfortable Knee Joint
There are a fair number of studies that suggest shoe choice matters if you have knee osteoarthritis, Pisetsky says. In fact, flat, flexible shoes that mimic the foots natural mobility can decrease the force placed upon the knee during daily activities, according to a study published in the May 2013 issue of Arthritis and Rheumatology.
Limited Mobility Or Range Of Motion
For men and women who develop arthritis in their knees, activities that were once simple, easy, or routine may become difficult or even impossible to do without limitations and discomfort. Walking, running, or getting in and out of a car can, oftentimes, prove disproportionately challenging for patients with arthritis of the knee. The damage and loss of cartilage associated with arthritis are usually to blame for this phenomenon.
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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.
Is It Ra Or Osteoarthritis
When you first notice foot pain, you may wonder if its osteoarthritis . OA is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, and it is more common than rheumatoid arthritis.
There is no clear-cut way to tell if you have OA or RA without a medical diagnosis. But OA and RA do have some key differences.
Usually affects both feet at once
Morning stiffness generally lasts longer than half an hour
Most often affects only one foot
Stiffness tends to be easier to relieve in the morning, often getting better in less than half an hour or with a few minutes of stretching
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Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a lifelong disease. When its treated, it may go away for a little while, but it usually comes back. Its important to see your doctor as soon as symptoms begin. The earlier you start treatment, the better your outcome. Some of the damage from RA is irreversible, so finding the disease and treating it early is very important.
If left untreated, RA can cause other health problems. Your hands may become bent or twisted. Other joints can become deformed. Inflammation will affect your cartilage and bones. Lung and heart problems also can occur. Talk to your doctor if you notice any new symptoms or problems.
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Imaging For Diagnosing Advanced Knee Osteoarthritis
X-rays are very helpful in diagnosing advanced knee osteoarthritis because the joint will have specific characteristics, including:
- Bones that are closer to each other than they should be: As cartilage wears away, the joint space between them often narrows.
- Cysts: As the body responds to cartilage destruction and attempts to stabilize the joint, cysts or fluid-filled cavities can form in the bone.
- Increased bone density or uneven joints: When bones are no longer cushioned by cartilage, they can rub against one another, creating friction. The body responds by producing more bone tissue, which increasing bone density. Increased bone creates uneven joint surfaces and bone spurs at the joint.
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What Kinds Of Arthritis Can Occur In The Knee
In the case of knee pain, one of the most common culprits is arthritis. There are three types of arthritis that can occur in the knee, and it is not unheard for patients to have multiple arthritic conditions present at the same time. The three kinds of arthritis that often develop in the knees include:
- Osteoarthritis : A slow-acting, progressive wear-and-tear process that deteriorates joint cartilage. Middle-aged and older patients are the most likely group to develop OA.
- Rheumatoid arthritis : RA can occur at any age. This inflammatory process can be marked by painful swelling in the joints.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: Patients who have a significant knee injury, such as a fracture, torn ligament, or torn meniscus, may develop post-traumatic arthritis. This can occur many years after the injury itself.