Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How Do You Know You Have Arthritis

What Are Common Arthritis Treatments

What is arthritis and how do I know if I have it?

There are many things that help reduce pain, relieve stiffness and keep you moving. Your care may involve more than one kind of treatment. Your doctor may recommend medications but there are many things you can do on your own to help manage pain and fatigue and move easier.

Finding the right treatment takes time. It can involve trial and error until you and your healthcare team or therapist find what works best. Be sure to let your doctor know if a treatment is not working. Your treatment may also change as your arthritis changes.

Treatments for arthritis can be divided into several categories: medication, exercise, heat/cold, pacing, joint protection, surgery and self-help skills. You can do things in each of these areas to help yourself feel better and move easier.

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.

Can Arthritis In The Hand Be Prevented

Arthritis cant be prevented. However, you can watch for symptoms of arthritis as you age and see your healthcare provider if you notice changes in your joints. You can also take steps to control factors that you can control. Eat healthy to nourish your body and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts more stress on your joints. Dont smoke. Smoking increases your risk of arthritis.

Don’t Miss: How To Relieve Arthritis Pain In Your Hands

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.

Your Injuries Seem To Take A Long Time To Heal

How Do You Know If You Have Arthritis Without Going To The ...

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.”

Recommended Reading: How Do I Know If I Have Hip Arthritis

Joint Friction The Feeling Of Bones Grinding Or Rubbing Together As You Move Due To Wearing Down Of Cartilage

If you have arthritis in your knees, you may first notice pain while walking up and down stairs, after you run, at the end of the day or right after you wake up. If you have arthritis in your fingers, your knuckles may be swollen and painfulsometimes the first sign is that you can no longer wear your rings.

The bottom line is if youre having persistent joint pain, no matter what age you are, talk to your doctor. To relieve minor arthritis pain, try;BC® Arthritis, now available in sealed stick packs that are easy to take with you wherever you go.

You Notice Issues With Your Eyes

People with RA are also at risk for Sjogrens syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can cause dryness of the eyes, mouth, nose, throat, or skin due to inflammation that stops glands from releasing moisture, says Dr. Mandl.

This can happen even in the early stages of RA, but its unlikely to be the only symptom.

Most people with dry eyes head to an eye doctor to find out the cause, but Dr. Mandl recommends telling your doctoreven an eye doctor or other specialistabout additional symptoms youre having in any part of the body.

Read Also: What Are The Best Gloves For Arthritis

Other Pain Relief Treatments

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

A TENS machine sends electrical pulses to your nerve endings through pads placed on your skin. It produces a tingling sensation and is thought to relieve pain by altering pain signals sent to the brain. The research evidence on the effectiveness of TENS is mixed, but some people do find it helpful. A physiotherapist will be able to advise on the types of TENS machine available and how to use them. Or they may be able to loan you one to try before you buy.

Hyaluronic acid injections

Hyaluronic acid, or hyaluronan, is a lubricant and shock absorber thats found naturally in the fluid in your joints. Injections of hyaluronic acid have sometimes been used as a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. The treatment isnt currently available on the NHS because research evidence on its long-term effectiveness is mixed. The treatment is, however, available privately.

You Notice Nodules Near Your Joints

How do you know know if you have gout?

These are firm lumps that grow under the skin near the affected joints. They often appear at the back of the elbows, and sometimes people get them in the eyes.

They’re more common in people who have advanced rheumatoid arthritis, but occasionally show up earlier, says Dr. Mandl.

The nodules can at times mimic gout, another form of arthritis.

To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

Don’t Miss: How Can You Stop Arthritis In Your Hands

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 Does Knee Pain Caused By Arthritis Feel Like

With the immense amount of pressure and strain put on our knees day after day and year after year, it is not surprising that knee pain is such a widespread complaint in men and women of all ages in Atlanta, GA. While there are certainly some more serious causes of knee pain, in a large number of people, knee pain is temporary and, relatively, harmless. However, if you think the pain in your knees may be caused by arthritis, here are a few telltale signs and symptoms to watch for:

Also Check: Does Glucosamine Help Arthritis Pain

When To See A Doctor

Arthritis that interferes with your quality of life in any waywhether from pain or loss of range of motion or bothshould, and can, be treated. See your doctor or an orthopedic specialist if you:

  • Experience symptoms for three days or more in a row
  • Have several episodes of symptoms within a month
  • Find yourself avoiding normal activities
  • Do not get relief with rest, OTC pain medication, and other conservative measures
  • Notice changes in symptoms that are unusualfor example, a stiff joint that normally improves after 15 minutes of exercise becomes swollen and red-hot

What’s New In Arthritis Research

How Do You Know That You Have Arthritis?

Progress is so fast in some areas of arthritis research today that the media often report new findings before the medical journal with the information reaches your doctor’s office. As a result, you need to know how to evaluate reports on new arthritis research.

Arthritis researchers are looking at four broad areas of research. These include causes, treatments, education and prevention.

Researchers are learning more about certain conditions. For example in osteoarthritis, researchers are looking for signs of early destruction of cartilage and ways to rebuild it. For rheumatoid arthritis and other types that involve inflammation, researchers are trying to understand the steps that lead to inflammation and how it can be slowed or stopped. An initial study suggests that fibromyalgia affects more older people than originally thought and often may be overlooked in this group. Your doctor can tell you about other new research findings. If you would like to take part in arthritis research, ask your doctor for a referral to a study in your area.

Many people help make arthritis research possible. The federal government through its National Institutes of Health is the largest supporter of arthritis research. Drug companies do the most research on new medications.

Recommended Reading: How To Ease Arthritis Pain In Fingers

How To Tell If You Have Arthritis In Your Knee

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic or acute knee pain each year, and it can be difficult to get appropriate treatment and much-needed relief without knowing the actual cause of the pain. Since many conditions can have symptoms that mimic one another, it is important to seek the advice of a professional when seeking a diagnosis, treatment, or therapy for your knee pain. Dr. Christopher Williams and the knowledgeable team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta are highly experienced in assessing a vast array of bone, joint, and muscle symptoms and are dedicated to helping patients determine the cause of their pain and realize quick, effective, and long-lasting relief.

What Exactly Is Rheumatoid Arthritisand How Do You Know If You Have It

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that mainly affects the body’s joints, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

The condition, per the CDC, commonly affects the joints in the hands, wrists, and kneesand occurs when the lining of those joints becomes inflamed, damaging the joint tissue. That damage can eventually lead to long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness, and deformity.

The symptoms of RAwhich can include pain, stiffness, tenderness, and swellingcan go through phases where they’re worse and better . But some symptoms of RA can mimic those of other conditionshere’s what to look out for, and how to know if it’s due to RA or something else.

Also Check: How To Cure Arthritis In Shoulder

Infectious And Reactive Arthritis

Infectious arthritis is an infection in one of your joints that causes pain or swelling. The infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. It can start in another part of your body and spread to your joints. This kind of arthritis is often accompanied by a fever and chills.

Reactive arthritis can occur when an infection in one part of your body triggers immune system dysfunction and inflammation in a joint elsewhere in your body. The infection often occurs in your gastrointestinal tract, bladder, or sexual organs.

To diagnose these conditions, your doctor can order tests on samples of your blood, urine, and fluid from inside an affected joint.

The fingers are most commonly affected with psoriatic arthritis , but this painful condition affects other joints as well. Pink-colored fingers that appear sausage-like, and pitting of the fingernails, may also occur.

The disease may also progress to your spine, causing damage similar to that of ankylosing spondylitis.

If you have psoriasis, theres a chance you could also develop PsA.

How Is Arthritis In The Hand Treated

How to tell if you have Arthritis by Irvine Chiropractor

Treatment options depend on the type of arthritis, stage of arthritis, how many joints are affected, your age, activity level, the hand affected and other existing medical conditions.

Goals of treatment are to:

  • Improve mobility and function.
  • Increase your quality of life.
  • In the case of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, to slow the progression of the disease.

Treatment options include splinting/bracing, medications, injections, non-drug approaches and surgery.

Splinting/braces

Splits or braces support and protect the affected joint, reduce deformity, provide joint stability, lessen strain, and promote proper joint alignment. Your healthcare provider, occupational therapist or hand therapist will discuss splinting/bracing options, how and when to wear them and how long to wear them .

Medications

Steroid injections

Steroids reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Steroids are usually used if medications dont control inflammation or if the inflammation is limited to a few joints. Injections are administered directly into the affected joint. Because steroids can weaken tendons and ligaments, injections are repeated only a few times.

Other management strategies

A complete treatment plan for arthritis of the hand includes these additional approaches:

Surgery

If nonsurgical treatments no longer provide relief and the cartilage at the ends of your bones has worn away, surgery may be an option. There are several approaches:

Recommended Reading: Does Walking Help Knee Arthritis

How Does Shoulder Arthritis Develop

Shoulder arthritis usually results from gradual wear and tear of the cartilage. Cartilage is present in every joint in the body; it covers the surface of the bones inside the joints similar to Teflon on a ball bearing. Cartilage is a living tissue 2 millimeters to 3 millimeters thick about the thickness of one or two layers of cardboard. This makes the contact between bones softer. If the cartilage is intact, it can take multiple rotations with no wear of the surface because its smooth.

Shoulder arthritis typically develops in stages. First, the cartilage gets soft , then it develops cracks in the surface , then it begins to fibrillate , and finally, it wears away to expose the surface of the bone . As a result, it loses its ability to act as a smooth, gliding surface.

The cartilage doesnt wear away all at once over the entire surface of the bone in a joint. Instead, it wears at different rates in different parts. So if you consider the surface of a ball bearing that was covered with Teflon, this type of wear would be as if the Teflon had pits and the surface would now be irregular .

Once the surface becomes irregular, the cartilage may undergo further damage. It may begin to thin out, eventually leading to the bones of the shoulder rubbing against each other . Many people think that arthritis is bone-on-bone traction in the joint, but in reality, arthritis is the process that can lead to the bone-on-bone traction.

Your Joints Are Achy And Stiff In The Morning

Another characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis is stiffness in the joints in the morning.

Again, this is also a common problem in osteoarthritis, which can cause pain after long periods of inactivity, like sleeping.

The difference between the two is that osteoarthritis pain usually subsides in about a half hour. Stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis will last much longer, possibly for a good chunk of the day.

The right kind of exercise can help alleviate stiffness for people with RA and osteoarthritis pain.

People with RA can sometimes experience locked joints, particularly in the knees and elbows. This happens because theres so much swelling of the tendons around the joint, the joint cannot bend. It can lead to cysts behind the knee that can puff out and inhibit motion.

The symptom can be mistaken for a meniscus tear, a knee joint injury that’s common in sports, and which can also lead to cysts.

Read Also: How Does Methotrexate Help Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy

Rotator cuff tear arthropathy is a type of shoulder arthritis that can develop after a massive and prolonged rotator cuff tear. The four rotator cuff tendons in your shoulder wrap around the ball portion of the shoulder joint, holding it in place. If one or more of these tendons is heavily torn, this may cause the humeral head to rub against other bones and develop arthritis.

Describing Painful Symptoms To Your Doctor

What Type of Arthritis Do You Have? Understanding Symptoms

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:

  • Throbbing

RELATED: 10 Hot and Cold Therapy Tips to Tame Joint Pain

Recommended Reading: Is Red Meat Bad For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Popular Articles
Related news