What Are Common Arthritis Treatments
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.
Why Do Other People’s Perceptions Matter
Many people think of arthritis as an old person’s disease or something that causes minor aches and pains. At the other extreme are those people who believe that nothing can be done for arthritis and that those who get it can expect to end up in a wheelchair. You may be accused of making too much of your arthritis or viewed with pity by people who think you’re on the verge of becoming totally disabled. You may feel put down if you’re told what you can’t do by an uninformed public or a well-meaning family member who just wants to protect you.
The negative perceptions of others may be among the most difficult challenges you have to face. When family and friends misunderstand you they may not be able to provide the support you need.
Misconceptions held by employers and the public can make it more difficult for you to work or get the services you need.
But you don’t have to accept other people’s ideas about you or your illness. Learn as much as you can about arthritis so you can have a realistic attitude about your condition. Then deal with people’s misinformed notions in a positive fashion. At times you may want to ignore comments from misguided friends. At other times you will want to explain your condition as soon as you become aware that someone has misconceptions. In a matter-of-fact way talk about arthritis and how it affects you. By educating others you can help promote a better understanding of arthritis.
What Challenges Does Arthritis Pose
People with arthritis experience some changes and challenges that are different from those of people with other diseases. For example:
- arthritis is usually long-lasting
- the course is often unpredictable
- pain depression and excess stress may result
- activities can be limited
- the ability to express and enjoy sexuality may be affected
Adjusting to the changes experienced with arthritis takes time. However there are things you can do to better cope with the situation. With work and understanding you can learn to deal with the effects of arthritis.
Problems With Old Assessments
After diagnosis, the level and progression of RA need to be monitored and tracked. Prior to RASS, doctors combined results from a physical examination with factors reported by the patient, such as pain level, and inflammatory blood markers, to estimate RA severity.
Doctors also used the Health Assessment Questionnaire , in which patients rated their own level of pain. Of course, everyone has a different threshold for pain, which can make these assessment models inaccurate. These assessment methods were also complicated by a close relationship between pain and depression.
Depression can be a significant component of RA. But there are challenges with using it to measure disease severity, including:
- some patients may be more depressed than others
- some patients may feel particularly depressed at the time of examination
- some patients may not acknowledge they are depressed
While depression can be an element of RA, measuring it is not helpful for disease activity assessment. The RASS is completed by your doctor and based on the visible signs of the disease. Its not based on your individual emotional assessment.
Its important to know what type of RA you have to get an accurate assessment of disease activity. There are three types of RA:
- rheumatoid factor positive
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Can Osteoarthritis Be Prevented Or Avoided
Theres not much you can do to avoid getting osteoarthritis as you age. However, the following may help:
- Try to not overuse your joints.
- Try to avoid jobs or activities that require repetitive movement.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Do strength-training exercises to keep the muscles around your joints strong. This is especially important for weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, and ankles.
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What Causes Chronic Knee Pain
Temporary knee pain is different from chronic knee pain. Many people experience temporary knee pain as a result of an injury or accident. Chronic knee pain rarely goes away without treatment, and it isnt always attributable to one incident. Its most often the result of several causes or conditions.
Physical conditions or diseases can cause knee pain. These include:
- osteoarthritis: pain, inflammation, and joint destruction caused by degeneration and deterioration of the joint
- tendinitis: pain in the front of the knee that is made worse when climbing, taking stairs, or walking up an incline
- bursitis: inflammation caused by repeated overuse or injury of the knee
- Bakers cyst: a buildup of synovial fluid behind the knee
- rheumatoid arthritis : a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder that causes painful swelling and can eventually cause joint deformity and bone erosion
- dislocation: dislocation of the kneecap most often the result of trauma
- meniscus tear: a rupture in one or more of the cartilage in the knee
- torn ligament: tear in one of the four ligaments in the knee the most commonly injured ligament is the anterior cruciate ligament
- bone tumors: osteosarcoma , most commonly occurs in the knee
Factors that may make chronic knee pain worse:
- injuries to the structure of the knee can cause bleeding and swelling and can create a chronic problem over time if not treated properly
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Cats Condition Has Always Been Referred To As Rheumatoid Arthritis Her Initial Clinic Letter
I think it’s very confusing because I didn’t really know what I had. I’ve always, it’s always been referred to as rheumatoid arthritis, that’s what I have, that’s what I’m treated for, in all my hospital notes that’s what I’m told. If anyone asks me if I have any medical problems I say I’ve got rheumatoid arthritis. But in my initial clinic letter on my diagnosis it is written as polyarticular rheumatoid factor positive JIA and since doing a research project at Uni actually I’ve found that the official terminology is any inflammatory arthritis diagnosed before the age of sixteen that lasts more than six weeks is officially juvenile idiopathic arthritis so I think there is a lot of confusion and actually I think it probably be more useful if everything’s stuck to. But then I don’t think you’d find an adult who wants to be, their disease to be referred to as juvenile because it makes it sound like something that just children get.
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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
Spinal Arthritis May Contribute To Other Issues In The Spine
Spinal arthritis may cause bone spurs overgrowths on the edges of the bones. In the spine, bone spurs particularly affect facet joints, making them grow larger. This condition is called facet joint hypertrophy. Although bone spurs on their own are not harmful, they may narrow the passages for the spinal cord and the nerves exiting the spine. This may lead to two painful conditions:
Spinal stenosis compression of the spinal cord inside the spinal canal
Radiculopathy pinching of the peripheral nerves as they exit the spine
Ankylosing spondylitis may also cause additional problems such as:
Stress fractures in places where new bone has formed
A spinal deformity called kyphosis
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What Is The Worst Case Scenario With Rheumatoid Arthritis
You may be wondering if RA gets worse with age. Progressive rheumatoid arthritis may result in the destruction of joint structures, limiting function and mobility.
In the worst cases, fingers may become bent, shortened and misaligned. Patients with end-stage rheumatoid arthritis may require assistance with the activities of daily living and may need a walker or wheelchair for ambulation.
According to WebMD, RA can result in inflammation of the knees requiring surgical knee replacement, damage to the structures in the cervical spine, or damage to organs such as the eyes or lungs.
Rheumatoid arthritis may also contribute to coronary artery disease by speeding the development of arterial plaque. This may increase the risk of stroke if these plaques build up in the arteries of the head and neck.
Some medicines often prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis may contribute to the risk of osteoporosis, which can cause further debilitation and lack of mobility.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis medications may contribute to hair loss, although this may also be attributed to the disease itself.
The RA medication Methotrexate is believed to be responsible for the hair loss in up to 3 percent of patients who take the drug.
What Are The Steps To Diagnosis
Speaking to your GP about your symptoms is a good place to begin getting a diagnosis. Theyre likely to refer you or your child to a sports medicine physician or orthopaedic surgeon who may then carry out all, or some, of the following tests:
- A physical examination of the joint to asses tenderness, swelling, inflammation and mobility
- Blood tests, to rule out the possibility of rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions including gout(there is no blood test for osteoarthritis
- An x-ray to assess for the loss of cartilage or bone spurs
- An MRI scan to provide a detailed image of the inside of the joint, including the soft tissue
What are the treatment options?
Although any damage to the joints cannot be reversed, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can be managed, allowing sufferers to live as normal a life as possible.
Treatments for osteoarthritis include lifestyle advice, medications, orthobiologics and surgery.
Lifestyle changes include taking steps to lose weight if necessary and doing low impact exercise, such as yoga, to help strengthen muscles around the joint to stabilise it. Your doctor may refer you to a physiotherapist if your job or choice of physical activity is causing your symptoms. They may also recommend topical treatments or the use of hot or cold compresses.
Medications for osteoarthritis include pain relievers such as over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ibuprofen, or stronger pain reliever prescriptions.
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The Connection Between Age And Arthritis
It’s one of the biggest misconceptions about arthritis. Most people believe that arthritis is an old person’s disease and that it is entirely a consequence of aging. If that were the case, arthritis would be inevitable and it’s not.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , arthritis is more common among adults aged 65 years or older, but people of all ages can be affected. “Nearly two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than 65. Arthritis is more common among women than men in every age group, and it affects members of all racial and ethnic groups. Arthritis is also more common among adults who are obese than among those who are normal weight or underweight.”
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“Sudden arthritis” is not a real medical condition, but the symptoms of arthritis namely, joint pain and swelling can develop very abruptly in some people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
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Arthritis can also come and go, so you could feel tip-top one day and wake up feeling sore and achy the next.
Here’s more on why arthritis might seem to come on all of a sudden, including when you should call a doctor about your symptoms.
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Can Arthritis Cause Numbness
Numbness is often a symptom of nerve involvement. For instance, numbness in the arm may be related to nerve irritation in the neck. In such a situation, turning or bending the head to the involved side may increase the symptoms. For example, a pinched nerve in the right side of the neck may cause numbness in the arm and hand when a person attempts to look back over the right shoulder. If nerve irritation becomes more severe, the arm and hand may become weak. A physical examination X-rays and an MRI of the neck and electrodiagnostic tests may be useful in establishing the diagnosis.
Six Steps Toward Solving Problems
Arthritis can pose many challenges–not only for people who have it but for their families as well. Therefore it is important to understand how to solve problems and to have a basic plan at hand. The following outline gives you a step-by-step plan for becoming a successful problem-solver.
1. Understand the problem
Large problems can seem overwhelming. This can lead to feelings of helplessness. To make problems seem smaller try to separate the problem into manageable pieces. For example having trouble following your doctor’s recommendations may be due to: having a poor relationship with your doctor not having enough information or not being comfortable asking questions. Then try to identify the more important or most troubling areas and work on only one problem at a time.
2. Find possible solutions
For each piece of the puzzle list all possible solutions or actions. Then think through all of your choices. Ask others for their suggestions there is no need for you to think of all the solutions by yourself. Finally visualize what you want to see happen.
3. Evaluate your options
List the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Decide what’s needed to carry out the different options and plan how you would carry them out. Then select the option that is easiest and would bring you the most benefits.
4. Put your plan into action
Now it is time to move into action. Try only one option at a time. Be realistic and give yourself enough time to carry out your plan.
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Other Causes Of Joint Pain
Joint pain can also result from abnormal pain processing, which occurs in conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Because joint pain and swelling can have many different causes, she stresses that obtaining the correct diagnosis is the most important part. You have to learn the cause of the joint pain and swelling in order to treat it correctly. Treatment options can vary widely, so it’s important that you don’t try to fix your joint pain or swelling on your own.
Surgery For Spinal Arthritis
Surgery may be recommended for spinal arthritis if other treatments dont sufficiently relieve pain. The goals of the surgery may include:
Stabilizing the spine by fusing several segments together in a procedure called spinal fusion
These surgeries can be performed as open procedures or with a minimally invasive approach. There are pros and cons to each method. The surgeon will review and discuss the options before the operation.
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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.
Tom Felt Dizzy And Sick Before His Joints Became Swollen He Tried To Keep Going But Found He Had
To start with I wasnt really sure what was going on. I remember that it was in the summer and I was quite ill. Like I dont really usually get ill often but I was like dizzy and a bit nauseous sometimes, and I had to have a few days off school. And then that was right before the end of term. And at the end of term my school does an activities week where we get to choose activities and then go and have fun for a week. And Id chosen to go camping, and so I thought Ill be okay to go camping. I was improving, I was not perfect but I was a lot better than I was. So I went to this activities week and well everything went downhill a bit. My knees swelled up massively, I mean they were huge, they were like balloons, I could barely walk so it was not fun at all. I didnt really get to do much, I had to drop out of a lot of the activities. I still enjoyed being with my friends but if you were away from home, without your parents, with people that you dont know that well its kind of a scary thing to have to do, especially when youre 14.
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