What Really Causes Arthritis
While the many forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors and effects on the body, they all share a common symptompersistent joint pain.
Pain of any kind has emotional roots. In fact, studies show that emotional factors are crucial to the development of R.A. The emotions associated with arthritis are usually unexpressed anger, resentment, aggression, criticism , lack of support, and fear. Experts suggest that one reason women are afflicted with R.A. four times more frequently than men is that women are taught from early childhood not to express anger.
It is also not uncommon for people with R.A. to have experienced some sort of emotional trauma, usually before age 5. Traumas that occur when you are young can hinder the development of your immune system and leave you susceptible to infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus, which Medical Medium Anthony William says is an underlying cause of R.A. symptoms.
How Is Arthritis Treated
The goal of treatment is to provide pain relief, increase joint mobility and strength, and control the disease as much as possible. Your doctor has a number of options to help you manage pain, prevent damage to the joint, and keep inflammation at bay.
Treatment of arthritis could include rest, occupational or physical therapy, hot or cold compresses, joint protection, exercise, drugs, and sometimes surgery to correct joint damage. Your treatment plan may involve more than one of these.
Treatments for osteoarthritis generally can help relieve pain and stiffness, but the disease may continue to get worse. The same was true for rheumatoid arthritis in the past, but treatments are now able to slow or stop the progression of arthritis damage.
Stay Active When You Can
On the whole, the answer is “keep moving.” Your joints were made to move. They need movement to nourish the joint and keep the muscles around the joint strong and limber. Doctors encourage their patients with arthritis to be as active as they canas long as it isn’t exacerbating joint pain.
The benefits of staying active are numerous. Exercise can:
- Control joint pain and swelling
- Help you rehabilitate after a procedure or a flare-up
- Slow the deterioration of arthritic joints
- Improve mood and sleep
- Help manage other chronic conditions that are common for people with arthritis, such as diabetes and heart disease
People with arthritis should aim for 30 minutes of low-impact aerobic activity on most days, strength training activity twice a week, and balance exercises 3 times a week, if your arthritis puts you at higher risk of falling.
Don’t Miss: What Arthritis Mean
Stop Fearing Medications That May Help
Arthritis patients sometimes avoid painkillers because they’re afraid they’ll become addicted to them, or they choose not to use biologic drugs because they fear potential serious side effects. Remember that your healthcare provider would never prescribe something that might hurt you or that you could become dependent on as long as you take it as directed.
Make sure you understand when and how much of your medication you should take, and how you should take it and your arthritis meds should do nothing more than make it easier for you to live comfortably.
How Apple Cider Vinegar Relieves Arthritis
For thousands of years, apple cider vinegar has been commonly recognized as the most effective natural remedy for arthritis pain.
Arthritis can cause chronic inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints of the body such as the fingers, hands, knees, elbows, hips, jaw. ACV Helps with Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Psoriatic arthritis and more.
How Does A.C.V. Relieve Arthritis Pain?
Testimonials of the Power of Apple Cider Vinegar!
âMy excruciating arthritis was cured in two weeks… by cider vinegar.â -Linda Faulkner, as told to Daily Mail
âI started ACV to try to take care of heartburn… It has worked WONDERS on my aching hands, feet, joints… After just one week I can feel an amazing difference in how I feel when I first get out of bed in the morning. My mother has had severe RA for over 20 years and I was starting to worry that I was in route to RA. Hope this helps someone who has MAJOR pain in joints… Especially in the mornings…â -Lori, as posted in Earth Clinic
âOur great-grandmother will turn 100 in two weeks. She still kayaks, gardens, and shovels her own snow covered driveway. For over 80 years, she had one recipe for life: 2 Tbsps Bragg ACV and 1 tsp of honey mixed into water. This is the secret, she says, to a life worth living. Five generations of our family will celebrate her 100th birthday Vinegar Drinks!â â The Alvina Sharp Family, Chanhassen, Minnesota
Don’t Miss: How Can You Stop Arthritis In Your Hands
How To Treat Arthritis Pain Naturally At Home
Learning how to protect and treat your joints is key to natural arthritis care. For example, the right shoes and a cane can help with any worsening pain in the feet, knees, and hips. There is also a market for specially designed gadgets that help seniors open jars and bottles or turn doorknobs with ease. The following lifestyle habits are also key to caring for arthritis:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Controlling weight
There are many natural remedies for arthritic pain. Comfort can even be found by applying heat or cold, soaking in a warm saltwater bath, or swimming in a heated pool. Treatments like acupuncture, massage, or meditation have also proven to alleviate some pain and symptoms related to arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Wrist Hand Or Finger Splints
If youre going through a bad arthritis flare-up, using resting splints can help quiet the active inflammation and give you some relief, Dr. Osterman says. These are devices, usually made of plastic and secured with velcro, that temporarily immobilize the joint, which allows it time to rest, he explains.
Im only 22, but some of my fingers are already severely bent and fused from having juvenile arthritis. Splints are helpful for the pain and for helping keep them straight so hopefully they dont bend more, says rheumatoid arthritis patient Emma A., from Melbourne, Australia. My favorites are ring splints since they look like jewelry instead of a medical brace.
Also Check: How To Prevent Arthritis In Fingers
What Is Hip Arthritis
Hip arthritis is deterioration of the cartilage of the hip joint. The hip is a ball-and-socket joint with the ball at the top of the thighbone . The ball is separated from the socket by cartilage. The cartilage acts as a slippery coating between the ball and the socket that allows the ball to glide and rotate smoothly when the leg moves. The labrum, a strong cartilage that lines the outer rim of the socket, provides stability.
When cartilage in the hip is damaged, it becomes rough. Thinning of cartilage narrows the space between the bones. In advanced cases, bone rubs on bone, and any movement can cause pain and stiffness. When there is friction at any point between bones, it can also lead to bone spurs bone growths on the edges of a bone that change its shape.
Enzymes Are Our Bodies First Defense Response
There are thousands of enzymes that play a crucial and vitalrole in keeping our bodies functioning and in optimal health from breathing tosleeping and everything in between.
The main focus on this page is the importance of systemic proteolytic enzymes and their role in reducinginflammation and dissolving excess fibrin and how they support anti aging.
Systemic Proteolytic Enzymes, also called metabolic enzymesworks inside the circulatory system and have a completely different purpose thanDigestive Proteolytic Enzymes. This is why they are called systemic once theyenter the circulatory system, they circulate throughout the body.
Also Check: Autoimmune Leg Pain
What Are The Conventional Treatments For Arthritis
Conventional treatments for arthritis begin with protecting the joint from progressive joint degeneration, increasing joint movement, and providing pain control so that the individual can maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. When pain and disability from arthritis increase, surgery is an option.
Treatments that focus on pain control include:
- Acetaminophen. The American Pain Society has recommended the use of acetaminophen for mild to moderatearthritic pain.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the preferred drugs for moderate to severe pain. When NSAIDS are used as long-term therapy for arthritis there is a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Narcotics and opiate analgesics can be safely used in treating patients withsevere arthritic pain resistant to nonopioid medications.
- Joint Injections. Corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid medications can be injected into the joint.
When pain from arthritis cannot be controlled with medication, surgery is sometimes an option. The most common surgeries done for arthritis are:
- Arthroscopy. Arthroscopic surgery is sometimes recommended to repair or shave the cartilage or remove floating pieces of cartilage that may be causing joint pain,
- Total Joint Replacement. In individuals with advanced osteoarthritis, chronic pain and marked limitation in joint mobility, total joint replacements surgery can be very effective in helping an individual resume an active lifestyle.
Are Glucosamine And Chondroitin Supplements Helpful For Treating Osteoarthritis Of The Hand
Supplements are not reviewed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration . They are not required to undergo the same rigorous clinical trial methods that medications must undergo in the U.S. Some clinical trials show benefits with pain relief however, there is no proof that these supplements slow the progression of osteoarthritis. If you plan to try these, always check with your healthcare provider before using supplements. These products may interfere with medications you currently take.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Dull or burning joint pain, morning stiffness, swollen joints in your hand are all symptoms of arthritis. Many types of arthritis could affect your hands. Many treatment options are available depending on your exact arthritis type. Medications can reduce joint pain and swelling. Researchers are still working on ways to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. See your healthcare provider if you think you have arthritis in your hands. They will perform a complete exam and offer you a complete treatment plan, which includes hand exercises, use of hot and cold packs, other lifestyle tips and traditional treatments including medications, braces/splints, steroid injections and surgery.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/06/2021.
You May Like: Arthritis In Fingers Prevention
These Arthritis Home Remedies May Be Worth A Try As Part Of Your Overall Doctor
While medication is a cornerstone and critical part of managing arthritis, home remedies and lifestyle changes can be important in your arthritis treatment plan too, says Susan Blum, MD, MPH, chronic disease specialist, assistant clinical professor in the department of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and author of Healing Arthritis: The 3-Step Guide To Conquering Arthritis Naturally.
You need to treat arthritis from a whole body perspective, not simply a medical one, which means incorporating all facets of wellness, including what you do at home, she says. She knows firsthand of what she speaks, noting that she uses home remedies to help her own arthritis and autoimmune disorder. She swears by a daily meditation, green smoothies, gardening, and walking outdoors.
However, its important to note that home remedies should not replace medication. And you need a healthy amount of skepticism when deciding which ones to try and implement, says Don R. Martin, MD, a rheumatologist with Sentara RMH Rheumatology in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Many natural remedies arent backed by science or the research is very limited or weak. And even for therapies that have shown to be effective, supplements and natural therapies are not regulated the same way prescription medications are, so the purity and quality can vary widely, he adds.
The Types Of Arthritis That Causes Pain And Stiffness In The Hands
Theres two types of arthritis that cause pain and stiffness the hands: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Heres what happens when you have osteoarthritis :
- The smooth covering on the end of bones begins to break down around bones and joints.
- Lack of the smooth covering on the end of bones causes pain and swelling in a joint.
- Without enough protection for the bones, the bones of a joint rub together.
Pain and stiffness caused by arthritis in the hands can limit the ability to move. It can also have a negative impact on your quality of life. The good news: Hand exercises for arthritis and other treatments can help. There is no cure, but its possible to slow the symptoms from getting worse.
Also Check: Rheumatoid Arthritis Better With Movement
Bad Habits To Drop For Better Arthritis Management
In a perfect world, pain wouldnt exist, our weight would be optimal and wed enjoy daily exercise and have energy to spare. But the world is not perfect, and sometimes our bad habits get in the way of our best intentions to live a healthy life. You can make small changes toward adopting a healthier lifestyle and reducing your arthritis symptoms. Along with adopting the healthy habits in our previous blog post, make an effort to break these 5 unhealthy habits.
Sugar and white flour and the overabundance of them in processed foods can lead to weight gain, which is hard on sore joints. Replace them with fruits, nuts and whole grains. A good rule of thumb, says Rachel Brandeis, a registered dietitian in Atlanta, is to indulge in foods with fewer than 10 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams of fiber per serving. Youll feel full on less and prevent weight gain.
Instead of muscling through arthritis pain on your own or feeling angry that others dont understand your condition enlist their support, says Phillips. Family members and friends often dont understand what youre going through. Pain and fatigue arent visible. Encourage them to read about arthritis or ask them to go with you to a support group.
What To Do For Arthritis: A Guide To Symptoms Causes And Care
Arthritis is understood by most people to be a general condition that causes painful, stiff joints. What most people dont know is that there are many different types of arthritis, each with its own set of symptoms and treatments. Some forms can be extremely painful while other forms can go unnoticed for years.
As one of the most common diseases in this country, arthritis affects millions of adults worldwide, according to the Global Rheumatoid Arthritis Network. Senile arthritis types include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout, and they are most common in older people.
Read our arthritis guide for help identifying these common forms of senile arthritis and to learn about care and treatment options.
Don’t Miss: Side Effects Of Arthritis
The Future Of Oa Treatment
Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, OA hasn’t had any major breakthroughs that have dramatically improved its medical treatment. Drug development for this type of arthritis has been slow because the disease itself follows a slow process. It takes time to track whether a treatment can halt joint damage when that damage occurs so gradually. “Joint replacement surgery has been successful, but medical treatments for OA have been limited,” Dr. Aliprantis says.
Hopefully, strontium or another disease-modifying therapy will prove its merit in future studies. But it could be several more years before any approach revolutionizes the treatment of this condition. “I think we’re just starting to understand OA,” Dr. Aliprantis says.
Nerve Blocks And Other Injection Techniques
Injections to block pain are becoming more widely available. They usually combine a local anaesthetic with a steroid and act directly on a nerve. They’re not suitable for all types of pain, but they’re sometimes helpful for:
- osteoarthritis of the small joints between the bones of the spine
- compression of nerves in the lower spine.
Special scans such as magnetic resonance imaging or computerised tomography are often needed so the specialist can decide the exact site for the injection.
Physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors may use a variety of different manual techniques, including:
- manipulation and stretching
- technologies such as ultrasound, laser or interferential treatment
- exercise programmes to strengthen muscles and improve general fitness.
It’s important to go to a qualified practitioner, preferably with the guidance of your doctor.
In some conditions, for example back pain, the Alexander technique may also help. The Alexander technique teaches awareness of posture and relaxation to reduce muscle tension.
You May Like: Eggs Bad For Arthritis
What If I Need Joint Surgery
If your doctor determines surgery is the best option dont panic: Todays minimally-invasive, arthroscopic surgical approaches mean less tissue damage, less discomfort, and much faster recovery compared to surgery of just a few years ago.
Different surgical techniques are available depending on which joint is involved, the extent of the joint damage, and other factors. Some surgeries can be completed on an outpatient basis, while others require a brief hospital stay. Patients who have joint surgery typically find their quality of life is significantly improved, and many are able to resume activities theyd once found too painful.
Other Ways To Relieve Joint Pain
There are also many simple measures that can help relieve arthritis pain and stiffness:
Heat and cold. Take a warm bath, apply cold compresses, or wrap some frozen vegetables in a towel and hold them to your painful joints. Heat, cold, or alternating the two can be very effective at relieving pain.
Massage. Gently rubbing the joints can increase blood flow to the affected area and ease sore spots. Because arthritic joints can be sensitive, see a massage therapist who specializes in treating people with arthritis.
Glucosamine and chondroitin. Although these nutritional supplements have been “fairly debunked as a potential disease-modifying therapy,” Dr. Aliprantis says, they may improve arthritis pain in some people. However, he points out, “if these supplements are not helping your pain, you should not continue to spend your money on them.”
And don’t forget about exerciseit’s one of the most effective ways to treat OA. Exercise can reduce pain, improve flexibility, strengthen the muscles that support the joints, and help you lose some of the weight that’s straining your joints. “I think it’s pretty clear that exercise is important for maintaining joint health and decreasing pain in patients who have OA,” Dr. Aliprantis says. Swimming and riding a stationary exercise bicycle are good exercises for people with OA, because they don’t put undue stress on already painful joints.
Also Check: How Can You Stop Arthritis In Your Hands