Thursday, September 29, 2022

How To Check If You Have Arthritis

It Felt Like Id Just Gotten A Life Sentence

How to tell if you have Arthritis by Irvine Chiropractor

Insomnia is bad enough on its own but not being able to sleep because of intense pain in my fingers and hands was weird and awful, says Angie K., 50. A year ago, I found myself unable to rest because as soon as I laid down my hands would start throbbing, she says. She tried to treat it on her own with special diets and herbs but after six months, it became too much to bear so she made an appointment with her family doctor.

At first, the doctors thought her symptoms might be due to rheumatoid arthritis, but all the blood tests and X-rays came back negative for RA. Her doctor referred her to a rheumatologist, who eventually diagnosed her with osteoarthritis in her hands.

They said this was good news and bad news, Angie says of that doctor visit. The good news was that it wasnt something worse. The bad news is that there is nothing I can do to stop, slow down, or reverse it and that all they could do was help me manage the pain. Unfortunately, because Angie has only one kidney due to donating a kidney earlier in her life, she is unable to take most pain medications. It was one of the worst days of my life. I felt like theyd given me a life sentence of pain. My medical options are practically non-existent, she says, adding that she does the best she can with heat therapy and CBD lotions.

Prepare For The Journey Of Arthritis

Many people who are newly-diagnosed want the quick fix or cure for arthritis. For most people with arthritis, however, there is no cure. There have been significant advances in treatment options over the years, but finding the right course of treatment can be a journey. It is not uncommon to start one course of treatment and have to change several times before you find what works best.

Also, it is important to realize that what brings relief to one person may be totally ineffective for you. There are many things to try, including exercise, so try to be patient as you go through the process of finding what works for you. Even after you have been treated for a period of time, it’s very important that you talk to your healthcare provider about new or persistent symptoms. It may be time to change your treatment if your response is no longer satisfactory.

Have You Had The Following Laboratory Tests Performed To Assess The Arthritis

  • Rheumatoid Factor . Is it positive or negative?
  • Anti-citrullinated protein antibody . Is it positive or negative?
  • Are the markers of inflammation, ESR and/or CRP in the blood elevated?

The classification criteria used worldwide to help in classifying an arthritis as RA is the 2010 ACR/EULAR Classification Criteria.

I present this here to help you screen for rheumatoid & to help determine the likelihood of having RA.

Read Also: Inflammatory Arthritis Definition

Changes In Surrounding Joints

In patients with advanced thumb base arthritis, the neighboring joints may become more mobile than normal.

Thumb extension deformity. This patient has lost mobility at the base of the thumb due to arthritis. The next joint closer to the tip of the thumb has become more mobile than normal to make up for the arthritic joint. Normally, the thumb does not come to a right angle with the rest of the hand.

Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

You Know You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis When  Rheumatoid ...

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

Read Also: Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Side Effects

What Are The Parts Of A Joint

Joints get cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage plays a key role. It helps your joints move smoothly without friction or pain.

Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, such as your knees, get supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.

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: Rheumatoid Arthritis Sores

What Is A Joint And How Does It Work

A joint is where two or more bones meet, such as in the fingers, knees, and shoulders. Joints hold bones in place and allow them to move freely within limits.

Most of the joints in our body are surrounded by a strong capsule. The capsule is filled with a thick fluid that helps to lubricate the joint. These capsules hold our bones in place. They do this with the help of ligaments. These are a bit like very strong elastic bands.

The ends of the bones within a joint are lined with cartilage. This is a smooth but tough layer of tissue that allows bones to glide over one another as you move.

If we want to move a bone, our brain gives a signal to the muscle, which then pulls a tendon, and this is attached to the bone. Muscles therefore have an important role in supporting a joint.

Early Onset Arthritis Age Range

How do I determine if I have arthritis?

In regards to rheumatoid arthritis, for example, the average arthritis age of diagnosis in adults is between 30 and 50.7 Therefore, the early onset arthritis age is anything less than 30 because people of any age can actually develop this form of arthritis.

It is a common misconception that one is too young to have arthritis. But in fact, about half of arthritis patients are under the age of 65. While osteoarthritis is more closely associated with elderly adults and most people over 60 have at least some degree of osteoarthritis,8 the early onset arthritis age for this this condition is between 20 and 40.9

Don’t Miss: Pain Relief For Rheumatoid Arthritis In Hands

Take This Test: Do You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Take this test: Do you have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Lots of people have joint pain or other joint problems. Most of the time, there are not due to rheumatoid arthritis .

There is no single test to diagnose RA. The diagnosis is made from a combination of clinical symptoms and findings, supported by various blood tests .

However, you can try this arthritis screen to determine the likelihood of having the disease by this series of questions which may act as a rheumatoid arthritis test.

Treating Arthritis Of The Knee

  • 1Go to physical therapy. Strengthening of the muscles around the knee joint may help decrease the burden on the knee. Preventing atrophy of the muscles is an important part of maintaining functional use of the knee and reducing further damage to the joint.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • 2Take anti-inflammatory medications. Prescription and nonprescription anti-inflammatory pain medications are drugs that help treat the pain as well as the inflammation in the knee.XResearch source
  • Always consult your doctor before attempting to treat arthritis with over-the-counter medications, especially if you are taking other medications to treat arthritis.
  • Never exceed the recommended dosage of any medication, including over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Overdose of NSAIDs can be life-threatening.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • 3Get hyaluronic acid injections in your knee. Hyaluronic acid helps lubricate the joint and is naturally found in the fluid of your knee. If you suffer from arthritis, the natural hyaluronic acid in your knee becomes thinner and less effective.XResearch source
  • Your doctor may recommend a hyaluronic acid injection into your knee joint.
  • Although these injections are not helpful to everyone, they can relieve the symptoms for three to six months.
  • Read Also: What Is The Best Painkiller For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Signs Of Shoulder Bursitis

    Bursitis occurs when a fluid-filled sac called a bursa swells. You have bursitis throughout your body near your joints that provide padding between your bones, skin,muscles adn tendons. You may experience this inflammation of the bursa if you engage in an activity that requires repetitive motion like a sport, hobby, or manual work. If the bursa become inflamed, it is called shoulder bursitis.

    Potential symptoms include

    • Pain Triggered By Movement Similar to osteoarthritis.
    • Pain On Top and Outside Of Shoulder This is where the bursa is located. If you lay on your side and put pressure on this spot it will trigger pain.
    • Pain Caused By Activity This is unlike osteoarthritis, in which the pain is worse with inactivity. In fact, the repetitive motion of people like painters, tennis players, swimmers, and baseball pitchers may experience bursitis.

    Diabetes, crystal deposition , and infections may also cause the condition. Its generally a temporary condition that goes away after a few weeks of treatment. It may come back from time to time. It can become chronic if its not treated or if its caused by another condition.

    What Kinds Of Arthritis Can Occur In The Knee

    Reactive arthritis / Post

    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.

    You May Like: Aching Arms And Hands Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Inflammatory Arthritis Vs Osteoarthritis

    Arthritis actually describes over 100 different conditions that affect joints and the surrounding tissue. They fall into two main categories: inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis .

    Inflammatory arthritis is a systemic disease in which the mechanisms that normally protect your body attack your own joints and tissues instead. The most well-known example is rheumatoid arthritis , which tends to be symmetrical, meaning you’ll have problems in the same joints on both sides of your body, like both wrists or both knees.

    The second type of arthritis and the most common form is osteoarthritis. A degenerative disorder, it’s caused by trauma or age-related wear and tear on your joints over time. OA is most likely to affect weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hip, lower spine or big toe, but it can also cause pain and stiffness in your thumb or finger joints.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Joint Inflammation Cause

    I Got Diagnosed As A Baby

    When I was just a baby my mom noticed that I hardly ever turned my head and mentioned it at my checkup. The doctor said he thought it was a muscular imbalance but my mom insisted on having it checked, says Jocelyn S., 23. And its a good things she did: Jocelyn was just a year old when she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.

    The arthritis appeared to affect just her neck at first but by elementary school she was having problems chewing, which eventually lead to surgery on her jaw joints. Although she says she experienced frequent bouts of pain and swelling, middle and high school went pretty normally.

    Sometimes I had to get my knees drained but overall it didnt seem like a huge deal, she says.

    However, in college her disease progression suddenly sped up and now she has trouble walking. Occasionally she needs a wheelchair on really bad days. Her doctor says she is looking at a double hip replacement in her future.

    Ive tried every drug in the book and eventually they all stop working or I develop a reaction to them, she says. Still though, she finds ways to keep her spirits up, going to concerts and hanging out with friends.

    Honestly arthritis is all Ive ever known so Im not too sad about it because I dont have anything to compare it to, she says. I just try to live my life and not worry about the future.

    What Symptoms Look And Feel Like And What To Do If You Can’t Shake The Ache

    How to Know if you Have Arthritis: Early Signs of Arthritis

    by Michelle Crouch, AARP, Updated December 20, 2021

    En espaƱol |It’s not unusual to experience pain in your joints on occasion, especially if you’re active and participate in high-impact activities such as running. That unwanted ouch can be caused by injured muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joint or by tendonitis, a sprain or a strain.

    But if you start experiencing aching, pain and stiffness on a routine basis and particularly if the pain is right at the joint you may be developing arthritis, says rheumatologist Uzma Haque, M.D., codirector of clinical operations at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in Baltimore.

    Your risk of arthritis increases as you age, and its a leading cause of disability in the U.S., affecting around 58.5 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

    Recommended Reading: Long Term Effects Of Arthritis

    Stop Thinking You Can’t Exercise

    Many people who have arthritis are afraid if they’re active they’ll have more pain and so they just don’t get any exercise. This may be one of the biggest misconceptions about arthritis.

    At the same time, it’s an ironic idea because inactivity actually makes pain and disability from arthritis worse over time, while regular exercise keeps joints moving and prevents stiffness, strengthens the muscles around the joints, and improves mobility.

    So if you’ve been sedentary out of fear you’ll make your arthritis worse, talk to your healthcare provider to make sure it’s OK to exercise. Then start slowly with gentle, joint-friendly movements. It’s fine to respect your arthritis pain, but you don’t have to let it stop you.

    Expect Ups And Downs With Arthritis

    Pain is an unwelcome intruder on normal daily activities. Every person diagnosed with arthritis hopes that treatment will quickly gain control over the disease. And not only do people with arthritis hope to gain control of their condition but they hope to maintain that control. The truth is that the usual course of arthritis is fraught with ups and downs. Like many chronic health conditions, it can feel like a roller coaster.

    Even with treatment, you should expect both good days and bad days with arthritis. Some people find that the ups and downs, a major part of dealing with arthritis, are the most difficult aspect. If possible, prepare for those ups and downs by building flexibility into your life.

    Some people find it helpful to list out ways to adapt to unforeseen circumstances ahead of time, and there are even retreats focused on “resilience training” to help those coping with chronic medical conditions.

    Read Also: Ra Pain Relief

    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.

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