Access To Care Challenges
Serious racial disparities exist when it comes to access to care, both when it comes to psoriatic arthritis and in general.
Studies show differences in psoriatic arthritis based on skin color and race. For example, Black people tend to have more severe:
- Skin involvement
Despite that, they’re less likely than White people to be put on immunosuppressive drugs.
Furthermore, according to 2021 research, psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed less often in:
- Black people
- People of Asian descent
- Latinx people
People in these groups who have psoriatic arthritis often have a higher disease burden and lower quality of life because of disparities in care.
Some studies show implicit, often unconscious biases against people of color throughout the healthcare community. This is believed to have negative effects when it comes to treatment decisions and outcomes.
Some facilities have looked at disparities in their own patients. They found that poverty plays a role. But when comparing Black and White people of the same socioeconomic status, it became clear that outcomes remained worse for Black people.
Researchers call for more investigation into the impacts and disparities caused by bias in the medical profession and better education aimed at eliminating these issues.
What Are The Different Types Of Arthritis That Affect The Back
There are several types of arthritis. The different types of arthritis that may affect the back or neck include
- Osteoarthritis of the spine: This is noninflammatory, degenerative arthritis. It is the most common form of arthritis that affects the back. Wear and tear seem to be the reason that osteoarthritis develops.
- Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine: This is an autoimmune disorder where the lining of the joints is affected. Its a type of inflammatory arthritis because wear and tear on the joints is not involved.
- Fibromyalgia: This causes chronic, widespread muscle pain and fatigue.
- Spondyloarthritis: This is a group of inflammatory diseases that affects both the joints and the areas where the ligaments and tendons are attached to the bones. There are several forms of spondyloarthritis, including
- Ankylosing spondylitis: This is a type of spinal arthritis that causes inflammation of the vertebrae and the joints at the base of the spine.
- Psoriatic arthritis: This is an autoimmune disorder triggered by psoriasis and it is characterized by an itchy, scaly rash.
- Reactive arthritis: In this type of arthritis, a gastrointestinal or genital infection probably triggers joint inflammation. It usually affects the lower back.
- Enteropathic arthritis: This is a type of arthritis linked to inflammatory bowel disease.
- Undifferentiated spondyloarthritis
Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Type Of Spinal Inflammatory Arthritis
Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory spinal disease characterized by joint pain and progressive stiffness in the cervical , thoracic , lumbar , and sacroiliac joints . AS is also known as radiographic axial spondyloarthritis.
AS is categorized by enthesopathy, which means an inflammatory attack where tendons and ligaments attach to bones or joint capsules . In the spine, the primary site for this enthesis is where the long spinal ligament attaches to the front of the vertebrae. Inflammation of the enthesis is called enthesitis.
The onset of AS is usually seen in people ages 15 to 45 years. Early symptoms may be similar to arthritis low back and buttock pain and stiffness that are worse in the morning and night. Some patients experience loss of appetite and mild fevers.
The onset of AS is usually seen in people ages 15 to 45 years. Early symptoms may be similar to arthritis. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
Treatment Of Arthritis In Lower Back
The question is where to start with a case like this. Back arthritis is challenging for the practitioner, it’s widely acknowledged. There are so many problems… I chose to start with some Thompson drop treatment on the sacroiliac joints and a very gentle side-posture drop bilaterally. There were no audible releases.
Coping With Low Mood And Sleep Problems
Living with pain can affect your mood and sleep, and its normal to feel low from time to time. If this is something that affects you, try going along to a pain clinic, where you can learn how to manage your pain. Theyll usually take place at outpatient clinics, and you can be referred to them by whoever is treating you.
Pain can be affected by different things, including feeling low or stressed. There are a number of talking therapies and techniques you can learn, which can help you manage your pain, support your emotional wellbeing, and deal with any low feelings you might have. Mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy can help with osteoarthritis.
Learning to relax your muscles can also help, particularly if you have neck pain and are feeling stressed, as this can cause your muscles to become more tense.
A pillow thats too firm or thick can make neck pain worse. Try to sleep with your head level to the rest of your body. Its important to have a mattress that gives your head and spine proper support.
Try having a hot bath, reading a book, or listening to the radio or a relaxation CD to wind down before bed. If pain is waking you during the night, try taking paracetamol or another painkiller before bed. Talk to your doctor or a sleep expert for more advice.
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General Signs And Symptoms Of Spinal Osteoarthritis
Regardless of the location, people with spondylosis often have 1 or more of the following signs and symptoms:
- Spinal pain that comes and goes
- Spinal stiffness first thing in the morning
- A crunching feeling or sound of bone rubbing on bone
- Spinal deformity
Symptoms of Cervical Spinal Arthritis
- Pain, tenderness, tingling, or numbness in your neck or shoulders
- Pain that radiates from your neck down into your shoulders, arms, and/or hands
- Limited range of motion in your neck
- Cervicogenic headache
- Problems maintaining balance
- Difficulty swallowing
Symptoms of Thoracic Spinal Arthritis
- Pain localized in your thoracic spine
- Pain that spikes when you bend forward and/or backward your back
Symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Arthritis
- Pain, weakness, or numbness in your low back, legs, and/or feet
- Limited range of motion in your low back
- Back pain that eases with rest or after exercising
- Severe leg pain
- Pain or tenderness in your hips, knees, or heels
- Difficulty bending and/or walking
- Loss of bowel and/or bladder function
Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of spinal arthritis. It usually affects the lower back and develops through wear and tear. As the cartilage between the joints slowly breaks down, it leads to inflammation and pain. Because the pain is from mechanical damage, it is typically more noticeable when you bend or twist your back. Past back injuries may also contribute to the development of degenerative arthritis of the spine.
Osteoarthritis of the spine usually affects the facet joints between the vertebrae. It is also known as facet joint arthritis, facet joint syndrome and facet disease. In some cases, degeneration of the spinal discs may contribute to facet joint arthritis. As discs between the vertebrae become thinner, more pressure is transferred to the facet joints. This leads to more friction and more damage to the cartilage.
When these degenerative changes occur in the neck, this condition is called cervical spondylosis. Arthritis in the neck doesnât always cause pain, and many people have no noticeable symptoms.
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How Is Osteoarthritis Of The Spine Treated
In most cases, treatment of spinal osteoarthritis is geared toward relieving the symptoms of pain and increasing a person’s ability to function. The goal is to have a healthy lifestyle.
Initial treatment may include losing weight if needed and then, for everyone, maintaining a healthy weight. It may also include exercise. Besides helping with weight management, exercise can also help:
- increase flexibility
- improve blood flow
- make it easier to do daily tasks
- Strengthening exercises. These exercises seek to make muscles that support the joints stronger. They work through resistance with the use of weights or rubber bands.
- Aerobic exercises. These are exercises that make the heart and circulatory system stronger.
- Range-of-motion exercises. These exercises increase the bodyâs flexibility.
Including rest periods in the overall treatment plan is necessary. But bed rest, splints, bracing, or traction for long periods of time is not recommended.
There are non-drug treatments available for osteoarthritis, including:
Treatments Ease Painful Spinal Arthritis Symptoms
If your doctor determines that you have spondylosis in your spine, there are several treatment options. Keep in mind, there is no cure for spinal osteoarthritis, but you can manage the pain and discomfort using medications, physical therapy, exercise, heat/cold therapy, and rest. Your doctor will explain these options to you, and together, you can develop a treatment plan that works for you.
The good news is that the majority of people who have spondylosis continue to live active and productive lives. Educating yourself about arthritis and managing your symptoms are the keys to preventing spinal osteoarthritis from interfering with the life you want to live.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you are experiencing joint pain, contact your healthcare provider. With any of the types of arthritis, its important to see a practitioner and have a treatment plan for managing the condition. There are no cures for arthritis, but treatment helps to manage the symptoms, reduce inflammation, and can even put the disease into a remission, where you will experience no symptoms for a period of time.
The longer the disease is uncontrolled, the more likely it is for more severe damage to happen to the joints, making it more difficult to live with.
Heat And Cold Therapy
Scientists have proven that applying heat or cold continuously or in frequent intervals can considerably reduce even chronic back pain and offer great relief.
Heat can be either moist or dry. Heating lamps, pads, and wearable heat packs are some of the dry heat sources. A warm bath and warm clothes that are soaked in warm water can be the moist sources.
Cold compressor filled with ice, cold therapy are also beneficial. However, it should be noted that ice should never be applied directly to the skin as it can cause sudden sensation in the nerves and joints around the area.
Also, keeping ice for too long can result in joint stiffness and may even increase the pain. A period of 20-25 minutes is considered as ideal and it can be done 2-3 times a day for best results.
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What You Need To Know
- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect the spine.
- Arthritis can occur anywhere along the spine but is more frequent in the lower back and neck.
- Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of spinal arthritis.
- Causes of spinal arthritis are still largely unknown except for osteoarthritis, which is typically a result of wear and tear.
- Spinal arthritis treatment may include pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy and surgery in severe cases.
When To Seek Medical Advice
You should see your GP if you have persistent symptoms of AS.
If your GP thinks you may have the condition, they should refer you to a specialist in conditions affecting muscles and joints for further tests and any necessary treatment.
Further tests may include blood tests and imaging tests.
Read about diagnosing ankylosing spondylitis.
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Tai Chi Instead Of Yoga
Alternative exercises like yoga are known to build strength and flexibility. But tai chi may be a better bet for alleviating pain from back arthritis.
Tai chi originated as a fighting technique, but has transformed into gentle, continuously moving stretches. Many poses work from the waist, which enhances spinal stretching.
Unlike yoga, tai chi puts little stress on the joints and helps improve balance. If youre new to tai chi, consider signing up for a class. The exercises can also be modified for severe arthritis back pain.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment May Include:
- MedicationsAs with more common osteoarthritis, treatment often begins with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications . Although most patients’ symptoms respond well to anti-inflammatory medication, these drugs do not treat the underlying disease. Sometimes medications are not strong enough.Unlike osteoarthritis, in inflammatory arthritis, certain medications can affect the actual disease. For example, TNF-blocking drugs may help block a protein that can cause inflammation . Adalimumab , etanercept and ixekizumab are three types of TNF-blockers that may stop disease progression.
- Physical therapy, therapeutic exercise Physical therapy stresses proper posture, joint mobility, and deep breathing. Some patients may develop forward posture therefore, postural training and extension exercise is helpful. Stretching and range of motion exercise helps keep the facet and rib joints mobile. Additionally, deep breathing expands the chest and aids lung function.
Transform Chores Into A Workout
If youre at a loss for where to work out, look no further than your own house. Chores can turn into opportunities for arthritis exercises.
The key is to engage your core muscles. Keep your back straight and gently contract your abdominal muscles to get the most out of your movements.
Bend with your legs and not with your back while tightening your stomach to protect your back muscles.
You can practice this technique during a variety of chores, including:
- doing laundry
Preventing Arthritis In The Back
It is very hard to cope up with your work if you are always bothered with some pain in your back due to arthritis. This can make your back hurt so much that all that you want to do is to have some nap and stop working. Arthritis in the back can make you lose your productivity. You should therefore learn to minimize or prevent the pain if you want to continue enjoying your life.
Here are some tips in order to prevent arthritis in the back:
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Arthritis In Back Relief
Various physical therapies can provide relief against arthritis in back. You may try doing tai chi and yoga exercises to relieve your condition. Finding an arthritis back relief is actually very easy, as there are various alternative treatments available for you including the following: Continue reading
What Are The Signs Of Arthritis In The Hands
May 19, 2021
Achy, swollen hands? Stiffness in your wrists? Its common to assume these are symptoms of arthritis. While 40 million Americans suffer from arthritis, its far less frequent in the hands than people expect. Instead, what many mistake for arthritis is actually tendonitis. Let’s look at the difference between arthritis and other conditions, risk factors and treatments.
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How Will Osteoarthritis Of The Spine Affect Me
The first sign of osteoarthritis of the spine is usually pain and stiffness in your back or neck.
The condition can be difficult to diagnose, as it can be hard to tell which symptoms are linked to osteoarthritis. It can even be hard to spot back and neck problems on x-rays of the spine, as changes caused by osteoarthritis dont always cause pain.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the spine will vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are:
- pain in your back or neck
- stiffness, especially first thing in the morning or after resting
- crunching or grinding noises when moving your back or neck.
People who have osteoarthritis in their neck might also have headaches or feel pain in their shoulders and arms.
Its normal for the cartilage in our joints to get thinner, especially as we get older. But in people with osteoarthritis, its the bodys normal process of repairing damage to joints that can cause pain and stiffness.
When the body starts to repair damage to cartilage, the whole joint can be affected including the bone, tendons and ligaments.
During the repair process, the edges of the bones in the spine can grow outwards, forming bony spurs. These are known as osteophytes . The discs between the vertebrae in the spine can also become thinner.
Arthritis In Lower Back Can Be Hereditary
Mrs P is doing incredibly well, and now comes in every three weeks for maintenance care … Yesterday she told me… Her great niece, aged 17 had Harrington rods put in her spine about four years ago for the scoliosis. It was apparently reasonably successful. But last week, the lass went in for a further spinal fusion at L5-S1 – and woke up with a foot-drop. Nuff said…
Update: Mrs P continues to do well. We have now exended the maintenance treatment to every six weeks. And, the arthritis of the back is no different. Another X-ray would probably look just the same. But she’s a different woman. The arthritis of the back wasn’t per se the cause of her pain.
Research shows that if you are significantly over weight, that losing a lot of weight is the most important treatment you can do for arthritic hips, knees and feet. So choose: a knee replacement or lose 50 pounds. Your call, it’s probably going to be one or the other.
It’s true in religion, but it’s true in healthcare too. Like: “You have arthritis, Mrs Jones. I’m afraid there’s nothing to be done.”
It’s a conviction commonly held in medical circles and light years from the scientifically proven truth. Think fatty fish, think exercise, think weight loss, think strawberries, think magnesium deficiency … think Chiropractic.
But yes, sometimes it is difficult. Always? Definitely not!
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