Sunday, May 19, 2024

How To Make Arthritis Better

Who Is At Risk For Arthritis

Can My Knee Arthritis Get Better?

Some risk factors for arthritis that cant be avoided or changed include:

  • Age. The older you are, the more likely you are to have arthritis.

  • Gender. Women are more likely to have arthritis than men.

  • Heredity. Some types of arthritis are linked to certain genes.

Risk factors that may be avoided or changed include:

  • Weight. Being overweight or obese can damage your knee joints. This can make them more likely to develop osteoarthritis.

  • Injury. A joint that has been damaged by an injury is more likely to develop arthritis at some point.

  • Infection. Reactive arthritis can affect joints after an infection.

  • Your job. Work that involves repeated bending or squatting can lead to knee arthritis.

Why Does Arthritis Cause Painsomnia

The reason people with arthritis are more likely to have sleep issues is likely due to several issues. Your levels of cortisol, a hormone that helps control inflammation, are lower at night. Lying down can cause inflammatory chemicals to pool in the fluid that cushions your joints, which makes them stiffen up. And your perception of pain may be heightened during the nighttime because youre not distracted by anything else.

But just because painsomnia is normal and common doesnt mean you have to accept it. Like Lackey, you have to find what works for you to help you get your rest. We talked to people with arthritis about the tricks theyve learned for getting a good nights sleep.

Key Points About Arthritis

  • Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases cause pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective tissues in the body.

  • Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases can affect people of all ages. They are more common in women than men.

  • Symptoms may include pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, or redness in 1 or more joints.

  • There is no cure for arthritis. The treatment goal is to limit pain and inflammation and preserve joint function.

  • Treatment options include medicines, weight reduction, exercise, and surgery.

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Painsomnia Is Real But This Advice Can Help You Start Sleeping Well Again

Painsomnia the inability to sleep due to pain is a major problem for people with arthritis. As many as 80 percent of patients will have trouble falling and/or staying asleep, and thats true for people with osteoarthritis or inflammatory types of arthritis.

The pain from my arthritis was unimaginable, which made it impossible to sleep. Then the feelings of exhaustion due to lack of sleep made everything feel worse, turning into a vicious cycle, says Kimberly Lackey, whose experiences with reactive arthritis and cancer led her to become a therapist and integrative health coach who specializes in helping people with chronic illnesses.

Not being able to sleep isnt just painful it can also feel scary, Lackey says. I remember lying in bed, fearing that I would be stuck this way and worrying that the pain would never end, she says. I would obsess over all the things I did wrong to cause it. These thoughts only made her insomnia worse. I learned it was important to focus on the positive. Sometimes that meant reading inspiring stories or meditating. On bad nights she says she would repeat the phrase This too shall pass over and over.

It can be easy to forget in the darkest part of the night, but your flare-up is temporary. It wont last forever. It does get better, she says.

Conduct Plenty Of Research About Arthritis

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Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints that is caused by wear and tear. It is usually accompanied by pain, stiffness, and loss of movement in the joint. There are many types of arthritis, with the most common form being osteoarthritis which affects more than 20 million people in America.

A topical treatment for arthritis would be nails or vitamins.

Arthritis is a condition involving joint pain and stiffness. It can be caused by different things, including genetics and injuries. There are many kinds of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis, which develops as we age and can be linked to poor joint health and repetitive motions.

Arthritis affects people in all stages of life however, it seems to most severely affect those 60 years old and up.

Many people are unaware of what arthritis is. It’s an umbrella term that includes several disease types. The most common type for adults is osteoarthritis, which affects the joints and their surrounding cartilage. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, but can be manageable with medication and other treatments. The other type, rheumatoid arthritis, is less common, but it’s more likely to cause long-term joint damage. With this condition, pain will typically worsen over time.

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Effects On Your Daily Life

  • See a doctor or other relevant healthcare professional if youre unable to do everyday tasks due to joint or muscle pain.
  • If youve lifted something heavy and hurt your back, for example, take some painkillers, apply some heat and try to stay active. If the pain doesnt ease after a couple of weeks or so, see a doctor.

Its important to see a doctor if you get any new symptoms or if you have any trouble with drugs youre taking.

If you have an appointment with a doctor, to help make sure you get the most out of it, you could take a list of questions with you and tick them off as they are discussed.

You could also keep a symptoms diary with details of how youre feeling in between appointments. Some people find that taking a friend or relative with them to an appointment can provide support and ensure that all important points are discussed.

Get Foot Pain Relief With Arthritis

Need some foot pain relief? If you are older than 60, you may find yourself saying Oh, my aching feet! often. According to the Arthritis Foundation, close to half of people in their sixties and seventies suffer from arthritis foot pain. In fact, the damage starts even sooner: Beginning in your forties, your feet begin to show wear and tear, explains Dennis Frisch, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Boca Raton, Florida.

Arthritis is inflammation in or around the joints that results in swelling, pain, and stiffness. It can generally be divided in two categories:

  • Osteoarthritis and other wear-and-tear types of arthritis
  • Inflammatory arthritis

Osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis, affects millions of people worldwide. This type of arthritis occurs over time and by overuse. The cartilage between the bones at your pivotal joints wears away. As a result, your bones grind against each other, causing pain and swelling. Very often osteoarthritis also causes degeneration of the cartilage at the base of your big toe, resulting in big toe joint pain. Bony spurs then develop at the joint there, followed by pain in the big toe and decreased motion of the joint.

Arthritis in the feet causes pain and a loss of strength, flexibility, or exercise ability. For millions of people with arthritis in the feet, simple daily tasks such as walking out to get the mail can be painful. Eventually, walking may become nearly impossible.

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Find Your Healthy Weight

Being a healthy weight is important for everyone, but especially for those suffering from joint pain.1 Excess weight places increased stress on your whole body, especially your joints.2 But heres the good newslosing even just a few pounds can help you reduce pressure on your ankles, knees, and hips.3 For your best odds of long-term weight loss success, take off the pounds slowly using a healthy eating plan and regularly engaging in physical activity.

Salmon Tuna Sardines And Mackerel

How to Better Manage Your Rheumatoid Arthritis | Access Health

These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have found can decrease inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, eating a 3 to 4 ounce serving of these fish two or more times a week is recommended for protecting the heart and reducing inflammation.

While fresh fish can get pricey quickly, one tip to make it more affordable is by looking in the freezer section or buying canned sardines, salmon or tuna. Be sure to choose lower sodium options when purchasing canned items if you need to keep your sodium in check.

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See Your Doctor And Have A Discussion About Arthritis

A lot of people have arthritis, but they dont always realize it or talk about it. This is a conversation that needs to happen as many people with arthritis forget about their limitations and push themselves too hard, causing more joint pain and problems. A doctor can help you identify if you do have arthritis and discuss treatments that will work best for you.

As we age, our bodies tend to give us signals that something is wrong. One sign that something may be wrong with your body is if you are starting to feel pain. For some people, this may be arthritis. Arthritis is a joint disorder that causes inflammation and stiffening of the joints. It can happen in any joint but it most often affects the hands, feet, knees or hips.

Did you know that more than 1.5 million people in the United States alone are living with arthritis? As arthritis causes joint damage and pain, it can be difficult to perform day-to-day tasks. Studies show that people with arthritis are getting inadequate treatment because they are not receiving diagnosis or not receiving adequate treatment. If you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, visit your doctor for a discussion about arthritis to see what’s causing your symptoms.

Schedule More Time For Sleep

One of the first thing that Mark M.s doctor told him when he was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis was to forget the rule that you need seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Ive learned that when you have an autoimmune illness you need way more sleep than a normal person, says the 31-year-old from Katy, Texas. During flare-ups I really need 12 to 14 hours of sleep per night so I actually put my early bedtime into my calendar. I treat it like an appointment, non-negotiable.

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What If My Pain Worsens After Exercise

When you start any new physical activity, aches and stiffness are normal. It can take time for your joints to adjust to your new exercise routine, so its important to stick to it and give your body time to acclimate.

Warming up and cooling down before and after you exercise can help ease sore muscles and prevent injury. You should also modify your activity as your body adjusts. If your pain doesnt improve, exercise for less time or for fewer days each week until it does.

Furthermore, try different activities. If cycling is too painful, for example, try swimming.

Be sure to call Dr. Dupay if your pain doesnt improve, is sharp or stabbing, or gets worse at night. You should also call him if you experience a dramatic increase in swelling or your joints feel warm or appear red.

Evidence About Diet And Arthritis


People with gout may find that avoiding certain foods, in combination with gout medication, may prevent a gout attack.

However, theres no substantial scientific evidence that other forms of arthritis can be improved or alleviated by avoiding particular foods.

There is no conclusive evidence that the following foods trigger or aggravate the symptoms associated with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions:

  • acidic foods such as lemons, oranges and tomatoes
  • nightshade foods such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants

These foods all contain important nutrients and avoiding them may cause other health problems.

People who have an intolerance to certain foods have found that excluding them from their diet can make them feel better overall. However, its unclear how this affects arthritis symptoms. If youre thinking of excluding foods from your diet, speak with a dietitian to make sure youre not eliminating important nutrients.

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Sleep On A Heated Mattress Pad

A heated mattress pad on bottom and a heated blanket on top is Angie K.s recipe for getting good sleep in spite of her osteoarthritis. The 51-year-old, from Salt Lake City, Utah, says the heat helps her fall asleep, keeps her joints from locking during the night, and wake up with less pain. Im basically an electric burrito but it works, she says.

Do Some Gentle Stretches

Oftentimes, morning stiffness is a result of lying still for hours all night long. Moving through gentle stretches will ultimately prevent the progression of stiffness in the morning, Pendergast says. Sometimes just moving your joints gently through their full range-of-motion is what you need to get them oiled up for the day. Find what feels good and avoid stretching or moving through any movement that causes you more pain, she says. Try some of these RA-approved stretches.

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What Type Of Hand Surgery Is Most Commonly Performed On The Specific Joints Affected By Arthritis

  • Base of the thumb: Where your thumb and wrist join. Common surgical options include removing part or all of one of the trapezium bone , tendon transfer or joint fusion.
  • Knuckles : Joint replacement is almost always considered for this repair. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause serious damage and disability to your knuckles.
  • Second joint of your finger : Osteoarthritis commonly causes stiffness and loss of motion. Joint replacement or fusion are considered for these joints. Because you use these joints frequently, there is a chance your implant could wear out. In this case, your provider may recommend further surgery.
  • Top of finger joint : Joint fusion is commonly used to treat arthritis in this joint.

Are Certain Exercises Easier On The Knees

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Being A Better Patient

Water aerobics are often suggested when recuperating from sore joints.

Although the water can have a soothing, buoyant effect on your knees, Bell says its unlikely to produce enough resistance to strengthen the surrounding muscles.

If you really want to create enough resistance to make a difference, land-based exercises ultimately are what you need, she says.

Some of her favorites include cycling, at moderate or high intensity, and strengthening exercises like Pilates.

You may be able to get more out of a low-impact workout by incorporating weighted elastic bands or free weights into your routine.

You may also find it beneficial to wear a knee brace while exercising.

If you havent already, talk with your doctor about whether this is a good option for you. They can make specific recommendations and advise you on best practices.

Youll likely experience mild soreness when exercising, especially if you havent exercised for a while.

When planning your routine, be sure to keep the level of intensity reasonable.

Your doctor or physical therapist can provide a personalized recommendation suited to your needs.

The dose of exercise should be enough to produce a difference, but not so much that you become injured or discouraged.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop exercising until you can see your doctor:

If the pain persists, resist the temptation to mask it with pain medication, Bell says. You want to find out the underlying cause of the problem and fix it.

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Are There Any Complications

Osteoarthritis can develop over just a year or two, but more often its a slow process over many years that only causes fairly small changes in just part of the knee.

But in some cases, the cartilage can become so thin that it no longer covers the ends of the bones. This causes them to rub against each other and eventually wear away.

The loss of cartilage, the wearing of the bones, and the bony spurs can change the shape of the joint. This forces the bones out of their normal positions, making your knee feel unstable and painful.

Some people with osteoarthritis find a lump appears at the back of their knee. This is called a Bakers cyst or popliteal cyst.

A Bakers cyst is fluid-filled swelling at the back of the knee that happens when part of the joint lining bulges through a small tear in the joint capsule. This can then cause joint fluid to be trapped in the bulge.

It can happen on its own, but is more likely in a knee thats already affected by arthritis. A Bakers cyst doesnt always cause pain, but sometimes they can burst so the fluid leaks down into your calf, causing sharp pain, swelling and redness in the calf.

Osteoarthritis in the knee might change the way you walk or carry your weight, and this could cause you to develop the condition in other joints, such as your hips.

Use Heat Or Cold Safely

  • Use either heat or cold for only 15-20 minutes at a time. Let your skin return to its normal temperature before using another application.
  • Always put a towel between your skin and any type of pack.
  • Always follow the advice of your physical therapist or doctor carefully when using these methods especially heat.
  • Check your skin before and after using heat or cold.
  • Use milder temperatures for a childs skin because it is more sensitive than an adults skin.


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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.

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