Wednesday, July 24, 2024

How To Stop Arthritis From Spreading

Stopping The Spread Of Osteoarthritis Depends On Certain Lifestyle Changes

Eliminate stiffness and pain from HAND ARTHRITIS | Dr. Alyssa Kuhn

You should make certain lifestyle changes to stop the spread of your osteoarthritis or avoid osteoarthritis-related complications. These include the following-

Low-Intensive Exercises: Low-intensive exercises may improve the overall health of your joints. Hence, you should always look for physical activities, which consist of stretching and strength training combined with aerobic exercise. Regular exercise may help you in preventing or slowing down your osteoarthritis symptoms. Moreover, exercise may help you by relieving your stiffness and pain, reduce fatigue, maintain healthy joints, and increase both bone and muscular strength.

Management Of Occupational Risks: Jobs involving repetitive motions may be hard on the joints. In this situation, you should communicate with your doctor to discuss different ways to manage or reduce your risks related to osteoarthritis. Especially, you should stay aware of your job involves lifting, kneeling, walking, and twisting activities frequently.

Lose Weight If You Are An Obese: Excess weight is a major risk factor associated with osteoarthritis. Additional body weight places extra stress on the joints, which increases the risk related to joint cartilage deterioration. Losing excessive body weight may help you in reducing your pain and improving the underlying osteoarthritis symptoms.

Balancing Rest And Activity

Both work and leisure activities are important but you can overdo them. Take short breaks and alternate heavy and light activities during the day. Pace yourself by learning to balance periods of work with rest breaks so you dont place too much stress on your joints or get too tired. You may need to take longer or more frequent rest breaks when your disease is more active.

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Take Control Of Your Health

Arthritis isnt an entirely preventable disease. Some of us are always going to be more susceptible to it than others. We may have a genetic pre-disposition, we may have to work at a desk all day, or we may simply be getting older.

Dont let this discourage you. There are so many ways you can take control of your own health and take steps to relieving your arthritis symptoms.

Maybe you havent developed arthritis yet, and maybe you never will. But these are still great tips and great measures you can take to keep your body healthy and functioning properly.

Eating well, exercising regularly, avoiding injury and visiting your doctor are all great ideas regardless of whether or not you think you might be developing arthritis. By following these steps, youll soon be well on your way to a healthier you.

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Is Arthritis The Same Thing As A Degenerative Joint Disease

A degenerative joint disease is the same thing as osteoarthritis. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia says that osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is caused by aging or wear and tear on the joints. Osteoarthritis is sometimes called a degenerative joint disease because the soft, cushion-like cartilage found between all bones at the joints breaks down and wears away. This is called degeneration of the joints and is why arthritic joints hurt so much.

The bones in the joints affected by arthritis touch each other unprotected, slowly and painfully rubbing and grinding the bones away. The joints hurt with sometimes excruciating pain, becoming stiff, swollen, and inflamed. The muscles and ligaments surrounding the joints become weaker, increasing the risk of falls and fractures. Sometimes the joints make a creaking or grinding sound. They can be very tender to the touch, have a limited range of motion, and make even simple tasks extremely difficult to perform.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. With rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the joints, eating away the synovium- a lining surrounding the joint capsule which lubricates the joints.

Stop Ignoring Your Physical Limitations

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Just as there are people with arthritis who aren’t active at all, there are those who push beyond their limits. The trick is to pace your activities. Overdoing it is just as harmful as underdoing it.

Pushing your limits can increase pain and put you at higher risk of joint damage. Respect pain and choose activities with your physical limitations in mind.

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Arthritis Is A Naturally Occurring Phenomenon

Arthritis is a naturally occurring phenomenon. When your muscles are no longer strong enough to support the joints, your body starts laying down extra bony growth, This extra bony growth is what we refer to as arthritis. To stop arthritis from occurring you simply have to first move well then move often.

No : Avoid Injuries Or Get Them Treated

Suffering a joint injury when you are young predisposes you to osteoarthritis in the same joint when you are older. Injuring a joint as an adult may put the joint at even greater risk. A long-term study of 1,321 graduates of Johns Hopkins Medical School found that people who injured a knee in adolescence or young adulthood were three times more likely to develop osteoarthritis in that knee, compared those who had not suffered an injury. People who injured their knee as an adult had a five times greater risk of osteoarthritis in the joint.

To avoid joint injuries when exercising or playing sports, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommends the following:

  • Avoid bending knees past 90 degrees when doing half knee bends.
  • Keep feet as flat as possible during stretches to avoid twisting knees.
  • When jumping, land with knees bent.
  • Do warm-up exercises before sports, even less vigorous ones such as golf.
  • Cool down after vigorous sports.
  • Wear properly fitting shoes that provide shock absorption and stability.
  • Exercise on the softest surface available avoid running on asphalt and concrete.

If you have a joint injury, its important to get prompt medical treatment and take steps to avoid further damage, such as modifying high-impact movements or using a brace to stabilize the joint.

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What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Hand

Hand osteoarthritis is inflammation that causes pain and stiffness in your joints. It usually happens in three places:

  • The base of your thumb, where it meets your wrist
  • One of the joints closest to your fingertips
  • The middle joint of a finger

Theres no cure, but there are a lot of ways to protect your joints and feel better.

Without treatment, osteoarthritis gets worse over time. Itâs important to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan as soon as possible.

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How Can I Manage The Symptoms Of Post

Rheumatoid Arthritis Hand Exercises | Mobility & Strength

The best way to manage your post-traumatic arthritis symptoms is to move and exercise your joints. Arthritis can get worse over time if its not treated. Follow the instructions your provider or physical therapist give you. Talk to your provider about any changes in your symptoms, especially if they get worse.

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How Can A Person With Arthritis Cope With It

Coping skills can help you manage the changes arthritis can bring to your life. Pain, stress and changes in roles and your physical appearance can cause depression and other strong feelings.

Use mental exercises and things you enjoy doing to relieve stress. Talk about the changes arthritis brings and share your feelings with family and friends.

Two sections in this article offer specific suggestions for coping.

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.

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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

  • Collapsed vertebrae

  • A spinal deformity called kyphosis

Tips For Preventing Arthritis

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There is no known cure for arthritis. In fact, most treatments for arthritis are aimed at early recognition and prevention. Genetics can increase your likelihood for developing arthritis, as can a strong family history of the disease. Women are also more prone to arthritis than men.

You may try to prevent arthritis and still develop the disease. However, you can take actions to reduce your risk:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. This can help to fight off OA.
  • Dont smoke, or quit smoking. This may reduce your chance of developing RA.
  • Try to avoid injury when playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
  • If your job requires a lot of pushing, pulling, or lifting of heavy objects, take precautions to avoid injury to your joints.
  • If your job calls for a lot of typing, practice good posture. If necessary, get a special keyboard, wrist cushion, or pad.

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How Effective Are Drugs Like Methotrexate

Research has shown that conventional disease-modifying drugs can prevent damage to joints and relieve symptoms. In research on medication for rheumatoid arthritis, a treatment is considered to work if it reduces swelling in the joints and at least three of the following improvements occur:

  • Better overall rating of general health

An analysis of methotrexate studies that lasted one year found the following:

  • Symptoms were reduced by at least a half in 23 out of 100 people who took methotrexate.
  • Symptoms were reduced by the same amount in 8 out of 100 people who took a placebo for comparison.

So treatment with methotrexate helped 15 out of 100 people to feel significantly better. Symptoms like morning stiffness also improved in a lot more people who took a conventional disease-modifying drug.

There hasnât yet been any good-quality research looking into whether one particular conventional disease-modifying drug is more effective than any of the others.

How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect The Entire Body

Like many autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis typically waxes and wanes. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis experience periods when their symptoms worsen separated by periods in which the symptoms improve. With successful treatment, symptoms may even go away completely .

Although rheumatoid arthritis can have many different symptoms, joints are always affected. Rheumatoid arthritis almost always affects the joints of the hands , wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and/or feet. The larger joints, such as the shoulders, hips, and jaw, may be affected. The vertebrae of the neck are sometimes involved in people who have had the disease for many years. Usually at least two or three different joints are involved on both sides of the body, often in a symmetrical pattern. The usual joint symptoms include the following:

These symptoms may keep someone from being able to carry out normal activities. General symptoms include the following:

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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.

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Preventing Arthritis Of The Spine

Aside from possible inherited vulnerability for osteoarthritis, much of the harm that occurs to facet joints is the product of lifestyle factors and how they combine with each other. Things that contribute to stress and strain on the joints, including the facet joints, include obesity, high blood-sugar levels , lack of adequate physical exercise, and injury. The good news is, arthritis can be prevented and its progression can be slowed down. Here are four ways to take control and keep your facet joints in tiptop shape:

  • Lose the extra pounds. Unnecessary weight equals unnecessary force on your joints, putting too much pressure on the cartilage that lines the bone surfaces where they meet to form a joint. This is as true for the spine as it is for knees and ankles. Just as important, fat itself is formed by a range of cell types connected with metabolic regulation and energy storage. Having too many fat cells is a disorder that results in system-wide inflammation that not only leads to many disorders but also harms the composition of cartilage. Protect your cartilage by losing weight.
  • Control blood sugar. Did you know that over half of people with diabetes also have arthritis? High blood sugar is significantly linked with molecular factors that stiffen cartilage, making it more brittle and less resilient when under the mechanical stress of joint motion. Diabetes is also associated with inflammatory processes in the body.

    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.

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    Questions And Information For Your Rheumatologist

    Whether you are planning an initial visit to a rheumatologist for an evaluation or are going to see your long-established healthcare provider, to make the most of a visit to the doctors office, consider the following:

    • Bring in a full list of the medications you are taking as well as any vitamins or supplements .
    • If you are already taking medication, prepare notes about any reactions or side effects that you feel may be related to the drugs that you are taking.
    • Be ready to report any physical or emotional changes that you are experiencing, whether or not they are strictly related to your inflammatory arthritis, and
    • Bring in reports or copies of any blood tests or imaging tests (X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs of joints that were done to better understand your arthritis.
    • Bring a list of any questions you have about any aspect of your care.
    • If it is your first visit, be ready to provide a list of all health conditions, prior surgeries and any allergies.

    Some people also find it helpful to bring a loved one, friend or caregiver along on a doctors appointment, in order to have a second âset of earsâ for any new information or instructions given. On occasion, close family members cannot fully understand the impact inflammatory arthritis has and it may be helpful for them to join you on a visit to your rheumatologist.

    Can Osteoarthritis Be Prevented Or Avoided

    May Is National Arthritis Awareness Month

    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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    How Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Treated

    There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but early diagnosis and appropriate treatment enables many people with rheumatoid arthritis to have periods of months or even years between flares and to be able to lead full lives and continue regular employment.

    The main treatment options include:

    • medication that is taken in the long-term to relieve symptoms and slow the progress of the condition
    • supportive treatments, such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy, to help keep you mobile and find ways around any problems you have with daily activities
    • surgery to correct any joint problems that develop

    Read more about treating rheumatoid arthritis.

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