Causes Of Elbow Arthritis
While the elbow is not considered a weight-bearing joint , there are loads placed through this joint with daily activities. Whenever we push ourselves up from a chair, push a door open, lift or carry an object, we are placing stresses through the elbow. The joint may also be put through extra unexpected stress with the use a walker or a cane.
This is not to say that all stresses to the elbow are bad controlled stress can be quite beneficial in helping to maintain motion, strength, and bone density.
Does Psoriatic Arthritis Run In Families
While the exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is not known, studies suggest that some people having psoriatic arthritis can also have a close family member with a similar condition. So, if there is a family member with psoriatic arthritis, the chances may be higher than others, but it is believed that psoriatic arthritis occurs due to combination of factors which include a persons genetic make-up, immune condition and environmental factors. Hence it affects different people differently, even when seen in the same family.
Surgery As A Last Resort
If all the treatment options fail, which is rare, a doctor will suggest surgery. The surgery will work best for chronic cases lasting several months or infections. Elbow bursitis is a minimally invasive surgery, meaning the patient can leave the same day. The procedure removes the bursa and any bone spurs that may be causing elbow pain. The patient will need about 4-6 weeks of recovery with a splint to protect the surgical site. Surgery has a high success rate and can help with long-term pain.
You May Like: How To Deal With Arthritis
What Causes Arthritis Of The Elbow
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the joint linings, or synovia. As the joint lining swells, the joint space narrows. The disease gradually destroys the bones and soft tissues. Usually, RA affects both elbows, as well other joints such as the hand, wrist and shoulder.
Osteoarthritis affects the cushioning cartilage on the ends of the bones that enables them to move smoothly in the joint. As the cartilage is destroyed, the bones begin to rub against each other. Loose fragments within the joint may accelerate degeneration.
Trauma or injury to the elbow can also damage the cartilage of the joint. This can lead to the development of arthritis in the injured joint.
Who Is At Risk For Osteoarthritis
OA is one of the top causes of disability in older adults. Anyone can develop the condition, but some people are more likely to develop it because of their lifestyle, occupation, or habits. People who are more likely to develop elbow OA include:
- who regularly perform strenuous manual activity, such as shoveling or hammering
- people with a history of injury or fracture to the elbow
- older people
You May Like: Elevated Rheumatoid Levels
Arthritis In Elbow: Home Remedies And Exercises For Pain Relief
Arthritis of the elbow may be osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. For many people, arthritis of the elbow causes immense discomfort and pain not only when they bend their elbow, but also when they straighten it. Diet and lifestyle changes are the chief ways of managing arthritis successfully.
Arthritis of the elbow is essentially inflammation of the elbow joint resulting in pain and discomfort, stiffness, reduced range of movement and even incapacitation with regard to day to day activities.
Occasionally, there may be tenderness, swelling and redness as well. Treatment and prompt management is crucial to prevent further deterioration of the joint. In extreme cases you may have to resort to pain killers, however, a host of home remedies and natural treatments provide immense relief.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Help To Manage Elbow Psoriatic Arthritis
Elbow psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition, which can also affect a persons mood and can even have an impact on the professional, personal and social life. Important lifestyle changes like learning to manage stress, making healthier dietary choices and being fit can be helpful. Taking regular breaks from work, relaxation techniques or joining support groups, if required can be considered.
Fatigue being an important symptom, adequate rest and a balance of work, activity and rest is essential. A good nights sleep and spaced out activities during the day time can help relieve manage fatigue and stress.
Changing habits like smoking and alcohol consumption can help in many ways. Maintaining an ideal weight can relieve some pressure on the joints and reduce pain. Regular exercise and activity can help to maintain energy levels and improve joint function too.
You May Like: Arthritic Pain Symptoms
How To Treat Elbow Arthritis
After a patient has been diagnosed with arthritis in their elbows, their health care professional will start to compile an appropriate treatment plan for them. Most types of arthritis cannot be cured, but the symptoms that the disease causes can be reduced effectively with the use of certain treatment options. Some medication may also be used to slow the progression of arthritis diagnosed in the patient. Elbow pain treatment is also administered to help reduce pain and inflammation and to increase mobility and range of motion so that the patient can experience an improvement in their quality of life.
The most common type of treatment for elbow arthritis is to utilize NSAIDs, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs have been designed to reduce inflammation around the affected joints and also to assist with relieving the painful symptoms a patient may be experiencing. The most common kinds of NSAIDs used for arthritis include Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen, Naproxen, Celecoxib and Diclofenac, as reported by the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network.
Signs Of Elbow Arthritis
The most common symptom of elbow arthritis is the pain, although restrictions in mobility and limited ability to perform upper extremity activities are also common. Patients can typically tolerate mild symptoms of arthritis, as upper extremity joint problems are better tolerated , and most elbow activities don’t require people to have full range of motion.
- Pain in the elbow
- Grinding sensations of the elbow
- Instability of the elbow joint
You May Like: I Think I Have Arthritis
What To Expect After Elbow Arthritis Surgery
Surgery for Elbow Arthritis is generally successful at reducing pain and improving function of the elbow. Physical therapy is an important part of the recover process. This is usually for 2-3 months after surgery to improve range of motion, and to strengthen and stabilize the muscles around the elbow.
**Disclaimer: Treatment recommendations may vary depending on your true diagnosis. Always follow the recommendations of your orthopedic provider.
Addressing Elbow Arthritis With Physical Therapy
Active range of motion in a pain-free arc helps to stimulate the production of normal synovial fluid that helps lubricate the joint. Heat is effective in increasing circulation to the area, allowing for easier joint movement and less stiffness. Stiffness refers to the quality of the motion, but there can also be a loss in the quantity of motion available in the joint .
Your therapist can show you exercises to help maintain or increase your range of motion. It is important that there is no pain with the exercises because this may lead to more damage to the joint. Joint Protection: It is important to prolong the life of your joints and take care of them the way you would take care of anything else you value. This involves modifying the way in which an activity is performed and/or using an adaptive piece of equipment to make the activity easier. There are basic principles of joint protection that are good to apply not only to your elbow, but to any joint that is prone to arthritis:
Recommended Reading: Serum Negative Inflammatory Arthritis
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis Of The Elbow
Symptoms of elbow arthritis can include:
- Pain. In the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, pain may be primarily on the outer side of the joint. Pain generally gets worse as you turn your forearm. The pain of osteoarthritis may get worse as you extend your arm. Pain that continues during the night or when you are at rest indicates a more advanced stage of osteoarthritis.
- Swelling. This is more common with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Instability. The joint isn’t stable and gives way, making it difficult or impossible to do normal daily activities.
- Lack of full movement. You are not able to straighten or bend the elbow.
- Locking. Your elbow joint catches or locks. This can happen with osteoarthritis.
- Stiffness. This happens particularly with arthritis that develops after an injury.
- Pain in both elbows. Having pain in both elbows or pain at the wrists or shoulders as well as pain in the elbows is a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.
What Are Common Treatment Options For Elbow Ra
Because RA is such a complex disorder, there are many different plans for treatment. Your doctor will discuss your case to determine what treatment will be most effective for you.
RA is usually treated in a multi-modal fashion, meaning that the treatment is a combination of several methods which attack the joint inflammation in different manners. Some treatments that are often utilized for RA in the elbow include:
Prescription and Over-The-Counter Drug Treatments Common NSAIDs may be used to reduce ongoing pain and swelling. However, there are other drug therapies that may be required for controlling severe and lasting inflammation.
Rest and Immobilization In some cases, your doctor may feel that resting the joint will be in your best interest. Restricted activity and immobilization through the use of a brace may be a good solution. However, it is important that the muscles are not allowed to atrophy from underuse, so physical therapy may be required.
Surgery Although you and your doctor would often prefer a conservative approach, sometimes surgery is the best choice for RA. Surgical interventions can restore function in the joint and may provide pain relief too.
If you think that you may suffer from RA, you likely have many considerations and concerns. Make sure you share these with your doctor so you can work together towards a better future with less pain and better function for your elbow or elbows!
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis In Elbow
Various symptoms may be experienced when a person has developed arthritis in their elbow. For people wondering what does arthritis in elbow feels like, it is important to know that the common symptom that may be experienced is pain. Cedars-Sinai explains that one of the earliest symptoms is often pain in the elbow joints outer side. The pain often becomes more severe when the forearm is rotated or extended. Note that elbow pain that continues to be present even after periods of resting, such as at night, may indicate more serious osteoarthritis.
Inflammation may also be present, although this particular symptom is more common when a patient has Rheumatoid Arthritis. With Osteoarthritis, inflammation is not always present. The elbow joint may also become unstable and its flexibility may also be reduced significantly. Some patients find that their elbow joint locks up in this case, the patient is suspected to be suffering from Osteoarthritis.
Stiffness is a very common symptom with both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. The elbow may feel stiff and regular movements, such as straightening the arm of bending the arm at the elbow may become harder.
It is also important to note that if the pain is experienced in both elbows and not only one, then the patient will be suspected of Rheumatoid Arthritis. In addition to experiencing pain in both elbows, the shoulders or wrists are also often affected as well.
What It Feels Like
Pain from rheumatoid arthritis in the elbow is often symmetrical and best described as a dull ache or throbbing pain.
In the beginning stages, you may have intermittent pain that comes and goes, or you may only feel pain with certain movements like bending your elbow.
As your disease progresses, elbow pain can become persistent, or the slightest movement can trigger discomfort.
Pain from RA in the elbow differs from pain caused by an injury. With an injury, pain can be short-term and gradually improve. RA pain does not improve on its own. Instead, pain can become progressively worse if left untreated.
RA in the elbow may also feel worse at certain times of the day, such as in the morning.
Don’t Miss: How To Deal With Arthritis
How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect The Elbow
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any of the joints in the body, including the elbow joint. This long-term condition causes inflammation, stiffness, and pain around affected joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis in the elbow can be very uncomfortable, and it may affect daily tasks, such as reaching for objects and carrying bags. It can cause permanent damage to the elbow joint and even change its shape.
In this article, we take a close look at how arthritis can affect the elbow. We also cover treatment options, including exercise, surgery, and steroid injections.
How does rheumatoid arthritis affect the elbow?
RA in the elbow can cause pain and stiffness.
When RA affects the elbow, it causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness in and around the joint. The swelling can lead to reduced mobility in the elbow joint.
The elbow joint connects the upper arm to the forearm. It is a complex joint comprising three bones and several smaller parts. The elbow joint affects the movement of the hand and forearm, so people rely on its mobility to carry out many everyday tasks.
In the early stages of RA, people may only feel pain when they lift objects or strain the elbow joint. Although movements that involve the elbow can be uncomfortable, there is usually little impact on the range of motion.
In up to 20 percent of people with RA, small, firm bumps called nodules will also appear around the elbow.
Symptoms of RA in the elbow
RA can cause several other symptoms, including:
Elbow Arthritis Treatment And Symptoms
Elbow arthritis is relatively uncommon compared to arthritis of other joints in the body including the hands, hips, and knees. That said, some people suffer from symptoms of painful arthritis symptoms and require treatment for this condition. Problems with the elbow joint can cause significant pain and disability. However, there are effective treatments for arthritis of the elbow joint.
Also Check: How To Deal With Arthritis
There Are Different Types Of Arthritis
People often talk about their arthritis flare-ups however, not everyone realizes that there are actually over a hundred different types of arthritis. There are also other health conditions related to arthritis. What they all have in common is inflammation of the joints and significant pain.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type. This degenerative arthritis affects more than 27 million people. Rheumatoid arthritis is another, affecting about 1.5 million adult Americans the majority of these people are women. Juvenile arthritis affects children and includes several types of arthritis.
Gout is one of the most painful types of arthritis. More men than women suffer from gout, which affects nearly 4% of the adults in this country. While it usually affects the joint in your big toe, it can also affect other joints, including your elbow.
Silicon Valley Orthopaedics is known for providing pain relief for those suffering with elbow arthritis through effective treatment. Before your pain gets worse or you lose mobility, give us a call and schedule an appointment. We have successful treatment options focused on conservative therapies for providing relief from arthritis and other conditions.
Posted on behalf of Silicon Valley Orthopaedics
39180 Farwell Dr., Suite 110Fremont, CA 94538
Ra In Elbow: What Is The Treatment For Arthritis In The Elbow
The elbow is a unique joint that allows your arm to move and bend in many ways. You use your elbow to pick up, to put down, to work and to play. You usually take for granted that your elbow will work without pain, but this isnt always the case.
It could be that you were wracked with elbow pain when moving a large piece of furniture, you may have felt a twinge when playing tennis with a friend or perhaps you noticed that there are unexplained aches in this joint when fully at rest. Rheumatoid Arthritis as it affects the elbow can come on unexpectedly and with a vengeance, or it may start out slowly and build to something you cant manage.
Recommended Reading: Home Remedy For Arthritis In Hands
Synovectomy And Removal Of Osteophytes
If you have severe rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in your elbow your surgeon may recommend a synovectomy and removal of osteophytes. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the synovium and bone spurs from the elbow joint. This surgical procedure typically offers pain relief, improves the patients range of motion, and is done during the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis.
How Is Arthritis Of The Elbow Treated
The first treatments used for elbow arthritis include:
- Cut back on activity. Osteoarthritis may be caused by the repetitive overuse of the joint. Avoiding certain activities or sports may be helpful. Having periods of rest after exercise or activity involving your elbow can relieve stress on the joint.
- Pain management. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide short-term pain relief. More powerful drugs may be prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. These include anti-malarial agents, gold salts, drugs that suppress your immune system and corticosteroids. An injection of a corticosteroid into the joint can often help.
- Physical therapy. Applying heat or cold to the elbow and gentle exercises may be prescribed. A splint to protect the elbow from the stress of moving may be helpful. Devices that reduce stress on your joints such as handle extensions, to maintain daily activities.
If arthritis does not respond to other treatments, surgery may be discussed. The specific type of surgery may depend on the type of arthritis, the stage of the disease, your age, your expectations and your activity requirements. Surgical options include:
Don’t Miss: Best Treatment For Arthritis In Fingers