Wednesday, July 17, 2024

How You Know If You Have Arthritis

How To Know If You Have Arthritis

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If you are experiencing joint pain and swelling, you should seek medical attention right away. While a simple prescription medication can ease your symptoms, your pain will not go away on its own. You should also consult a healthcare professional if your symptoms dont seem to go away or if they become worse after a couple of days. Also, you should see a doctor if your joint becomes red and warm or if you have trouble taking the medicine prescribed to you.

Telltale Symptoms Of Arthritis

When most people talk about arthritis, theyre referring to general pain in the joints. But they dont realize that arthritis is merely a broad term for more than 100 unique conditions that affect your joints. Some are more common than others, with the two most prevalent being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Here at Roswell Pain and Weight Loss Specialists, Dr. Damon Christian Kimes cares for arthritic patients throughout the greater Roswell, Georgia, area and helps them find real pain relief from their progressive condition.

Although each type of arthritis has unique characteristics, all types involve inflammation of the joints. In the early stages, it may be difficult to know if you have the onset of arthritis or aches and pain related to another condition or injury. If you think you might be one of the more than 54 million Americans with arthritis, here are some telltale signs that will let you know.

Gout And Calcium Crystal Diseases

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can cause painful swelling in joints. It typically affects the big toe, but it can also affect other joints in the body.

Joints affected by gout can become red and hot. The skin may also look shiny and can peel.

Its caused by having too much urate, otherwise known as uric acid, in the body. We all have a certain amount of urate in our body.

However, being overweight or eating and drinking too much of certain types of food and alcoholic drinks can cause some people to have more urate in their bodies. The genes you inherit can make you more likely to develop gout.

If it reaches a high level, urate can form into crystals that remain in and around the joint. They can be there for a while without causing any problems and even without the person realising they are there.

A knock to a part of the body or having a fever can lead to the crystals falling into the soft part of the joint. This will cause pain and swelling.

There are drugs that can reduce the amount of urate in the body and prevent gout attacks. Examples are allopurinol and . If youre having a gout attack, youll also need short-term pain relief. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as paracetamol can be good drugs to try first.

Men can get gout from their mid-20s, and in women its more common after the menopause. Taking water tablets can increase the risk of gout.

There are also conditions that cause calcium crystals to form in and around joints.

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Alternative Medicine For Arthritis

A variety of alternative therapies is used for arthritis. However, none of these has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of arthritis, so they may not be effective or safe. It is important to let your doctor know if you’re considering these types of treatments.

While some studies suggest that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are as effective as NSAIDs for reducing pain, swelling, and stiffness in osteoarthritis, recent large studies funded by the NIH suggest these supplements are not very helpful, except perhaps in some cases. Typical daily doses are 1,500 milligrams for glucosamine and 1,200 milligrams for chondroitin.

The antibiotic doxycycline may have some potential to delay the progression of osteoarthritis by inhibiting enzymes that break down cartilage. More research is needed to confirm these results.

The NIH considers acupuncture an acceptable alternative treatment for osteoarthritis, especially if it affects the knee. Studies have shown that acupuncture helps reduce pain, may significantly lessen the need for painkillers, and can help increase range of motion in affected knee joints.

The supplement SAMe has been shown in some studies to be as effective for osteoarthritis pain as NSAIDs.

What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Hip

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Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and the hip is the second most commonly affected joint.

Everyones joints go through a normal cycle of wear and repair during their lifetime. As your joints repair themselves, their shape and structure can change. If this happens in one or more of your joints, its known as osteoarthritis.

A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones meet. Your hip joint consists of a ball at the top of the thigh bone, which fits into a socket in your pelvis.

The ends of both bones in a joint are covered by a smooth slippery surface, known as cartilage. This is the soft but tough tissue that allows the bones to move against each other without friction.

Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in your hip joint to become thinner and the surfaces of the joint to become rougher. This can cause swelling, pain and stiffness, but not everyone will have these symptoms.

The exact cause of osteoarthritis is often not known, as there can be quite a few reasons why a person develops the condition. These include the genes inherited from your parents.

Osteoarthritis usually starts in people over the age of 45 and is more common in women than men.

Research has shown that injuries, and jobs that involve heavy lifting or long periods of standing up, are associated with an increased risk of developing hip osteoarthritis.

Being overweight can also be a factor, as it increases the load on your joints.

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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.

Is There A Special Preparation Needed For An X

There is no special preparation required for an arthritis X-Ray. The only people who should consider are the pregnant women. The pregnant women must inform the technician about their pregnancy because the exposure to radiation may cause harm to the fetus, so it must be minimized.

At the time of X-Ray, a person should take off their jewelry before taking a test. There could be a requirement to remove some clothes, depending on the body parts to be tested. The technician will provide some something to cover the body part.

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Ra Treatments Are Disease

While OA meds can only treat symptoms, RA meds can actually slow the progression of the diseaseeven put it into remissionby tamping down on the overactive immune system, says Dr. Askari. In fact, if you catch RA early enough, theres a good chance it will have little impact on your life, he adds. RA treatment usually starts with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs the most common is methotrexatewhich work by interfering with pathways in the immune system that lead to inflammation. If you dont get the results you want from that, you may move on to more targeted DMARDs like biologics or JAK inhibitors.

Inflammatory Arthritis Vs Osteoarthritis: Causes And Symptoms

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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 its hallmark symptom is prolonged stiffness and achiness in the morning after waking up. RA also tends to be symmetrical, meaning youll 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, its caused by trauma or age-related wear and tear on your joints over time. Osteoarthritis 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.

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How Do I Know If I Have Arthritis

Osteoarthritis: This form of arthritis is also called degenerative joint disease or is commonly referred to as wear and tear arthritis.

  • How does it occur? Over time, the breakdown of protective cartilage within a joint leaves the bones to rub against one another, producing pain. This can happen due to injury, overuse or even because of genetics.

  • What symptoms does it cause? This condition often affects the hips, knees, or lower back. In addition to general joint pain, it causes stiffness, especially first thing in the morning and swelling in the joints after activity.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: This form of arthritis is a systemic, autoimmune disorder that specifically impacts the joints.

  • How does it occur? When the immune system attacks healthy joint tissue, the synovium is compromised, resulting in inflammation.

  • What symptoms does it cause? It most commonly impacts the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles and occurs within those joints symmetrically. In addition to causing general joint pain, those suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis often also complain of fatigue, fever and various other problems throughout the body.

Psoriatic Arthritis: This form of arthritis is also an autoimmune disease, which affects both the joints and the skin.

Ready to make an appointment with a doctor to discuss your joint pain? For more information, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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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One Common Pain Two Different Problems

Two likely causes of hip pain are osteoarthritis and bursitis. They have similar symptoms, but very different reasons for causing pain.

Hip osteoarthritis develops as the joints cartilage wears down. WatchHip Osteoarthritis Video

  • Hip osteoarthritis occurs when the slippery, protective cartilage in the hip joint thins or disappears. When the cartilage is damaged, there can be painful friction between the bones that make up the hips ball-and-socket. Bone spurs may form as the cartilage degenerates, which can make the bone-on-bone friction worse.

    See What Is Hip Osteoarthritis?

  • Hip bursitis occurs when the bursa in the hip become inflamed. Throughout the body, bursae provide cushion and reduce friction between bones and the soft tissues that run over them during joint movement. In the hip, the bursa most likely to become inflamed is the trochanteric bursa.

    Inflammation of the trochanteric bursa typically occurs alongside inflammation in the hips abductor tendons .1 Both the trochanteric bursa and abductor tendons are located at the bony knob near the top of the thighbone , near the outward curve of the upper thigh.

  • Because of its tendency to share symptoms with hip osteoarthritis and other hip conditions, hip bursitis is sometimes called the great mimicker.

    Can I Claim Benefits If I Have Arthritis

    You Know You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis When  Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy

    There are a number of benefits and grants you may be able to claim if you have arthritis.

    Benefits for mobility problems

    If youre over State Pension age and you need help with your personal care, such as washing, dressing and going to the toilet, because of your symptoms of arthritis, you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance.

    If youre under State Pension age, you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment, and if your ability to work is limited due to your symptoms you could claim Employment and Support Allowance.

    Disabled Facilities Grants

    You may be eligible for financial support for home adaptations to help you manage better. This could include installing ramps and handrails, and getting specialist equipment to help you in the kitchen or bathroom.

    Carers Allowance

    If you have a friend or family member who looks after you for at least 35 hours a week, they may be able to claim Carers Allowance.

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    Sciatica Symptoms In Hip Is It Sciatica Or Something Else

    Sciatica symptoms in the hip is a very common feature of sciatica but it can also be a sign of a completely different issue entirely. Use this handy guide below to find clues as to whether your pain is a sign of sciatica symptoms in the hip or a different problem.

    Before we dive in, please be aware that we are part of the Amazon Affiliate programme. This page may contain Amazon affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase a product for your sciatica that we recommend through a link on this page, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep Overcome Sciatica alive! Thank you for your support. Please be assured that we only ever recommend products that we truly believe can help.

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    Other Causes Of Knee Pain

    Sprain or strain to the knee

    Injuries to the muscles and ligaments in the knee can lead to pain. Strains and sprains are often due to twisting your knee or a blow to the knee. Falling can lead to knee injuries like this. The symptoms of a sprain or strain include pain, swelling, and difficulty in walking.

    Tendonitis

    The tendons in your knee can get inflamed and painful. This is typically a result of over-use injuries. Activities like cycling, running, and jumping can be the cause of tendonitis. The symptoms include pain, particularly when you are using the knee in a way that aggravates inflamed tendons.

    Cartilage damage

    The cartilage in your knee protects the ends of the bones and provides stability to the joint. If you have a knee injury, you might do damage to the cartilage and cause additional pain and swelling in the area.

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    Surgery For Spinal Arthritis

    Surgery may be recommended for spinal arthritis if other treatments dont sufficiently relieve pain. The goals of the surgery may include:

    • Stabilizing the spine by fusing several segments together in a procedure called spinal fusion

    These surgeries can be performed as open procedures or with a minimally invasive approach. There are pros and cons to each method. The surgeon will review and discuss the options before the operation.

    What Is The Prognosis For Rheumatoid And Osteoarthritis

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    Rheumatoid Arthritis

    As a rule, the severity of rheumatoid arthritis waxes and wanes. Periods of active inflammation and tissue damage marked by worsening of symptoms are interspersed with periods of little or no activity, in which symptoms get better or go away altogether . The duration of these cycles varies widely among individuals.

    Outcomes are also highly variable. Some people have a relatively mild condition, with little disability or loss of function. Others at the opposite end of the spectrum experience severe disability due to pain and loss of function. A disease that remains persistently active for more than a year is likely to lead to joint deformities and disability. Approximately 40% of people have some degree of disability 10 years after their diagnosis. For most, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic progressive illness, but about 5%-10% of people experience remission without treatment. This is uncommon, however, after the first three to six months.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is not fatal, but complications of the disease shorten the life span by a few years in some individuals. Although generally rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, the disease gradually becomes less aggressive and symptoms may even improve. However, any damage to joints and ligaments and any deformities that have occurred are permanent. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect parts of the body other than the joints.

    Osteoarthritis

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    How Is Spinal Arthritis Diagnosed

    Your doctor may use some or all of the following diagnostic methods to confirm spinal arthritis:

    • Medical history and physical exam

    • Blood tests for genetic markers and/or RA antibodies

    • X-rays of the spine to locate the arthritic joint

    • MRI, CT scan, myelography, bone scan and/or ultrasound to zero in on the damage, detect nerve and spinal cord involvement or rule out other causes

    • Joint aspiration: testing of the synovial fluid inside a joint

    To pinpoint the painful joint, your doctor may numb it with an injection and check whether the pain goes away.

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