But First: Why Does Ra Zap Your Energy
There isnt one clear-cut reason that low energy so often piggy-backs RA, says Vinicius Domingues, M.D., an assistant professor of rheumatology at Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, FL. But there are some commonalities. In particular, some patients with RA can become anemic, which is a major factor in fatigue, says Dr. Domingues. Anemia reduces your bodys ability to absorb oxygen, which is needed to produce adenosine triphosphate , the main energy carrier in all living things. Also, not getting enough sleep is also a major energy issue for people with RA, says Dr. Domingues. When you have pain, you cant really have a restful night.
What Are The Different Types Of Arthritis
Arthritis is a broad term that describes more than 100 different joint conditions. The most common types of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis, or wear and tear arthritis, which develops when joint cartilage breaks down from repeated stress. Its the most common form of arthritis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis, or arthritis of the spine .
- Juvenile arthritis , a disorder where the immune system attacks the tissue around joints. JA typically affects children 16 or younger.
- Gout, a disease that causes hard crystals of uric acid to form in your joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis, joint inflammation that develops in people with psoriasis .
- Rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that causes the immune system to attack synovial membranes in your joints.
Will I Need Surgery For Arthritis
Healthcare providers usually only recommend surgery for certain severe cases of arthritis. These are cases that havent improved with conservative treatments. Surgical options include:
- Fusion: Two or more bones are permanently fused together. Fusion immobilizes a joint and reduces pain caused by movement.
- Joint replacement: A damaged, arthritic joint gets replaced with an artificial joint. Joint replacement preserves joint function and movement. Examples include ankle replacement, hip replacement, knee replacement and shoulder replacement.
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Ask Your Doc About Medicinal Marijuana
Indica is a strain of medicinal marijuana commonly used for pain relief. Though the scientific research is still lacking, there are many anecdotes of Indica being useful for RA symptoms. Ive found helps relax my muscles more in my body from the pain, says RA patient Donna Brandt 52, of Port Angeles, WA. This has led me to feeling more energy for things I actually enjoy, she said. Laws and access to cannabis vary nationwide, but if you think you’d like to try it, bring it up at your next appointment. Repeat: Always proceed with doctor supervision on this one.
Iron Absorption in RA:Rheumatology International. Anaemia in rheumatoid arthritis: pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment. . doi.org/10.1007/BF00541320
Exercise and Metabolism:American Journal of Physiology. Exercise training increases lipid metabolism gene expression in human skeletal muscle. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12067844
Micronutrients Deficiencies in RA:International Journal of Pathology and Clinical Research. Micronutrients Deficiencies in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients . clinmedjournals.org/articles/ijpcr/international-journal-of-pathology-and-clinical-research-ijpcr-2-029.pdf
Diet and Nutrition in Arthritis:Clin Ter. Diet, nutrition and rheumatoid arthritis. . ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16048032
MBSR in RA Patients:Rheumatoid Arthritis. Effect of MindfulnessBased stress reduction in rheumatoid arthritis patients. . onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.23010
Signs Of Knee Arthritis
Knee arthritis is very common and the biggest sign is prolonged symptoms that just dont go away no matter how much you rest. One of the first signs of arthritis in your knee is pain. You may experience pain when you wake up in the morning or after a long day of physically exerting activities. It is common to experience knee after exercising or being active. Generally, knee pain from arthritis gradually worsens over time.
You will also notice swelling, tenderness, or redness in your knee if you have arthritis. All of these symptoms are likely to get worse with time, as well. It is also possible for you to lose range of motion in your knee. This means you wont be able to bend your knee as much as you used to.
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How Arthritis In The Hands Is Treated
If youre diagnosed with an inflammatory form of arthritis, you have more treatment options than someone with OA. While nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help manage the pain of both types of arthritis, the development of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologics has vastly improved the prognosis of those with inflammatory forms of arthritis by reducing inflammation and preventing further joint damage.
Cortisone injections can be useful for those with OA and conditions such as RA, though theyre usually used in patients whose inflammatory arthritis is limited to just one or two joints, Dr. Byram says. Injections of hyaluronic acid can be helpful for those with OA , but these are better for managing pain in larger joints like the knees rather than the hands.
Is It Arthritis Or Something Else
The immune system of people with RA attacks the synovium or lining of the inside of the joints. This causes inflammation and a thickening of the synovium that eventually destroys the cartilage within the joint. No one knows what causes RA, but it is a chronic condition that requires a lifetime of careful medical management.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
- Stiffness in the joints
- Joints are warm to the touch
- Change in appetite and weight loss
Fever and fatigue, general soreness, and feeling run down are often mistaken for the flu at first. Also, symptoms of RA may come and go, making it even harder to recognize a pattern. There are other conditions, some chronic, that mimic the early symptoms of RA:
- Lyme disease
Lupus and psoriatic arthritis are also autoimmune disorders with complex diagnostic criteria. Your doctor may not be able to tell which condition you have at first. A physical exam will often be followed by blood work and possibly imaging. Blood tests can show if there is an elevated level of proteins that indicate the presence of inflammation inside the body. Testing can also show rheumatoid factor and antibodies found in people who have RA.
If you have some of the symptoms of the early stages of RA, call the Clinton Township, Michigan office of Movement Orthopedics at 436-3785 for a consultation. The expert and caring providers can diagnose RA and get started with treatment right away.
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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 Symptoms Look And Feel Like And What To Do If You Can’t Shake The Ache
by Michelle Crouch, AARP, Updated December 20, 2021
En español |It’s not unusual to experience pain in your joints on occasion, especially if you’re active and participate in high-impact activities such as running. That unwanted ouch can be caused by injured muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joint or by tendonitis, a sprain or a strain.
But if you start experiencing aching, pain and stiffness on a routine basis and particularly if the pain is right at the joint you may be developing arthritis, says rheumatologist Uzma Haque, M.D., codirector of clinical operations at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in Baltimore.
Your risk of arthritis increases as you age, and its a leading cause of disability in the U.S., affecting around 58.5 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
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Blood Fluid And Tissue Tests For Arthritis
Checking blood, tissues and various body fluids help doctors diagnose and monitor arthritis.
Blood and other lab tests play a critical role in diagnosing and monitoring arthritis. When your doctor needs to confirm an arthritis diagnosis, monitor disease progress, check medication effectiveness or determine if medications are causing potentially dangerous but not evident side effects, lab tests are ordered.
Most tests require drawing and testing the blood, but some may involve testing urine, joint fluid or even small pieces of skin or muscle.
Diagnosing and Monitoring Disease Activity
If your doctor suspects you have inflammatory arthritis, these are the most common tests used to diagnose as well as monitor the disease:
Other Lab Tests
- Skin biopsy A small piece of skin is removed by a doctor. Its usually done under local anesthetic. The sample is tested in a lab and the results help determine the presence of lupus, vasculitis and psoriatic arthritis.
- Muscle biopsy A doctor takes the tissue sample from a muscle with a biopsy needle. The sample is reviewed for signs of damage to muscle fibers to help confirm a diagnosis of polymyositis or vasculitis.
- Joint fluid tests A doctor removes a small amount of fluid from a joint to determine the presence of uric acid and diagnose gout.
Monitoring Medication Response and Side Effects
Checking for Comorbidities
Should I See A Specialist
Its unlikely that youll need to see a specialist to get a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, although your doctor may refer you if theres some doubt about the diagnosis or if they think there might be additional problems.
Your doctor may refer you if specialist help is needed to manage your osteoarthritis this might be for physiotherapy, podiatry for foot problems, or occupational therapy, which can help if youre having difficulty with everyday activities.
If your arthritis becomes severe and is causing long-term problems, your GP may refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon to consider joint surgery or to a pain management programme.
- supplements and complementary treatments.
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Joint Pain Is A Common Denominator
Arthritis can be separated into two types: inflammatory, such as rheumatoid arthritis , versus mechanical disease , such as osteoarthritis. Both are often characterized by joint-related symptoms. Pain involving joints knees, hips, wrists indicates the problem is arthritis, explains Andrew D. Ruthberg, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at Rush Medical College in Chicago. Back pain, neck pain, and joint swelling are also markers of arthritis.
What Is The Patient’s Role In Treating Or Managing Arthritis
The patient is the most important member of the health care team.
The patient plays an important role in his or her medical care. The patient can contribute to the success of a treatment plan by:
- learning about arthritis
- reporting progress and setbacks to health team
- keeping a positive attitude
- developing relationships with the rest of the health care team
Keeping a positive attitude, though sometimes difficult, is an important ingredient in overcoming arthritis. Asking questions and finding out as much as you can about of arthritis and its treatment is important. So talk over your concerns with your doctor. If you still need more information , ask the nurse, physical therapist, social worker, occupational therapist to help you find answers to your questions.
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Why Would Someone Get Sciatica Symptoms In The Hip But Not The Leg
This is a good question and it generally comes down to the extent that the nerve root in the spine is compressed by a disc bulge or other structure.
The more the nerve root is compressed, the further down the leg the symptoms go.
Equally, the worse the compression, the more likely you are to experience pins and needles or numbness.
If a disc bulge is just irritating a nerve root and NOT fully compressing it, you might get sciatica symptoms in the hip and back but nothing in the legs.
Another reason for sciatica symptoms in the hip is the muscle tightness that occurs following a back injury. When we hurt our backs, everything locks up as the muscles go into overdrive to try and protect the area.
This means that the muscles can effectively go into spasm, which can be extremely painful. If this happens to your buttock muscles, then you can get pain similar to sciatica symptoms in the hips.
Other Conditions And Joint Pain
Other forms of arthritis, and other conditions, can also cause joint pain. Examples include:
- fibromyalgia syndrome, a condition in which your brain processes pain in your muscles and joints in a way that amplifies your perception of the pain
- scleroderma, an autoimmune condition in which inflammation and hardening in your skin connective tissues can lead to organ damage and joint pain
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Treatment For Hip Arthritis
There is no cure for any type of arthritis, including hip arthritis, but there may be more ways to treat the pain and other symptoms than you would imagine.
For most patients with mild hip arthritis, early stages of treatment can include:
- Rest and ice.
- Anti-inflammatory medications .
- Acetaminophen .
Why Do Kids Get It
No one really knows what causes JIA. Something in the environment, like a virus, may trigger the disease in kids that already have certain genes that make it more likely for them to get it.
JIA is not contagious, so you can’t catch it from someone else.
Arthritis is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease means a person’s immune system makes a mistake and attacks the body’s own tissues or organs. Normally, a kid’s immune system sends out white blood cells to protect the body and fight outside invaders like bacteria and viruses that can make a kid sick. But with an autoimmune disease like JIA, the immune system makes a mistake and attacks healthy cells.
Instead of recognizing the healthy cells and saying, “Hi, nice to see you,” the immune system thinks the healthy cells need to be destroyed and releases chemicals to fight the healthy cells. The chemicals released by the immune system cause the pain and swelling that can happen with arthritis.
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What Are Other Common Symptoms Of Ra
Some other clues your provider will likely look for when trying to determine if you have RA:
- Joint stiffness that’s worse in the morning
- Signs of inflammation
- Low-grade fever.If theres any question RA is in play, a rheumatologist should be consultedand quickly, says Dr. Troum. If youre told it will take three months to get an appointment, he says, ask your provider to call the rheumatologist on your behalf, requesting that you be seen urgently.
When you’re there, your doctor will also be trying to rule out the following conditions that often mimic RA.
What Are The Risk Factors For Arthritis
Some factors make you more likely to develop arthritis, including:
- Age: The risk of arthritis increases as you get older.
- Lifestyle: Smoking or a lack of exercise can increase your risk of arthritis.
- Sex: Most types of arthritis are more common in women.
- Weight: Obesity puts extra strain on your joints, which can lead to arthritis.
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Get Your Symptoms Checked
If you have aching, fatigue, redness or swelling in or around your joints, or notice an unusual rash or redness on your face or other areas of your body, you should consult a doctor. While most people think of arthritis as an older persons disease, the truth is that it and other autoimmune diseases can strike young and old alike. Your doctor can run the appropriate tests and to help determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan that works for you.
If you are concerned about how arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders are affecting your body, board-certified internal medicine specialist Dr. Ishan Gunawardene can help. He will take the time to talk to you, answer your questions and prescribe the necessary medications to help ease the symptoms of arthritis and other disorders. To make an appointment in Wellington or Royal Palm Beach, request an appointment online or call 434-1935 today.
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Other Types Of Joint Disease
Two factors that may affect the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but arent a direct cause of it are the weather and diet:
Many people with osteoarthritis find that changes in the weather make the pain worse, especially when the atmospheric pressure is falling for example, just before it rains. Although the weather may affect the symptoms of your arthritis, it doesnt cause it.
Some people find that certain foods seem to increase or lessen their pain and other symptoms. However, your weight is more likely than any other specific dietary factors to affect your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Read more about osteoarthritis of the spine.