How Is Arthritis Diagnosed
If you think you may have arthritis, see your healthcare provider. The provider will ask about your symptoms and learn how joint pain affects your life. Your provider will perform a physical exam, which may include:
- Assessing mobility and range of motion in your joints.
- Checking for areas of tenderness or swelling around your joints.
- Evaluating your overall health to determine if a different condition could be causing your symptoms.
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
Mixed connective tissue disease is an autoimmune disease with overlapping characteristics of three connective tissue diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, and polymyositis. In addition to joint pain, symptoms include muscle pain or weakness, low-grade fever, fatigue, and Raynaud’s syndrome.
The cause of MCTD isn’t known, but there may be a genetic component. It’s much more prevalent in women than in men, especially young women.
This disease is very difficult to diagnose because its symptoms overlap with other diseases, and the symptoms don’t occur all at the same time. The distinguishing point with MCTD is the high concentrations of anti-U1 RNP in the blood.
Treatment involves managing symptoms with anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers, and other drugs as needed. Treatment is dependent on the severity of the symptoms.
How Different Types Of Arthritis Affect Your Joints Differently
Do you believe your joint pain is caused by arthritis? With over 100 different types of arthritis identified, knowing the type you have could be the key to relieving your pain and inflammation. A qualified specialist can correctly diagnose your arthritis type and properly manage your symptoms with a targeted regimen.
At Western Orthopaedics in Arvada and Denver, Colorado, our team of orthopaedic specialists has many years of combined experience diagnosing and treating the various forms of arthritis. They can properly classify your arthritis type and treat your joint pain and any other symptoms.
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Can Imaging Exams Detect Arthritis
Imaging exams can help your healthcare provider get a clear picture of your bones, joints and soft tissues. An X-ray, MRI or ultrasound can reveal:
- Bone fractures or dislocations that may be causing you joint pain.
- Cartilage breakdown around your joints.
- Muscle, ligament or tendon injuries near your joints.
- Soft tissue inflammation.
Common Types Of Arthritis
Commonly associated with older age, arthritis affects more than 50 million Americans, including more than 300,000 children each year. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. Depending on the type, it can be extremely painful and affect everyday activities or go relatively unnoticed and be easily managed for years.
Simply put, arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. Most individuals experience common symptoms like joint pain, swelling, stiffness and/or decreased range of motion.
Here are 5 of the most common types of arthritis:
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What Can I Do To Make Living With Arthritis Easier
Changing your routine can make living with arthritis easier. Adjust your activities to lessen joint pain. It may help to work with an occupational therapist . An OT is a healthcare provider who specializes in managing physical challenges like arthritis.
An OT may recommend:
- Adaptive equipment, such as grips for opening jars.
- Techniques for doing hobbies, sports or other activities safely.
- Tips for reducing joint pain during arthritic flare-ups.
What Are The Symptoms Of Inflammatory Arthritis
The most common symptoms of inflammatory arthritis are:
- Joint pain and stiffness after periods of rest or inactivity, particularly in the morning
- Swelling, redness and/or a feeling of warmth in the affected joints
- Inflammation of other areas in the body, such as the skin or internal organs like the lungs and heart
People with inflammatory arthritis generally experience alternating periods of “flares” of highly intense symptoms with periods of inactivity.
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Risk Factors For Arthritis
Certain risk factors have been associated with arthritis. Some of these are modifiable while others are not.
Non-modifiable arthritis risk factors:
- Age: the risk of developing most types of arthritis increases with age.
- Sex: most types of arthritis are more common in females, and 60 percent of all people with arthritis are female. Gout is more common in males than females.
- Genetic factors: specific genes are associated with a higher risk of certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis , systemic lupus erythematosus and ankylosing spondylitis.
Modifiable arthritis risk factors:
- Overweight and obesity: excess weight can contribute to both the onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis.
- Joint injuries: damage to a joint can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis in that joint.
- Infection: many microbial agents can infect joints and trigger the development of various forms of arthritis.
- Occupation: certain occupations that involve repetitive knee bending and squatting are associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.
More than half of adults in the U.S. with arthritis report high blood pressure. High blood pressure is associated with heart disease, the most common comorbidity among adults with arthritis.
Around 1 in 5 of adults in the U.S. who have arthritis are smokers. Smoking is associated with chronic respiratory conditions, the second most common comorbidity among adults with arthritis.
Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of spinal arthritis. It usually affects the lower back and develops through wear and tear. As the cartilage between the joints slowly breaks down, it leads to inflammation and pain. Because the pain is from mechanical damage, it is typically more noticeable when you bend or twist your back. Past back injuries may also contribute to the development of degenerative arthritis of the spine.
Osteoarthritis of the spine usually affects the facet joints between the vertebrae. It is also known as facet joint arthritis, facet joint syndrome and facet disease. In some cases, degeneration of the spinal discs may contribute to facet joint arthritis. As discs between the vertebrae become thinner, more pressure is transferred to the facet joints. This leads to more friction and more damage to the cartilage.
When these degenerative changes occur in the neck, this condition is called cervical spondylosis. Arthritis in the neck doesnt always cause pain, and many people have no noticeable symptoms.
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Degenerative Or Mechanical Arthritis
Degenerative or mechanical arthritis refers to a group of conditions that mainly involve damage to the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones.
The main job of the smooth, slippery cartilage is to help the joints glide and move smoothly. This type of arthritis causes the cartilage to become thinner and rougher.
To compensate for the loss of cartilage and changes in joint function, the body begins to remodel the bone in an attempt to restore stability. This can cause undesirable bony growths to develop, called osteophytes. The joint can become misshapen. This condition is commonly called osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can also result from previous damage to the joint such as a fracture or previous inflammation in the joint.
How To Take Care Of Your Dog If Its On The List
No one wants their dog to be in less than ideal health but it is an inevitable part of aging. What a pet parent can do is gain enough knowledge on the topic to prevent the onset or treat the existing condition as best as they can.
Talk to your vet and find out if your pet needs a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug , like Previcox, chewable tablets for dogs. Previcox is easily available at a pet pharmacy and is used to treat joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation resulting from arthritis or osteoarthritis.
The tablet has Firocoxib as its active ingredient, which inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 , responsible for inflammation and joint pain in dogs.
Additionally, many vets recommend supplementing the diet with glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin from the age of as young as a year old. Apart from that, simply ensure that your dog maintains a healthy weight and stays active.
Now you know which dogs are more prone to arthritis, how to look for a pup, and what to do to care for an already suffering dog. All you need to do is maintain an active lifestyle for your dog.
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Types Of Arthritis And Rheumatic Diseases
Rheumatic diseases are those characterized by inflammation and impaired function of one or more connecting or supporting structures of the body. There are more than 100 different types of rheumatic diseases, including arthritis and its various types, which are conditions that specifically produce joint inflammation. Pain, stiffness, and swelling are common symptoms associated with rheumatic diseases, but there can also be systemic effects with certain conditions.
In the United States, the most common rheumatic diseases are osteoarthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is estimated that 52.5 million people in the U.S. have arthritis or one of the rheumatic diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Spinal Arthritis: What You Need To Know
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect the spine.
Arthritis can occur anywhere along the spine, but is more frequent in the lower back and neck.
Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of spinal arthritis.
Causes of spinal arthritis are still largely unknown except for osteoarthritis, which is typically a result of wear and tear.
Spinal arthritis treatment may include pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy and surgery in severe cases.
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Other Shots For Knee Arthritis
Hyaluronic acid is a substance already in the fluid of your knee. It helps lubricate the joint. When you have arthritis, the hyaluronic acid in your joint becomes thinner and less effective.
- Your doctor can inject a form of hyaluronic acid into your joint to help lubricate and protect it. This is sometimes called artificial joint fluid, or viscosupplementation.
- These injections cannot help everyone and fewer health plans cover these injections.
Stem cell injection is also available. However, this treatment is still new. Talk to your provider before having the injection.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Arthritis Of The Spine
The vertebrae of the spine are highly vulnerable to several types of arthritis, but most patients with arthritis of the spine develop one of the following varieties.
Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type of arthritis, with 31 million of the 50 million American adults diagnosed with arthritis suffering from this variety. Osteoarthritis appears as bones and cartilage wear over time, which is why most patients with osteoarthritis are middle-aged or older.
In the spine, osteoarthritis occurs as the cartilage between vertebrae becomes weaker and thinner. This wearing of cartilage can cause severe pain and potential spinal deformation if the condition is allowed to advance.
Even patients who do not experience pain from the condition itself may develop bone spurs that may interfere with normal nerve function, resulting in tingling or numbness, shooting pains, and muscle issues.
Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is caused by autoimmune disease. While the exact cause is unknown, researchers speculate that rheumatoid arthritis can occur after an infection when the immune system mistakes the joints for bacteria or viruses.
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to be highly localized and may only appear in one or two vertebrae when it affects the spine. Patients with this variety of arthritis may notice visible swelling in the affected area.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Spine
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system turns on itself. It attacks synovium the lining of the joints. Although rheumatoid arthritis is more common in other joints, it can also affect the spine, specifically the cervical region . Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine is not caused by wear and tear, so its considered an inflammatory arthritis. It may cause back pain even when these joints are not in use. It tends to affect women more than men.
What Are The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The main symptoms of RA are joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Usually, symptoms develop gradually over several weeks, but in some people, symptoms develop rapidly.
The small joints of the hand and feet are usually the first to become affected. Stiffness is usually worse first thing in the morning or after periods of inactivity and may make movement difficult. RA usually affects the joints on both sides of the body equally.
The pain is typically described as throbbing and aching. Joint stiffness is usually worse in the morning but still tends to persist, unlike stiffness caused by osteoarthritis which tends to wear off after about 30 minutes. Because the tissue inside the joints is affected, joints may look swollen and feel hot and tender to the touch. Some people develop firm swellings under the skin, called nodules, around affected joints.Joint and bone destruction can occur over time if the disease process is not well-controlled.
Patients may also lack energy and have experience fevers, sweating, a poor appetite, and weight loss. Other symptoms may occur depending on what other parts of the body are affected, for example, dry eyes, or heart or lung problems.
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Is It Possible To Prevent Arthritis
Yes. Arthritis can be prevented by following the preventive and safety measures along with the nutritious food. As we all know, there is no proper and permanent cure for arthritis. Therefore it is better to prevent arthritis before developing it. The preventive steps include:
Infectious And Reactive Arthritis
Infectious arthritis is an infection in one of your joints that causes pain or swelling. The infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. It can start in another part of your body and spread to your joints. This kind of arthritis is often accompanied by a fever and chills.
Reactive arthritis can occur when an infection in one part of your body triggers immune system dysfunction and inflammation in a joint elsewhere in your body. The infection often occurs in your gastrointestinal tract, bladder, or sexual organs.
To diagnose these conditions, your doctor can order tests on samples of your blood, urine, and fluid from inside an affected joint.
The fingers are most commonly affected with psoriatic arthritis , but this painful condition affects other joints as well. Pink-colored fingers that appear sausage-like, and pitting of the fingernails, may also occur.
The disease may also progress to your spine, causing damage similar to that of ankylosing spondylitis.
If you have psoriasis, theres a chance you could also develop PsA.
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There Are Different Types Of Arthritis
It is important not to mistake arthritis with osteoporosis. They are as follows:
- Arthritis: A general term for conditions that affect the joints and surrounding tissues. Joints are places in the body where bones come together, such as the knees, wrists, fingers, toes, and hips. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osteoporosis: A condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. In osteoporosis, there is a loss of bone tissue that leaves bones less dense and more likely to fracture. It can result in a loss of height, severe back pain, and change in posture. Osteoporosis can impair a persons ability to walk and can cause prolonged or permanent disability
What Are The Best Foods For Arthritis
There is no strict diet to cure arthritis. There are certain food products, which have a number of health benefits and can also reduce inflammation in the body. These foods include fish, carrot, oranges, berries, grapes, green leafy vegetables, olives, and other food products rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin C.
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The 5 Most Common Types Of Arthritis
Posted on December 2nd, 2015 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group
Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not a disease. Rather, it is an informal way of referring to joint pain and disease, according to the Arthritis Foundation. In fact, there are more than 100 types of arthritis, affecting people of all ages, races, and genders.
While many different types of arthritis exist, these five forms seem to be the most prevalent.
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
A spinal deformity called kyphosis
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