Psoriatic Arthritis: Flares And Fatigue
Psoriatic arthritis might cause fatigue in several ways. In part, the disease process itself may be to blame.
When you have psoriatic arthritis, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Those proteins trigger inflammation throughout your body a hallmark of the disease. Researchers believe the cytokines also cause fatigue, perhaps through several different pathways in your body.
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms come and go. Sometimes, they are relatively mild. Other times, the pain and swelling become significant. Those bad periods are known as flares. And when a flare occurs, fatigue often comes along for the ride.
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How Common Is Arthritis
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 54 million U.S. adults have arthritis. For about half of those people, arthritis limits their activities.
About 15 million people experience arthritis-related severe joint pain.
Arthritis is more common among women than men, and risk often increases with age.
Arthritis is also commonly diagnosed among those with other chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and can make it more difficult for people to manage these chronic conditions.
How Can Hand Arthritis Be Treated
Youll want to talk about various treatment options with your healthcare provider. Depending on the severity of your arthritis, you may want to consider:
- Pain relievers such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Voltaren gel, which you can buy over the counter
- Steroid injections for thumb arthritis
- Glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen or turmeric supplementsthese supplements reduce pain for some people, but the FDA doesnt regulate them
- Paraffin wax treatments, which you can do at hom
- Hand warmers when your hands are coldDr. Panico explains that your joints can feel looser with heat and tighter with cold
- Plant-based and anti-inflammatory diets, which might decrease the pain and stiffness from arthritis
- Staying active, which contributes to your overall health
What about those copper-infused products that are marketed to people with arthritis? Their effectiveness hasnt been replicated in clinical trials and they may be no more effective than a placebo, Dr. Panico said.
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Meditation For Pain Management
Meditation is an ancient mind and body practice in Buddhism and other Eastern religions. It puts your focus and attention on the current moment so life’s distractions do not get in your way.
Meditation has many benefits, including:
- Increases calmness and relaxation
- Helps people cope with illness
- Enhances overall well-being
In addition, research shows meditation can help manage chronic pain associated with conditions like OA and RA.
In a 2016 review of literature, researchers evaluated the use of mindfulness-based mediation’s effects on pain management. They found that mindfulness meditation reduced pain for people with chronic conditions. However, researchers found that short-term was more effective at pain control than longer-term meditation.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hand Surgery
Recovery time depends on many factors, including the severity of your condition, type of surgery you had, the skill of your surgeon and your compliance with therapy. Most people can return to their activities about three months after joint reconstruction surgery. Your team of caregivers can give you the best estimate of your particular recovery time.
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How Can I Protect My Sore Hands
Here are some ways to protect the joints in your hands:
- Take notice of pain it can serve as a warning that your joints are being overworked. Rather than giving up an activity altogether, try taking regular rests during the activity and learning ways to manage pain. You will usually find you can still do the things you enjoy without discomfort.
- Use larger, stronger joints for example, carry your shopping bags over your shoulder rather than in your hands.
- Spread the load over several joints try carrying things with two hands.
- Reduce the effort you have to put in there is a wide range of labour-saving tools and equipment available. Buy pre-cut vegetables and meat to make cooking easier.
- Avoid gripping things tightly find out about gadgets that can make gripping and holding objects easier.
- See an occupational therapist to learn more ways to make daily tasks easier and take pressure off your joints.
- Visit an Independent Living Centre. These centres have a wide range of tools and equipment on display. You can get advice, including where to purchase equipment, in person or over the phone. Occupational therapists are also available at the centres to provide advice about equipment. Although you can drop in at anytime, it is preferred that you call the telephone enquiry service beforehand.
How Doctors Diagnose Arthritis Hand Pain
To determine whats behind your hand pain, your doctor will rely on your medical history, a physical exam, and imaging and blood tests to make a diagnosis and determine what kind of arthritis hand pain you have.
Feeling a patients joints during the exam can help differentiate between OA and inflammatory arthritis, Dr. Byram says. The swelling feels harder in those with OA because extra bone at the joints, called osteophytes, forms over time. The swelling in RA and other inflammatory disease feels softer.
Imaging tests, such as X-rays or an MRI, can reveal joint erosion and osteophytes and loss of cartilage .
If your doctor suspects inflammatory arthritis, they will also order blood tests to detect the presence of certain antibodies, such as rheumatoid factor or anti-CCP, that help identify RA and other types of inflammatory arthritis.
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Physical Therapy And Exercise
Regular physical activity is an important piece of your overall treatment plan. It can help preserve range of motion in your joints and strengthen the muscles that support them.
Many people with RA benefit from working with an experienced physical therapist . A PT can create a strength and mobility program for you and show you how to move in ways that will help and wonÃ¢t cause further damage. A physical therapist can also teach you pain relief techniques and prescribe splints and braces to support damaged joints.
In addition to exercises prescribed by a physical therapist, there are many activities you can do on your own to maintain or improve joint mobility, build muscles, strengthen your cardiovascular system and promote general health and well-being. The right form of activity for you depends not only on which joints are affected and the severity of your disease, but also on your interests. The best exercises are those you enjoy enough to do regularly. Popular and safe options for people with RA include walking, swimming, water exercise, low-impact aerobics and stationary cycling.
You should speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan.
Ask Your Doctor About Medications To Treat Fatigue
Certain medications may help chronic fatigue, such as modafinil. However, you need to use these with caution, because once you start taking them, it may be hard to stop, Ali says.
Using pain medications such as acetaminophen at night can help improve sleep thats disrupted by RA pain, Ali adds.
Another option, a low-dose antidepressant, also given at bedtime, has been shown to reduce pain, increase sleep, and reduce fatigue in some people with RA, he says.
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Managing General Ra Pain
While acupuncture for RA hand pain and symptoms hasnt been examined, studies have explored using acupuncture to manage general RA pain. They demonstrate that acupuncture can curb pain because it boosts endorphins, the bodys natural pain killers.
For example, a 2018 systematic review published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found acupuncture alone or with other therapies can help manage pain and function and improve quality of life in people with RA without side effects.
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.
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What Blocks Pain Signals
Many scientists think pain control methods help reduce pain by blocking pain signals. Pain signals are sent through a complex system of nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
There are many things that can block these signals and thus prevent the pain message from reaching your brain.
Pain signals are blocked by chemicals made by the brain called endorphins. There are several things that can cause the brain to produce endorphins. These include Ã¢naturalÃ¢ controls, such as your own thoughts and emotions, or Ã¢outsideÃ¢ controls such as medicines.
A father driving with his children is hurt in a car accident. The father is so worried about his children that he doesnÃ¢t feel the pain from his own broken arm. The concern for his children somehow blocked the pain signal and kept the pain from affecting him.
Certain medicines such as morphine imitate the bodyÃ¢s endorphins and block the pain signal. Other pain control methods, such as heat and cold treatments, physical therapy, exercise, relaxation and massage can stimulate the body to release its own endorphins or to block the pain signal in other ways.
Balance Rest With Activity
Everyone needs to allow time for rest, and when you have RA, getting adequate rest is particularly important. However, its still important to be active.
Doing too little can also lead to fatigue, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Do some light exercise every day to help keep your joints in shape and to avoid muscle deconditioning.
This showed that physical activity can help people with RA manage fatigue. Regular exercise also can make it easier to get a good nights sleep.
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Exercises To Help Hand Arthritis
Increase hand strength, improve finger and thumb mobility and keep arthritis symptoms at bay with this hand workout.
1. Hand Exercises for Arthritis
2. Grip Strengthener
3. Gentle Fist
4. Finger Rolls
5. Finger Bends
6. O Shape
7. The OK
8. Finger Lift
9. L Shape
10. Finger Stretch
- 1355 Peachtree St NE Suite 600
- Atlanta, GA 30309
S To Reduce Hand Pain
If a person is living with pain in their hands from arthritis, they may wish to try:
- practicing gentle motion hand exercises that promote movement and help reduce stiffness
- seeking physical therapy and occupational therapy from certified professionals
- talking to a doctor about medications and topical pain relievers to help with the pain
The Arthritis Foundation add that a person can also:
- use hot or cold therapy
- modify their daily routine to avoid putting stress on the hands and fingers
- talk to a doctor about steroid injections
Some additional steps that a person can take to help prevent arthritis pain in the hands include:
- using kinetic tape as a preventive measure
- using dictation software instead of typing
- avoiding placing excess strain on the fingers by using large joints, such as the elbows or shoulders, to carry the weight of shopping bags
- using other body parts besides the hands to close a door
- using the palm of the hand to hold a phone or tablet to avoid placing strain on the fingers
- changing daily habits, such as stirring food using a shoulder motion
- using utensils with large, easy-to-grip handles
A person should talk to a doctor if at-home methods or treatments are ineffective in managing their arthritis symptoms. It is possible that a doctor will recommend surgery as a treatment option.
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Arthritic Conditions Associated With Trigger Finger
Arthritis of any kind can cause inflammation in the joints, and that inflammation is not necessarily isolated and contained. The tissues of the hand and fingers are interconnected, and inflammation in one area of tissue can have cascading effects, including trigger finger.
Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout are three types of arthritis linked to trigger finger.
1.Rheumatoid arthritis People who have rheumatoid arthritis have painful joint inflammation. The inflammation occurs when the immune system attacks the delicate lining that surrounds a joint.
See Hand Rheumatoid Arthritis Signs and Symptoms
2.Psoriatic arthritis Like people who have RA, people who have psoriatic arthritis have painful joint inflammation. The inflammation caused by psoriatic arthritis primarily occurs where tendons and ligaments attach to bone tissue. These attachment points are called entheses.
If psoriatic arthritis causes a finger or thumbs tendon enthesis to become inflamed, the connected tendon sheath may also become inflamed, causing trigger finger.
Research suggests that trigger finger may be a risk factor for psoriatic arthritis.1,2 If you have trigger finger and have other risk factors or signs of psoriatic arthritis, talk to your doctor about getting screened for the disease.
How To Prevent And Manage Arthritis In The Hands
There is no known cure for arthritis, which commonly affects the hands. However, a person can take steps to lower the risk of arthritis developing or worsening and to reduce and manage pain. These steps include practicing specific exercises and making dietary changes and adjustments to daily habits.
Arthritis is a general term that describes several conditions that affect a persons joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. Arthritis is generally not preventable, but a person may be able to reduce their risk by changing the risk factors that they can control.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the most common type of arthritis in the United States is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect nearly any joint in the body, but it most commonly affects the joints in the knees, hips, and hands.
This article discusses how to reduce the risk of developing arthritis in the hands or prevent it from worsening. It also explains how to reduce and manage the pain of arthritis.
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Common Symptoms Of Finger Arthritis
Depending on what type of arthritis is affecting you, you may experience one or more of these symptoms. The following are commonly associated with arthritis in fingers:
- Pain in the joints
- Lumps or nodules around finger knuckles
- Crooked fingers that bend away from the thumb
All these are indicative of the underlying cause for the achy and stiff fingers. Lets see what that is in the next section.
Finger Or Hand Arthritis These 5 Nonsurgical Treatments May Help
Hand or finger arthritis can limit your ability to live your best, active life. And if you cant open a jar, grip your grocery bags or write a letter to a loved one without wincing in pain, it might be time to seek some solutions that may help. Many of these treatments are even safe and effective without surgery.
In fact, Nicholas J. Newsum, MD, board-certified orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in hand, wrist, elbow and microsurgery, spoke to us about these five nonsurgical treatments for hand and finger arthritis.
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Hand Osteoarthritis Home Remedies
These home treatments can help:
- Exercises. Your doctor or physical therapist can show you what to do to improve strength and range of motion and to ease pain.
- Assistive devices. Special pens, kitchen utensils, and other tools with big grips may be easier to use.
- Ice or heat. Ice may reduce swelling and pain. Heat, like a warm washcloth or a paraffin bath, can loosen stiff joints.
- Skin treatments. Medicated creams can give relief when you rub them on sore joints. Gels with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also help.
- Supplements. Many people take glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for OA. Researchers are still looking into whether they help. Ask your doctor if they’re OK to try.
Why Go To A Hand Specialist For Arthritis
Painful and swollen hands are the first signs of arthritis. Arthritis can affect any part of your body, even the joints in your hands. It can make simple tasks like holding up a glass or mug, brushing your teeth, or turning a doorknob difficult.
While there is no cure for arthritis, you can manage symptoms and slow down the degeneration of your joints. Arthritis sufferers who get treatment and guidance from orthopedic doctors can live normal lives despite their condition.
An orthopedic hand specialist is trained and knowledgeable in various treatments that can ease the symptoms of arthritis in the hands and wrists. A hand specialist who is also a hand surgeon can perform surgical procedures that can help repair damaged joints and tendons in the hand due to arthritis.
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Try To Keep A Reserve Of Meals And Supplies That You Can Use On Days When You Need Extra Rest
, 38, is a mom of three, and she says juggling the demands of motherhood and her rheumatoid arthritis fatigue can be tough. Shes found that meal prepping and reserving special toys that keep her kids entertained for longer give her more time to rest on particularly tiring things.
When Im feeling up to it, I cook big-batch meals and put some in the freezer for days when I have less energy, she tells SELF. Mariah also keeps a cupboard full of quiet activities and crafts that her kids can work on if she needs extra rest time. We also use a system of toy rotation, where about one-third of our toys are out in the playroom and two-thirds are off-limits in a closet, she says. So on days when I am in pain or have less energy, I can bring out new toys that will keep the kids attention longer because they havent been played with for a while.
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