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.
Talk To Your Doctor About A Knee Brace
Often a knee brace can help. Theres evidence to show that even a simple compression sleeve can decrease pain, says Dr. Day. These are a good way to start because you can get one at the drugstore.
You can also talk to your doctor about a more customized unloader brace. These take pressure off a portion of the joint. The brace thats right for you will depend on the severity and location of arthritis, whether primarily in the inner or outer side of the joint or in the kneecap.
Other Options For Arthritis Pain:
With all these constraints surrounding NSAIDs, you may want to consider nondrug options such as ashwagandha, boswellia, bromelain or tart cherry juice. Acupuncture or apitherapy may also provide some benefit.
To learn more about these possible approaches to easing joint pain and inflammation, you may wish to read our online resource, Graedons Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. This 56-page document is available at PeoplesPharmacy.com.
Before you start on any supplements, however, make sure to check with your physicians about the potential for interaction with any of your medications. For example, we worry about taking turmeric together with an anticoagulant. We have heard from people who have experienced significant changes in bleeding times because of a combination of warfarin and turmeric or curcumin.
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Who Gets Arthritis In Their Hands
You are more likely to get arthritis in your hands if:
- Youre older. Osteoarthritis is commonly seen after age 50. Rheumatoid arthritis typically first appears between the age of 35 and 50.
- Youre a woman.
- Youre white.
- Youre overweight.
- Youve had previous injuries to your hand. If youve dislocated or broken any joints in your hands or fingers, you are more likely to develop arthritis.
- You’ve inherited genes that cause the development of arthritis.
Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamin C
Vitamin C not only helps produce collagen, a major component of joints, but sweeps the body of destructive free radicals, which are harmful to joints. One of the best-known studies looking into vitamin C and arthritis found that people whose diets routinely included high amounts of vitamin C had significantly less risk of their arthritis progressing. Spread out your intake throughout the day because your body doesnt store vitamin C rather, it takes what it needs from the bloodstream at any given time and flushes out the rest. This means a megadose in the morning doesnt really do as much good. Sip citrus drinks or eat C-rich fruits and vegetables such as strawberries or melon, broccoli, or sweet peppers. And be sure to avoid these foods that might flare your arthritis.
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Who Can Help My Foot Or Ankle Pain
There are trained healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosing and treating problems affecting the foot and lower leg.
Podiatrists are trained foot specialists, they used to be called chiropodists. They can offer you:
- advice on padding, dressings, specialist insoles, splints and supports
- advice about footwear and exercise
- small non-surgical procedures
- advice on medication
Different areas have different rules for who can be referred to an NHS podiatrist. Some only refer people if they have rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or peripheral arterial disease. Other authorities may have broader terms.
If you visit a podiatrist privately you will need to pay for your appointments and any treatment. However, they can refer you for some services, such as scans or x-rays, on the NHS.
You can find a private podiatrist by visiting:
Physiotherapists are trained to use movement, exercise, manual therapy, and advice to help get your foot and ankle moving again. They will show you exercises to practice at home to support your recovery.
In some areas you can self-refer to an NHS physiotherapist. Otherwise, your doctor will request an appointment for you.
You can see a physiotherapist privately, though you would have to pay for your treatment. To find a registered private physiotherapist visit the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
The Most Important Piece Of The Puzzle
If youre overweight or obese, the most effective treatment is weight loss. This isnt surprising. Every extra pound of weight adds two to four pounds of excess pressure on your knees.
Losing weight is probably the most difficult part of the treatment puzzle, but its also the most important, says Dr. Day.
A weight loss program should include both diet and exercise. Some people have difficulty exercising to lose weight because their knees hurt. But any type of exercise can help, even strengthening the upper body.
Salmon Tuna Sardines And Mackerel
These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have found can decrease inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, eating a 3 to 4 ounce serving of these fish two or more times a week is recommended for protecting the heart and reducing inflammation.
While fresh fish can get pricey quickly, one tip to make it more affordable is by looking in the freezer section or buying canned sardines, salmon or tuna. Be sure to choose lower sodium options when purchasing canned items if you need to keep your sodium in check.
Dont Let Stress Get The Best Of You
When you spend your life fearing pain and avoiding activities that might trigger a flare-up, you end up making things worse. Its easier said than done, but try not to let the fear of pain hold you back when you are feeling your best. Ive learned to keep my stress levels in check and adopt a more easygoing approach to life, says CreakyJoints follower Kel Johan. No sense in making myself feel worse and causing more flares for things I cannot control.
Fear itself is debilitating, says Dr. Alade. Most of the time, the pain wont be as bad as you think, so for once proving yourself wrong is a good thing.
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Can Arthritis In The Hand Be Prevented
Arthritis cant be prevented. However, you can watch for symptoms of arthritis as you age and see your healthcare provider if you notice changes in your joints. You can also take steps to control factors that you can control. Eat healthy to nourish your body and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts more stress on your joints. Dont smoke. Smoking increases your risk of arthritis.
Are There Any Other Treatment Options Being Investigated
For osteoarthritis, some clinical research trials are underway in the U.S. exploring stem cell treatment. Early findings are encouraging. Stem cell therapy so far has shown to provide some pain relief and improvement in function. The ultimate goal would hopefully be to use stem cells to regrow cartilage.
Over the past decade, researchers developed many new medications for psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, with more studies underway.
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Types Of Finger Arthritis
There are three types of arthritis that commonly affect the fingers:
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis, also called wear-and-tear arthritis, is the most common type of finger arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes normal cartilage to wear away. This exposes bare bone at the joints. The most frequently affected joints in the hand are the knuckles of the mid-finger and fingertip and the joint at the base of the thumb.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis causes a different type of joint destruction. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that affects the whole body. It causes the immune system to attack the soft tissues surrounding the joints. The most commonly affected joints in the hand are the knuckles at the base of the fingers .
- Gout: Gout is a condition that occurs when crystals develop within the joints. These crystals can form in one or more joints when there is too much of a substance called uric acid in the body. While the big toe is the most commonly affected part of the body, gout can also develop in finger joints.
Rarely, other types of arthritis can also cause problems in the fingers.
Are Glucosamine And Chondroitin Supplements Helpful For Treating Osteoarthritis Of The Hand
Supplements are not reviewed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration . They are not required to undergo the same rigorous clinical trial methods that medications must undergo in the U.S. Some clinical trials show benefits with pain relief however, there is no proof that these supplements slow the progression of osteoarthritis. If you plan to try these, always check with your healthcare provider before using supplements. These products may interfere with medications you currently take.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Dull or burning joint pain, morning stiffness, swollen joints in your hand are all symptoms of arthritis. Many types of arthritis could affect your hands. Many treatment options are available depending on your exact arthritis type. Medications can reduce joint pain and swelling. Researchers are still working on ways to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. See your healthcare provider if you think you have arthritis in your hands. They will perform a complete exam and offer you a complete treatment plan, which includes hand exercises, use of hot and cold packs, other lifestyle tips and traditional treatments including medications, braces/splints, steroid injections and surgery.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/06/2021.
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Experiment With Heat And Cold
Hot water bottles and ice packs both have their place in medicine. Heat therapy can open up the blood vessels to promote blood flow, while cold therapy tightens blood vessels to reduce inflammation.As a general rule of thumb, for chronic pain you use heat if its an acute injury you use a cold compress, says Dr. Alade. She stresses that some people with acute flares might fare better with heat, or someone with chronic pain might find more relief with cold, so try both and figure out which makes you feel the best.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Management
While the overall goal of rheumatoid arthritis therapy is to prevent disease progression and further joint damage, pain management is a necessary daily practice for patients, in order to maximize their quality of life. Chronic pain can adversely affect a patients ability to work, participate in physical and social activities, and can generally interrupt day-to-day life.
Despite medications and aggressive forms of treatment, many rheumatoid arthritis patients experience ongoing pain and stiffness. The reality is, it may never completely go away. But there are specific things patients can do to manage pain and limit its impact on their lives.
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Stop Withholding Info From Your Healthcare Provider
It’s tempting not to tell your healthcare provider everything, especially if you’re afraid you’ll have to go through unpleasant testing or have to change the treatment regimen you’re comfortable with.
But in order for your healthcare provider to have the best chance of helping you, he needs to know everything. Talk openly about what makes your condition better or worse, what concerns you have, and what you don’t understand.
The Role Physical Therapy Plays In The Process
Physical therapy is definitely beneficial. Improving range of motion and strength in the knee are helpful, but physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis has a large focus on strengthening the hips, explains Dr. Day.
Weak hips put more pressure on the knees. If your hips are strong, when you get up from a chair or go up and down stairs your knees have less work to do.
Everyone with knee osteoarthritis should consult a physical therapist, according to Dr. Day. Not only will you be taught the right kinds of exercises, a physical therapist also provides valuable instruction about using assistive devices and modifying activities to reduce pain.
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What Are The Types Of Arthritis
There are several types of arthritis. Common ones include:
- Ankylosing Spondylitis is arthritis that affects the spine. It often involves redness, heat, swelling, and pain in the spine or in the joint where the bottom of the spine joins the pelvic bone.
- Gout is caused by crystals that build up in the joints. It usually affects the big toe, but many other joints may be affected.
- Juvenile Arthritis is the term used to describe arthritis in children. Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints.
- Osteoarthritis usually comes with age and most often affects the fingers, knees, and hips. Sometimes osteoarthritis follows a joint injury. For example, you might have badly injured your knee when young and develop arthritis in your knee joint years later.
- Psoriatic Arthritis can occur in people who have psoriasis . It affects the skin, joints, and areas where tissues attach to bone.
- Reactive Arthritis is pain or swelling in a joint that is caused by an infection in your body. You may also have red, swollen eyes and a swollen urinary tract.
- Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the bodys own defense system doesnt work properly. It affects joints and bones , and may also affect internal organs and systems. You may feel sick or tired, and you may have a fever.
Arthritis is seen with other conditions. These include:
How Can I Treat Foot Or Ankle Pain When It Starts
Most foot or ankle pain can be treated without the need to see a healthcare professional.
Soft-tissue injuries should begin to improve over the first few days with the help of some simple self-care tips. You may need to be careful and protect the injured area for several months, until it has fully recovered.
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People With Stents Be Extra Careful
If you were put on antiplatelet therapy to prevent a blood clot after stents were placed in arteries, NSAIDs could raise your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding . Again, this is a catch 22 at work!
Heres the rub: Stents are metal scaffolding. These mesh tubes are designed to keep arteries from closing after angioplasty. But pure metal mesh can become clogged. That puts a heart patient back in harms way.
Manufacturers created drug-eluting stents to prevent blockage of arteries. But there is a trade off. Though they reduce the risk of scar tissue formation and reclogging of coronary arteries, there is a risk of blood clot formation. In other words, a blockage could occur inside the stent and lead to a fatal heart attack.
To prevent that, doctors often prescribe anticlotting drugs such as clolpidogrel , prasugrel , ticagrelor or ticlopidine . Not infrequently, aspirin is added to one of these antiplatelet therapy.
This dual antiplatelet therapy reduces the likelihood of blood clots forming inside the stents. But, if you have arthritis pain and add an NSAID like diclofenac or ibuprofen, there is an increased risk of a life-threatening bleeding ulcer.
Changes In The Shape Of Your Arch
The arch is the inside mid-section of your foot. It determines how your bodyweight is spread and carried by the bones and joints of your feet.
For your foot to function at its best the arch should form a smooth arc from the ball of the foot to the heel.
The height of your arch may never cause you any kind of problems. Some people are born with arches that are higher or lower than average and their bodies adapt to them.
Other people may find their arch shape alters because of complications such as arthritis, weight, pregnancy, or injury. These changes can make you more likely to develop further problems in other parts of your foot, ankle, knee, hip and back.
If you are in pain and think your arch shape has changed speak to a healthcare professional about treatments. Insoles or supports made specially for your foot shape by an orthotist could improve pain caused by high or low arches.
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Consider Acetaminophen Or Nsaids
Even if, like Snow, you prefer to treat your joint pain with lifestyle changes rather than medication, you may want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever when your joint pain seems to worsen with the weather. The ACR guidelines include a recommendation to use these over-the-counter pain relievers for osteoarthritis. However, Libman says that, “to avoid side effects, take the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time, and always check with your doctor first to make sure it is safe for you to take.
Pain In Hips And Knees Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore
Image of the hip joint
When it comes to your hips and knees, there are 5 symptoms you shouldnt ignore. If you delay seeing a physician, you could make your pain worse. You should make an appointment if you have any of the following:
1. Not being able to maintain your normal active lifestyle. If you find yourself not able to do the activities you normally enjoy, such as tennis, golf, cycling, or walking, you should see a physician.
2. Pain that gets worse at night and interferes with sleep. Inflammation, which is your bodys reaction to pain, tends to intensify at night. This inflammation can trigger higher levels of pain.
3. Catching, popping, or locking. This is a sign that the cartilage in the joint has torn or that bits of cartilage has broken off in the joint space. The cartilage may wear away completely if it is left untreated.
4. Difficulty doing simple tasks. Some patients will experience difficulty putting on shoes and socks or doing other simple activities, such as bending down.
5. Swelling. This could also be a sign that the cartilage in the joint is breaking down. The cartilage may wear out completely if it is left untreated.
Pain in the Knees
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