What Ra Does To Your Heart And Lungs
RA can affect more than just your joints. Complications can involve your organs, blood vessels, and bones.
RA can damage your lungs or inflame the lining around them. This causes chest pain that worsens with breathing, called pleurisy. Lung problems are the most common symptoms of RA outside the joints. This may not cause symptoms, or you might notice shortness of breath. Your doctor can treat it with drugs that ease the inflammation in your lungs.
Severe inflammation from RA in your lungs can make the tissue stiff, thickened, and scarred. This is pulmonary fibrosis, a hard-to-treat condition that makes it tough to breathe.
Likewise, RA can inflame the lining around your heart or your heart muscle . You probably wouldnât notice symptoms from that. Thereâs a chance you could feel shortness of breath or sharp, stabbing chest pain. If you do, call your doctor. It can also raise your odds of heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.
When RA gets into the cartilage that connects your ribs to your sternum, it can feel like youâre having a heart attack. This is known as chest wall pain.
Add Natural Supplements To Your Diet
A number of supplements, vitamins, and minerals may help reduce inflammation and arthritis pain. Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as minerals like zinc, calcium, iron, and magnesium, all play important roles in overall health.
Some people with arthritis find capsaicin, turmeric, and a variety of other supplements can improve arthritis symptoms. Talk to your health care team to find out which supplements might be a good addition to your arthritis management plan.
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.
Also Check: What Blood Work Is Done For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tips To Ease Joint Pain
Arthritis joint pain and symptoms can make simple activities difficult. This head-to-toe guide can help.
Arthritis pain in even one joint can take a toll on your entire body. For example, a painful neck can prevent you from turning your head properly, placing stress on your shoulders. A painful knee may cause you to walk in a way that affects your hips, back and feet. And holding a joint still to protect it can make moving it more difficult and in some cases almost impossible over time.
If joint pain is caused by an inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic treatment is needed to stop inflammation that can lead to joint damage or destruction. For flares of pain, persistent pain or pain due to other causes, there are many things you can do on your own or ask your doctor or physical therapist about to get relief.
Solutions vary and may include splints, therapeutic exercises or more informal daily modifications at home and beyond. Here are a few suggestions to help ease joint pain head-to-toe:
Neck pain can make it difficult to look up or turn your head sideways. If you avoid twisting your neck by moving your shoulders or entire body, the surrounding muscles may hurt as much as the joints themselves.
The mandible joint can be a frequent source of discomfort, making it painful to bite into a thick sandwich or an apple. Jaw pain is common on the side of the face or just in front of the ear.
Tips & Products To Help Your Aging Or Arthritic Dog
These tips and products listed below have helped to improve the comfort level, quality of life, and ability to get around for many older and arthritic dogs. Have a look and try them out you may well be surprised at just how peppy your old dog becomes!
You may notice that I dont mention medications in this article. Its not because they arenât important and helpful, because they are often very important and helpful. Ive done this because medications arent the only important and helpful components to helping older dogs with their pain and mobility issues.
You can read more about what supplements and medications can be helpful with arthritis and joint pain here. The simple, yet safe and effective, tips and products I mention below arent well-known and all too often overlooked. For the benefit of all aging and arthritic dogs, that needs to change.
Read Also: When Does Psoriatic Arthritis Start
Recommended Reading: How To Fix Hip Arthritis
What Are The Symptoms Of Weak Hind Legs
Symptoms of hind leg weakness could appear immediately or develop over time, depending on the root cause. So keep an eye on your pets physical condition and behavior as it could point to other signs of dog back leg weakness.
If your pets hind legs get weak, watch out for the following symptoms:
- Less muscle mass
Your dog could even go off-balance, walk slowly, hesitate to move, or stop peeing if they have weak back legs.
How Does Arthritis Impact A Dogs Quality Of Life
Arthritis has the ability to impact a dogs comfort and happiness each day.
Arthritis may not be considered life threatening in itself, but the pain and mobility issues that come along with the condition can be.
The impact of canine arthritis leads many owners to make a quality of life decision, showing just how important it is to manage this condition early on.
The joint deterioration that occurs in canine arthritis is challenging to get ahead of when it is not diagnosed early on, leading to a vicious cycle of discomfort for our aging canine friends.
Dogs with joint disease may shy away from activities they once loved, find difficulty getting up each morning, and even struggle to find the happy demeanor they once sported.
Having an understanding of this degenerative joint condition is essential for offering your pup a long and happy life.
If you would like an in depth review on the many aspects of canine arthritis, you can head over to bigbarker.com for their arthritis awareness week.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Arthritis From Cracking Your Fingers
Stop Fearing Medications That May Help
Arthritis patients sometimes avoid painkillers because they’re afraid they’ll become addicted to them, or they choose not to use biologic drugs because they fear potential serious side effects. Remember that your healthcare provider would never prescribe something that might hurt you or that you could become dependent on as long as you take it as directed.
Make sure you understand when and how much of your medication you should take, and how you should take it and your arthritis meds should do nothing more than make it easier for you to live comfortably.
Take Advantage Of Assistive Devices
If you have arthritis, dont be embarrassed to use devices that make daily life easier on your joints. Assistive devices, like a walker or cane, can make it easier to walk. For some people, shoe inserts provide pain relief.
Using assistive devices can make it easier for you to perform daily tasks, which helps you maintain your quality of life and manage your condition.
Also Check: Can You Claim Disability For Arthritis
Final Thoughts On How To Treat A Dog With Arthritis At Home
I hope out of these 20 ideas, something brings your dog a little relief from the pain of arthritis and maybe even makes your life easier too.
As with most ailments, a multi-pronged approach to helping your dog with arthritis can really improve your dogs quality of life. The good feeling of knowing you improved your dogs mobility or reduced your dogs pain lasts a lifetime.
Thanks for visiting SeniorDogDays!
Install Gates Lots Of Them
When it comes to keeping your arthritic dog safe from further injury the old saying prevention is the best medicine rings true.
Stair Gates: You remember early I talked about disabling my doorbell after my dog injured himself flying down the stairs, well if I had installed a gate, the injury would never have happened.
Gates will also stop your older arthritic dog from falling down the stairs at night or when youre not home. This one little preventative measure could save your arthritic dog from taking a fall that impacts mobility permanently.
I highly recommend gating off staircases on the bottom and the top if your arthritic dog is prone to running down stairs or is becoming visually impaired or suffering night vision loss.
The cheaper wood expandable gates will work, but you have to remove them every time you want to go up or down the stairs. I have this, but youll have to measure to see if theyd work for you: Stairway Gate with Access .
Room Gates: can also be used to isolate your dog to one room during the day, which is my preferred method, thus limiting your arthritic dogs exposure to accidents throughout the home.
Porch Gate:Now this only applies if your porch leads to your front door where people come a knockin.
As for a porch gate, I made my own barrier out of an old futon frame and I can personally attest that it keeps most solicitors from entering my porch and getting my arthritic dog all riled up.
Read Also: What Does Degenerative Arthritis Mean
Limit Mobility Commands To Only When Necessary
Surely your dog has earned a lifetime supply of treats simply because theyre awesome. Now that your dog has arthritis and youre trying to treat the condition at home, its a good time to stop insisting that your dog sit, lay down shake paws etc, in order to receive a treat.
If you still want your dog to perform for treats, you could ask for a kiss , hug or a bark or hide them in places that are easy to find and access.
What Can You Do To Help
When you see something that isnt quite right with your dog, you should get them to the vet. Tell the vet about the symptoms that you have noticed and anything else that you think will help the vet. The vet will run some tests and examine any noticeable problem areas. After this, they will provide a diagnosis.
If the diagnosis comes back as arthritis, you will have a lot of options for treatment. Your vet may first suggest some NSAIDs to help your dog cope with the pain and stiffness in their back legs. From there, they may recommend that you put your dog on a new diet and exercise regime. This diet will consist of fresh veg and supplements and the exercise regime may include hydrotherapy. The idea behind this treatment for arthritis is to build up the muscles surrounding the joint to take the pressure off and for your dog to lose any excess weight to further relieve the pressure on the joint. This treatment alone can be enough for most dogs to cope with the condition and live a long and pain-free life.
These are just a few of the treatment options available to a dog with arthritis in their back legs. There are a lot more available to them, but we have found these to be the best. They are completely natural and work very well for relieving most of the symptoms of arthritis.
Read Also: Is Infrared Light Good For Arthritis
Arthritis In Your Dogs Back Leg
If your dogs showing signs of arthritis, then it is likely to be affecting their back legs. The back legs are the most common place for a dog to contract the condition because of the amount of pressure they put their back legs under. The initial effort for running and jumping for a dog is done with their back legs this pressure can cause a breakdown of the cartilage in the joint over time and eventually cause arthritis. As this breakdown of cartilage occurs, your dog will experience pain and swelling in and around the joint. As this gets worse, your dog may experience debilitating bouts of pain that may mean they struggle to do anything at all.
Wrist Hand Or Finger Splints
If youre going through a bad arthritis flare-up, using resting splints can help quiet the active inflammation and give you some relief, Dr. Osterman says. These are devices, usually made of plastic and secured with velcro, that temporarily immobilize the joint, which allows it time to rest, he explains.
Im only 22, but some of my fingers are already severely bent and fused from having juvenile arthritis. Splints are helpful for the pain and for helping keep them straight so hopefully they dont bend more, says rheumatoid arthritis patient Emma A., from Melbourne, Australia. My favorites are ring splints since they look like jewelry instead of a medical brace.
You May Like: How To Treat Severe Arthritis In Lower Back
Foot And Ankle Arthritis
How it happens: The foot hitting any surface puts a high degree of contact stress on arthritic jointsevery step hurts. The pain can be quite excruciating if a joint is damaged, says Irvin Oh, MD, chief of Yale Medicine Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgery. Range of motion becomes limited, and bone spurs can develop. Pain is common in the big toe, on the top of the foot, and in the ankle.
Self-care: Keep your weight under control, as being overweight or having obesity puts stress on the foot and ankle. Modify your activity if overuse seems to be exacerbating the pain, and try ice packs. Ankle-strengthening exercises and Achilles-stretching exercises can also help reduce pain. Talk to your doctor about using NSAIDs.
How a specialist can help: We always have to think of evenly distributing mechanical load, says Dr. Oh. He compares the foot and ankle to a tripod and says it must be well-balanced to be optimized for even the most basic functions, like taking a step. Some people with foot arthritis will compensate to avoid feeling pain and that can throw off the balance, he adds. Supportive shoes, an ankle brace, and orthotics may help.
Replacing or fusing arthritic joints may also be recommended. “There are innovative joint replacement options for such surgical treatments as toe implants and total ankle replacements for people whose joints are severely damaged or who have no cartilage left,” he says. We always try to preserve native joints as much as possible.
Dog Arthritis: What It Is Symptoms And Treatments
Does your dog have arthritis, or do you think its possible that they might? Canine arthritis is surprisingly common, and many aging dogs deal with this issue at some point in their lives. As a responsible dog owner, it is important for you to learn everything you can about combating dog arthritis in your pet.
Read through the information below to get a better idea of what dog arthritis is, what its symptoms look like, and what you can do to help your dog, too. With the help of this guide, you can form a better plan for assisting your dog should they have arthritis.
Recommended Reading: How Can I Get Rid Of Arthritis In My Knee
Physical And Alternative Therapy To Treat Arthritis In Dogs
In addition to diet, supplements, and medications, there are also therapy treatment options available to help manage a dogs arthritis pain. Physical therapy, like appropriate forms of regular exercise, as mentioned earlier can be extremely beneficial for dogs with arthritis. Many owners also find hydrotherapy, or water therapy, helpful.
Holistic therapies, like acupuncture, can be useful as well. Acupressure and targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy are other alternative options that may be useful for the treatment of arthritis in dogs.
Also Check: Are Tomatoes Bad For Arthritis And Inflammation
Key Points About Arthritis
Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases cause pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective tissues in the body.
Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases can affect people of all ages. They are more common in women than men.
Symptoms may include pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, or redness in 1 or more joints.
There is no cure for arthritis. The treatment goal is to limit pain and inflammation and preserve joint function.
Treatment options include medicines, weight reduction, exercise, and surgery.
Should I See A Doctor
Its common to have aches and pains in your muscles and joints from time to time. This may especially be true if you take part in unusual or strenuous physical activities.
So, how can you tell the difference between the early signs of arthritis and normal pain and stiffness? And, how do you know when you should see a doctor about your symptoms?
If you have swelling or stiffness that you cant explain and that doesn’t go away in a few days, or if it becomes painful to touch your joints, you should see a doctor. The earlier you get a diagnosis and start the right type of treatment, the better the outcome will be.
Here are some other things to think about that might help you decide whether you need to see a doctor: