What Are The Warning Signs Of Arthritis
Pain from arthritis can be ongoing or can come and go. It may occur when you’re moving or after you have been still for some time. You may feel pain in one spot or in many parts of your body.
Your joints may feel stiff and be hard to move. You may find that it’s hard to do daily tasks you used to do easily, such as climbing stairs or opening a jar. Pain and stiffness may be more severe during certain times of the day or after you’ve done certain tasks.
Some types of arthritis cause swelling or inflammation. The skin over the joint may appear swollen and red and feel hot to the touch. Some types of arthritis can also cause fatigue.
How Is Arthritis Of The Knee Treated
Healthcare providers can’t cure knee arthritis. But they have some tips that might reduce the severity of your symptoms and possibly stop the arthritis from getting worse, including:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise using low-impact activities instead of high-impact activities . Aim for about 150 minutes of exercise per week.
- Wear shock-absorbing inserts in your shoes.
- Apply heat or ice to the area.
- Wear a knee sleeve or brace.
- Physical therapy exercises that help with flexibility, strength and motion.
- Use a cane.
Most people have stage 4 arthritis when they get surgery.
Important Considerations For People With Arthritis Of The Hip
There is no cure for arthritis. Typically, it starts gradually and worsens over time. Eventually, all forms of arthritis of the hip may permanently damage the hip joint. While osteoarthritis is more common in older people, there are forms of arthritis that affect younger people.
Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help minimize the effect of arthritis, and we are glad to discuss these option.
- 22% of the U.S. population in 2010 reported some form of arthritis
- Among adults over 65, 50% have some form of arthritis
- The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis
- Weight loss of just 11 pounds can reduce a womans risk of developing knee arthritis by 50%
- Of working age people , one-third of those who had arthritis reported it limited their ability to work
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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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 To Expect From Your Doctor
First, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical exam. During your physical exam, your doctor will examine your wrist for swelling, pain, and tenderness. The location of the swelling can tell your doctor which wrist joints are most affected. Problems in the wrist can affect peripheral tendons, causing tendonitis.
Next, your doctor will examine the range of motion of the wrist itself. This can show how mild or severe the arthritis is, or if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Your doctor will ask you to twist and flex both wrists in every direction. Finally, theyll manipulate your wrist and thumb joints and ask if you feel pain.
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Which Is Worse Lupus Or Ra
There are many differences between lupus and RA. For instance, lupus might affect your joints, but its more likely to affect your internal organs and your skin than RA. Lupus can also cause life-threatening complications. These may include kidney failure, clotting problems, or seizures, which are not symptoms of RA.
Describing Painful Symptoms To Your Doctor
To determine whether your pain is due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or another type of arthritis, your doctor will ask you many questions about your pain, how it affects your life and body, when it occurs, and how bad it gets. Your doctor may ask you to rate your pain on a scale from 1 to 10 .
Before you speak with your doctor, think about the words you want to use to describe your joint pain. Here are some terms that will help your doctor get the full picture. Choose the ones that best describe how your arthritis pain feels:
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Leg Pain: Arthritis Or Peripheral Artery Disease
If you suffer from leg pain while walking, you may blame arthritis. But if the problem is peripheral artery disease , it can have serious consequences.
When fatty deposits–called plaque–accumulate in your bodys arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. In PAD, these fatty deposits build up in the arteries that carry blood to your legs.
Untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and even leg amputation. Its also a warning sign that arteries in the heart and brain may be blocked, increasing your chances for heart attack and stroke.
Signs of PAD
PAD starts slowly and may go unnoticed. Discomfort can occur in the affected legs, thighs, calves, hips, buttocks, or feet. In addition to pain, other common sensations are heaviness, numbness, or aching in the leg muscles. Rest usually helps. Other symptoms include:
- Pale or bluish skin
- Lack of leg hair or toenail growth
- Sores on toes, feet, or legs that heal slowly or not at all
See your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms. PAD can be diagnosed with a simple test that measures blood flow by comparing blood pressure in your arms and legs.
Arthritis Affects Joints
Because PAD is such a serious and progressive disease, its important to know the difference between arthritis pain and symptoms that indicate blocked blood flow.
If joint pain lasts beyond three days, see a health care provider. Also get medical attention for:
Other Causes Of Hand And Finger Symptoms
RA hand symptoms can mimic those of other conditions, such as osteoarthritis. Some members of myRAteam discovered their hand pain was actually related to secondary Raynauds disease, a vascular condition that affects 10 percent to 20 percent of people with RA. Psoriatic arthritis, another autoimmune disease, can also cause hand and finger dysfunction as can pinched nerves in the neck.
A rheumatologist can diagnose the specific cause of symptoms in the hand with a physical exam and X-rays. X-rays can detect narrowing of joint space or erosions of the bone that could signal RA. Ultrasound and MRI technology has improved the ability to spot joint damage earlier in the course of the disease.
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Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that acts as padding between the joints breaks down. The cartilage can wear down gradually, over decadesin fact, osteoarthritis is sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease. When cartilage degeneration is triggered by an injury it is called post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type of arthritis.
How is it similar to RA? Osteoarthritis is characterized by joint pain that is worse after periods of inactivity. Joints may feel stiff and lose range of motion. Sometimes an affected joint is swollen and/or tender to the touch.
How is it different? Although some people with osteoarthritis experience joint swelling, the swelling is usually mild and less notable than the moderate to severe joint swelling that is a hallmark of RA. Because osteoarthritis is not a systemic autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, it is not accompanied by fatigue, fever, or flu-like symptoms.
The Effects Of Psoriatic Arthritis On The Body
PsA is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack healthy parts of the body, mostly the skin and the joints.
This causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, either singly or throughout the body. Early treatment is essential to avoid long-term joint and tissue deterioration.
Psoriatic arthritis usually develops within 10 years of developing psoriasis. Skin psoriasis causes flare-ups of red, patchy skin that can occur anywhere on the body.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about 30 percent of people with psoriasis eventually develop PsA.
In some cases, PsA is diagnosed before you have skin psoriasis because the arthritic symptoms might be more noticeable.
Its also possible to develop PsA without having psoriasis, especially if you have a family history of psoriasis. Both skin psoriasis and inflammatory types of arthritis are considered autoimmune disorders.
PsA is a chronic, or long-term, condition. Anyone can get it, but its most common between ages 30 and 50 years. Since theres no cure, treatment is aimed at managing symptoms and preventing permanent joint damage.
Research theorizes that genetics play a part in the development of psoriatic arthritis. Scientists are trying to find out which genes are involved. Identifying the genes may allow the development of gene therapy treatment.
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Why Do Joints Make Popping And Cracking Noises
Joints can make different noises–some are serious and some are not.
Some people learn how to “pop their knuckles.” By pushing or pulling a joint in a certain way an air bubble can suddenly appear in the joint with a “pop.” Once the bubble is there the joint cannot be popped again until the air has been reabsorbed.
Some joints crack as the ligaments and tendons that pass over them slide past bumps on the bones. Individuals who “crack their neck” make noise in this way.
Other joints lock up intermittently–often with a loud pop–because something gets caught in between the joint surfaces. A torn cartilage in the knee or a loose piece of bone or cartilage in the joint can do this. Once a joint is stuck in this way, it may need to be wiggled around to unlock it. This may also cause a pop.
Finally joints that are arthritic may crack and grind. These noises usually occur each time the joint is moved. This noise is due to the roughness of the joint surface due to loss of the smooth cartilage.
Most Rheumatologists And Public Health Experts Want People Living With Rheumatic Diseases Like Psoriatic Arthritis To Get The Vaccine As Soon As They Can
Learn more about our FREE COVID-19 Patient Support Programfor chronic illness patients and their loved ones.
If you live with psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory and autoimmune form of arthritis that affects about 30 percent of people with psoriasis, you may understandably have many questions and concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Heres the bottom line: Especially if you have an autoimmune condition like psoriatic arthritis, most rheumatologists and public health experts recommend you get vaccinated against COVID-19. In its COVID-19 Task Force Guidance, the National Psoriasis Foundation says that in most cases, patients with psoriatic disease who dont have contraindications should take the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine that becomes available to them.
Similarly, the American College of Rheumatology states that autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic disease patients , which includes people with psoriatic arthritis, should receive the vaccine when theyre eligible.
The ACR also states that disease activity and severity should not delay you from getting the vaccine except in extreme cases . That said, vaccination would ideally take place in the setting of well-controlled disease.
Heres everything you need to know about getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you have psoriatic arthritis.
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Swollen Joints Fingers And Toes
Often youll notice swelling in your knees, ankles, feet, and hands. Usually, a few joints are inflamed at a time. They get painful and puffy, and sometimes hot and red. When your fingers or toes are affected, they might take on a sausage shape. Psoriatic arthritis might affect pairs of joints on both sides of your body, like both of your knees, ankles, hips, and elbows.
What Does Arthritis Pain Feel Like
Are you wondering if the pain and stiffness in your hips, knees, or fingers are caused by arthritis? Here’s how you and your doctor can decide.
Hardly anyone escapes the annoyance of occasional aches and pains, especially as they age. But persistent joint pain and stiffness can be signs of arthritis, which affects more than 54.4 million American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . By 2040, an estimated 78 million American adults are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
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What Are Bone Spurs
Bone spurs are of two basic types. One is the kind that arises near a joint with osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. In this situation, the cartilage has been worn through and the bone responds by growing extra bone at the margins of the joint surface. These “spurs” carry the formal name “osteophytes.” They are common features of the osteoarthritic shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle. Removing these osteophytes is an important part of joint replacement surgery but removing them without addressing the underlying arthritis is usually not effective in relieving symptoms.
The second type of bone spur is the kind that occurs when the attachment of ligaments or tendons to bone become calcified. This can occur on the bottom of the foot around the Achilles Tendon and in the coroacoacromial ligament of the shoulder. These spurs often look impressive on X-rays, but because they are in the substance of the ligaments rarely cause sufficient problems to merit excision.
Types Of Treatment For Arthritis
Fortunately, there is a lengthy list of treatments that are available in treating all different forms of arthritis. Although treatment will need to be determined by a professional medical provider, there are treatments you can take charge of in daily life to prevent and manage arthritis. Here are some of the most effective treatments for arthritis today.
Some types of physical therapy can help arthritis symptoms improve. Working with a physical therapist who specializes in joint and inflammatory disorders can be helpful. They can guide you through safe and effective exercises to target specific areas of your body that are affected by your type of arthritis.
With physical therapy, youll likely also need another form of treatment alongside it. Treatments like medication, living healthier, and hot or cold therapy can help.
Certain medications can relieve arthritis symptoms. Some prescriptions can work at controlling the immune system, in the case of rheumatic arthritis that is caused by an inflammatory disease.
NSAIDs are easy to access and help relieve inflammation and pain in the body. Some of them are strong and need to be prescribed by a doctor. But most of us are familiar with over-the-counter forms of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and cold medicine.
Medications are not a cure for arthritis. Always follow the guidelines of your health care providers. They can offer relief, but should not be depended on for an expected cure.
Holistic Treatment Plan
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How Is Arthritis Treated
There are many treatments that can help relieve pain and help you live with arthritis. You should talk to your doctor about the best treatments for you, which can include:
- Medications to relieve pain, slow the condition, and prevent further damage.
- Surgery to repair joint damage or relieve pain.
Doctors who diagnose and treat arthritis and other rheumatic diseases include:
- A general practitioner, such as your family doctor.
- A rheumatologist, who treats arthritis and other diseases of the bones, joints, and muscles.
Treatment For Psoriatic Arthritis
Treatment for psoriatic arthritis aims to:
- relieve symptoms
- slow the conditions progression
- improve quality of life
This usually involves trying a number of different medicines, some of which can also treat the psoriasis. If possible, you should take 1 medicine to treat both your psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
The main medicines used to treat psoriatic arthritis are:
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
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Most Common Types Of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is perhaps the most common type of arthritis. Its what most people are likely to automatically think about when they hear the term arthritis. Harvard Health estimates there is a 50/50 chance that someone will experience Osteoarthritis in life.
Osteo means related to the bones. Therefore, this type of arthritis affects the joints, cartilage, and bones. This wear-and-tear is most often seen in people over the age of 50. But it can also affect younger people with preexisting conditions or major injuries. It starts mild but then gradually gets more and more serious over time.
It causes cartilage the padding material between our bones to break down. As you can imagine, this can be super painful. It mostly affects the knees, elbows, hands, and hips, which are joints we all use most often. But it can affect any joint in the body even small joints like the fingers, spine, and toes.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis:
- Grinding or popping sounds in the affected joints
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the types of inflammatory arthritis disorders. Its an autoimmune disorder rheumatic meaning of the soft tissue. This means the body thinks the healthy cells are a threat to the immune system, and therefore attacks them as an unwanted virus or foreign substance. As a result, the immune system gets depleted and the body suffers in physical ways.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Increased stress levels or extreme mood swings
What Does Knee Pain Caused By Arthritis Feel Like
With the immense amount of pressure and strain put on our knees day after day and year after year, it is not surprising that knee pain is such a widespread complaint in men and women of all ages in Atlanta, GA. While there are certainly some more serious causes of knee pain, in a large number of people, knee pain is temporary and, relatively, harmless. However, if you think the pain in your knees may be caused by arthritis, here are a few telltale signs and symptoms to watch for:
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