How Does This Happen
Stress and associated conditions cause high levels of cortisol and adrenaline to be produced in our bodies, multiple times a day.
These chemicals can get to such a level in our system that they make our immune system believe that there is a threat to us as humans.
Our body goes into overdrive, to protect us, putting us in flight or fight mode.
But because there is no physical threat, like an attacker or a car about to hit us, our body has nowhere to put the adrenaline that it has produced.
Normally it would use these chemicals to feed our muscles to run or to fight.
So, these chemicals get stuck on a continuous loop of being produced, due to the mental reliving of a traumatic event.
They have nowhere to go and stay in our bloodstream.
After a while, months, sometimes years, of remembering these events, our body gets used to these chemicals being there, so the body starts to need these chemicals daily.
Putting us in a permanent state of alert, with no outlet for these feelings.
Now, the immune system, having nothing to attack, begins to attack anything and everything, to put right the internal imbalance.
This is how autoimmune diseases like arthritis can be triggered.
Types Of Mild Arthritis
There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis, and each can vary in severity. Healthcare providers utilize many tools to determine how progressive your type of arthritis is, including laboratory tests, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging , and ultrasound.
The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative arthritis that worsens over time due to the aging process or overuse of a joint. Lifestyle adjustments can help slow the progression of this type of arthritis and help you keep the condition in a mild state.
Rheumatoid arthritis , on the other hand, is often more severe and painful and affects joints on both sides of the body. Unlike osteoarthritis, RA is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the lining of the joints called the synovium. The inflammation becomes progressively worse, but medications like disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs can be used to slow the progression of the disease.
Other types of arthritis include ankylosing spondylitis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, infectious arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma.
How Degenerative Arthritis Affects The Body
The biological mechanisms of osteoarthritis involve more than the deterioration of cartilage and bone. Once these structures have been compromised, the body will respond with a process known as ossification, a part of bone remodeling that refers to laying down new bone reabsorption of old bone can also occur in the remodeling process. This is the same process that occurs if a bone is broken.
However, with osteoarthritis, the ongoing damage to the cartilage will outpace the body’s ability to repair it. In an effort to stabilize the joint, bone tissue will be built upon bone tissue, leading to the development of bone spurs and the enlargement and malformation of the joint.
In many people with osteoarthritis, pain likely originates from the bone , the joint lining and capsule, and surrounding ligaments and tendons. Both mechanical forces and inflammation appear to trigger the pain.
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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.
Nonsurgical Treatments For Hip Arthritis
- Activity modifications may help reduce painful flare-ups. Avoid activities that aggravate hip arthritis, such as running, jumping and other high-impact exercises.
- Lifestyle modifications, such as weight loss, can help reduce stress on the hip joint.
- Physical therapy exercises can help improve strength in the hip. Engaging in low-impact exercises and activities, such as swimming and cycling, and remaining physically active are key to managing hip arthritis symptoms.
- Heating pads can help soothe inflammation in the hip.
- Medications and injections, such as corticosteroid injections, hyaluronic acid injections, platelet-rich plasma injections, vitamin and mineral supplements, and immunosuppressive or biologic medicines can help control pain and inflammation. Which medications will work best depends on the type of arthritis.
- Walking aids such as a cane or walker provide support when walking.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Arthritis Of The Knee
There are many signs and symptoms of arthritis of the knee:
- Creaking, clicking, grinding or snapping noises .
- Difficulty walking.
- Joint pain that changes depending on the weather.
- Joint stiffness.
- Knee joint pain that progresses slowly or pain that happens suddenly.
- Skin redness.
- Your knee locks or sticks when its trying to move.
- Warm skin.
Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis of the knee. Some treatments might reduce the severity of your symptoms or even stall the progression. See your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of knee arthritis.
Will I Need Surgery For Arthritis
Healthcare providers usually only recommend surgery for certain severe cases of arthritis. These are cases that havent improved with conservative treatments. Surgical options include:
- Fusion: Two or more bones are permanently fused together. Fusion immobilizes a joint and reduces pain caused by movement.
- Joint replacement: A damaged, arthritic joint gets replaced with an artificial joint. Joint replacement preserves joint function and movement. Examples include ankle replacement, hip replacement, knee replacement and shoulder replacement.
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Arthritis Treatment: Occupational Therapy
Protecting your joints is an important part of arthritis treatment. With the help of an occupational therapist, you can learn easier ways to do your normal activities. An occupational therapist can teach you how to:
- Avoid positions that strain your joints
- Use your strongest joints and muscles while sparing weaker ones
- Provide braces or supports to protect certain joints
- Use grab bars in the bath
- Use modified doorknobs, canes, or walkers
- Use devices to help you with tasks such as opening jars or pulling up socks and zippers
When To Consider Hip Replacement
An appropriately prescribed hip replacement fixes the mechanical issues you may be experiencing. And its the only treatment option that does such.
The hip replacement experience has drastically improved over the past 20-30 years. Many improvements are directly tied to the way in which pain is managed post-operatively. Many surgeons use a multi-modal pain regimen that targets different pain receptors in the brain and the site of the surgery. Patients are getting up faster and are leaving the hospital sooner. Thirty years ago, many patients spent up to two weeks in the hospital after surgery. Today, many people go home within 1-2 days and in some centers in the country are even going home the same day.
If you have tried alternative treatment methods for your hip arthritis, it may be time to discuss the next step. Your doctor may suggest a hip replacement as the best option for you. If so, contact our doctors at Tuckahoe Orthopaedics today to discuss whats next for you.
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What Questions Might A Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Arthritis Of The Knee
Your healthcare provider will interview you when you report your symptoms. Some questions might include:
- Does anyone in your family have arthritis of the knee?
- Does your knee swell up?
- Is your skin often red?
- Is your skin often warm?
- Do you have symptoms in one knee or both?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- What medications do you take?
- How severe is your pain?
- Do you struggle to walk?
- Do the symptoms interfere with your daily activities?
Which Stage Of Hip Osteoarthritis Are You In
Do you have arthritis? A lot of your friends and family members probably have arthritis too. As a matter of fact, osteoarthritis is diagnosed by physicians more often than any other joint disease or disorder.
However, not everyone experiences osteoarthritis in the same way. You may only feel some pain when you get out of bed in the morning, or after sitting for a long period of time. And you might feel fine once you get going.
Although there are many different types of arthritis, there is a good chance you are suffering from osteoarthritis, which is the most common type. In fact, you can have signs of arthritis on your X-rays even though you have no pain at all.
Why doesnt everyone who has osteoarthritis experience the same problems? The answer to this question becomes clearer when you understand that osteoarthritis is a progressive disease meaning that the longer you have it, especially if you dont change some of your habits, the worse it can get.
The reason you might experience hip arthritis differently than your best friend or your family member is because you are probably in a different stage of the disease than they are. Osteoarthritis can be classified into four different stages, and the stage you are in will determine your best choice of treatment.
So, which stage of hip osteoarthritis are you in? Your orthopedic surgeon is most qualified to identify this for you, but here are some general rules of thumb.
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What Are The Stages Of Oa And Treatment Options
STAGE 0 Joint is healthy and there are no signs of OA.
STAGE 1 Some development of bony growths within the joint. At this stage, there is only minor wear on joint components and you rarely experience pain or discomfort.
- Treatment: If there are minor symptoms, or you have other factors putting you at an increased risk of OA, oral supplements and an exercise regime may be recommended to slow the progression of the disease. Weight loss, bracing to ensure joint stability, and oral pain relief medication may be prescribed at any stage. A Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection, which uses plasma from your own blood to stimulate your body to heal itself, may also be recommended to help repair damage during this early stage.
STAGE 2 This is considered mild OA. X-rays will show larger bone spurs, but cartilage is still thick enough to prevent the bones from rubbing against one another. Synovial fluid, which helps lubricate and cushion joints, is typically still present at sufficient levels for normal joint motion. Its often at this stage where you may first begin experiencing symptoms. They could include pain after a long day of walking or running, greater stiffness in the joint when its not used for several hours, or tenderness when kneeling or bending.
For more information on Image-Guided Pain Therapy injections, please speak to your health care practitioner.
What Are The Conventional Treatments For Arthritis
Conventional treatments for arthritis begin with protecting the joint from progressive joint degeneration, increasing joint movement, and providing pain control so that the individual can maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. When pain and disability from arthritis increase, surgery is an option.
Treatments that focus on pain control include:
- Acetaminophen. The American Pain Society has recommended the use of acetaminophen for mild to moderatearthritic pain.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the preferred drugs for moderate to severe pain. When NSAIDS are used as long-term therapy for arthritis there is a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Narcotics and opiate analgesics can be safely used in treating patients withsevere arthritic pain resistant to nonopioid medications.
- Joint Injections. Corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid medications can be injected into the joint.
When pain from arthritis cannot be controlled with medication, surgery is sometimes an option. The most common surgeries done for arthritis are:
- Arthroscopy. Arthroscopic surgery is sometimes recommended to repair or shave the cartilage or remove floating pieces of cartilage that may be causing joint pain,
- Total Joint Replacement. In individuals with advanced osteoarthritis, chronic pain and marked limitation in joint mobility, total joint replacements surgery can be very effective in helping an individual resume an active lifestyle.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
You should make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you experience the following symptoms:
- Pain, swelling, or stiffness in more than one joint at a time
- Joint tenderness or pain that lasts for more than three days
- Joints that are red or feel hot to the touch
- Joint pain or weakness that leads to buckling or locking
Examples Of Arthritis In A Sentence
arthritisForbesarthritisPeoplemagarthritis The Salt Lake Tribunearthritis BostonGlobe.comarthritis Smithsonian Magazinearthritis WSJarthritisUSA TODAYarthritis Los Angeles Times
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘arthritis.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose Arthritis
The first step in the diagnosis of arthritis is a meeting between the doctor and the patient. The doctor will review the history of symptoms, examine the joints for inflammation and deformity, as well as ask questions about or examine other parts of the body for inflammation or signs of diseases that can affect other body areas. Furthermore, medical professionals might order certain blood , urine, joint fluid, and/or X-ray tests. Plain X-ray testing can be used to easily detect signs of osteoarthritis, such as joint space narrowing and spur formation . A doctor will make a diagnosis based on the pattern of symptoms, the distribution of the inflamed joints, and any blood and X-ray findings. Several visits may be necessary before the doctor can be certain of the diagnosis. A doctor with special training in arthritis and related diseases is called a rheumatologist .
Many forms of arthritis are more of an annoyance than serious. However, millions of people suffer daily with pain and disability from arthritis or its complications.
Primary Osteoarthritis Versus Secondary Osteoarthritis
In primary OA, the disease is of idiopathic origin and usually affects multiple joints in a relatively elderly population. Secondary OA usually is a monoarticular condition and develops as a result of a defined disorder affecting the joint articular surface . or from abnormalities of joint eg acetabular displasia. Pistol grip deformities are seen in some cases, mostly linked with slipped upper femoral epiphysis. Although seen as a specific condition, it is often linked with metabolic abnormalities.
- Aggravated movement when hip is loaded wrong or too long cold weather
- Eased with continuous movement
- Commonly in groin/thigh, radiating to buttocks or knee. According to new systematic review published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, thigh/groin pain and constant back/buttock pain are better indicators of hip OA than stand-alone tests.
- End-stage: Constant pain, night pain
- Joint space narrowing on x-rays
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What Are Some Integrative Therapies And Healing Practices To Consider For Arthritis
In several US survey studies, many older patients with arthritis reported using complementary and alternative treatments. The most commonly used treatments were massage therapy and chiropractic . The use of complementary therapies for arthritis was most common among those who considered themselves in poorer health and who also used traditional healthcare resources more.
Multiple studies have been done on the use of acupuncture for the pain of osteoarthritis. In a recent trial of almost 600 patients with knee arthritis, 26 weeks of acupuncture were compared to education sessions. Those receiving acupuncture showed significant improvement in function at 8 weeks, and in pain reduction at 26 weeks.
Mind-Body Practices and Stress Reduction
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a program of meditation and gentle yoga that has been scientifically validated. It is currently used in more than 200 hospitals and medical centers to complement the medical management of chronic pain and stress-related disorders. Research has studied individuals with many different kinds of pain and shown dramatic reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability of individuals to cope with pain that may not go away.
Yoga is a holistic discipline, including mental, physical, and breathwork practices. A pilot study has shown that yoga may provide a feasible treatment option for obese patients over 50 years old and offers potential reductions in pain and disability caused by knee osteoarthritis.
What Is Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Some people call it degenerative joint disease or wear and tear arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees.
With OA, the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. These changes usually develop slowly and get worse over time. OA can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. In some cases it also causes reduced function and disability some people are no longer able to do daily tasks or work.
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What Is The Knee Joint
Three bones come together to form your knee joint. They include the:
- Shinbone .
A smooth substance called cartilage covers the ends of each bone. Its a cushion between the bones that keeps them from rubbing together. The synovial membrane, a type of tissue that surrounds the joint, lubricates the cartilage.
Arthritis of the knee causes pain and swelling in the joint