What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means the immune system is affected and attacks the body. When this happens, it attacks the synovial membrane that surrounds and protects the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects several joints at once.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the joints of the hands, wrists, and knees. In Rheumatoid arthritis, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed and damages the joint tissue. Damage to this tissue can cause long-term or chronic pain, instability , and joint deformity.
Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other tissues throughout the body, causing problems in organs such as the heart, lungs, and eyes.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis
Ayurveda offers a safe and effective ayurvedic treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Good health is achieved by harmonizing not only the body but also the mind and spirit. Healing techniques like yoga, meditation, and the proper use of herbal therapies help to achieve this. This modality offers benefits without the significant risks associated with conventional medical treatment. Yoga and Panchakarma is a golden combination that offers comprehensive care for the prevention and treatment of arthritis.
How Can I Manage Oa And Improve My Quality Of Life
CDCs Arthritis Program recommends five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms.
- Learn self-management skills. Join a self-management education class, which helps people with arthritis and other chronic conditionsincluding OAunderstand how arthritis affects their lives and increase their confidence in controlling their symptoms and living well. Learn more about the CDC-recommended self-management education programs.
- Get physically active. Experts recommend that adults engage in 150 minutes per week of at least moderate physical activity. Every minute of activity counts, and any activity is better than none. Moderate, low impact activities recommended include walking, swimming, or biking. Regular physical activity can also reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Learn more about physical activity for arthritis.
- Go to effective physical activity programs. For people who worry that physical activity may make OA worse or are unsure how to exercise safely, participation in physical activity programs can help reduce pain and disability related to arthritis and improve mood and the ability to move. Classes take place at local Ys, parks, and community centers. These classes can help people with OA feel better. Learn more about CDC-recommended physical activity programs.
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Other Pain Relief Treatments
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
A TENS machine sends electrical pulses to your nerve endings through pads placed on your skin. It produces a tingling sensation and is thought to relieve pain by altering pain signals sent to the brain. The research evidence on the effectiveness of TENS is mixed, but some people do find it helpful. A physiotherapist will be able to advise on the types of TENS machine available and how to use them. Or they may be able to loan you one to try before you buy.
Hyaluronic acid injections
Hyaluronic acid, or hyaluronan, is a lubricant and shock absorber thats found naturally in the fluid in your joints. Injections of hyaluronic acid have sometimes been used as a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. The treatment isnt currently available on the NHS because research evidence on its long-term effectiveness is mixed. The treatment is, however, available privately.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Osteoarthritis is a chronic progressive disorder that affects millions of people with advancing age. The condition has no cure and is managed by a team of healthcare professionals that include an internist, radiologist, endocrinologist, orthopedic surgeon, and rheumatologist. The nurse, pharmacist, and physical therapist are also integral members of the interprofessional healthcare team. Only through cohesive activity and communication involving all healthcare disciplines are optimal results achievable.
Patients with osteoarthritis require education on the natural history of the disease and understand their treatment options. Obese patients need a dietary consult and enroll in an exercise program. Evidence shows that water-based activities can help relieve symptoms and improve joint function hence consultation with a physical therapist is recommended. Further, many of these patients may benefit from a walking aid. Patients with pain should become familiar with the types of drugs and supplements available and their potential adverse effects. Only through the education of the patient can the morbidity of this disorder be decreased.
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Are Arthritis And Osteoarthritis The Same
Arthritis is a blanket term covering all types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout.
Wear and tear on the joints are known as osteoarthritis, and its the most common type of arthritis. It occurs when cartilage between bones breaks down, causing joints to become swollen, painful and hard to move. While osteoarthritis can occur at any age it is more common in people over 50 and women. It most commonly affects hands, knees, hips, the lower back and neck. In the meantime, arthritis pain can be quite difficult to manage.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can lead to painful swelling and joint deformity. It differs from other types of arthritis in that it affects not just joints but other body parts as well.
Special Devices And Footwear
Walking sticks can help to reduce the load on your knees and reduce pain when moving about. Other ways to improve symptoms of osteoarthritis include taping the joint, wearing braces, or using shoe insoles that improve your body alignment when standing and walking. Check with your physiotherapist for advice about using aids or supports.
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How Common Is Osteoarthritis
Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men. Australian studies show that about 1 in 10 women report having the condition, compared with about 1 in 16 men.
Osteoarthritis can develop at any age, but it is more common in people aged over 40 years or in those who have previously injured a joint. One in 5 Australians over the age of 45, and one in 3 over 75 years have osteoarthritis.
How Does Inflammatory Arthritis Differ From Osteoarthritis
Both conditions share many similarities, including stiff, painful joints with a limited range of motion. Many people experience warmth and tenderness and report that their symptoms are worse in the morning. My osteoarthritis is worsening simply because I am aging and active. Osteoarthritis, like mine, is primarily caused by movement and the joint experiencing normal wear and tear. Simply put, it is joint mechanics over time, our joints wear down. Osteoarthritis takes many years to develop, while inflammatory arthritis can arise relatively quickly. The body mistakes healthy tissues for germs or pathogens in this disease, resulting in a wrongful immune response.
Osteoarthritis results from physical use of the joints. Inflammatory arthritis, on the other hand, is very different from osteoarthritis, as it is a chronic autoimmune disease. While osteoarthritis occurs over time and thus typically affects older adults, inflammatory arthritis can hit at any age, even in childhood. In addition, while your risk of developing osteoarthritis can be impacted by being overweight or obese or from suffering a severe joint injury, inflammatory arthritis tends to run in families and is more common in women. It is possible to experience both conditions during your lifetime.
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Osteoarthritis Of The Knees
Like hip OA, knee OA can occur in one or both knees. Age, genetics, and knee injury may all play a role in knee OA.
Athletes who concentrate solely on one sport that involves extensive, repetitive motion, such as running or tennis, may be at increased risk of OA. Likewise, if you pursue only one type of physical activity, this may overuse some muscles and underuse others.
Overuse causes weakness and instability in the knee joint. Varying your activities helps to work different muscle groups, allowing all the muscles around your knee to be strengthened.
What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Everyones joints go through a normal cycle of damage and repair during their lifetime, but sometimes the bodys process to repair our joints can cause changes in their shape or structure. When these changes happen in one or more of your joints, its known as osteoarthritis.
A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones meet in your knee, its the thigh and shin bones. There is also a small bone at the front of the knee called the patella or kneecap.
The ends of our bones are covered in a smooth and slippery surface, known as cartilage . This allows the bones to move against each other without friction, and protects your joint from stress.
Your knee also has two other rings of a different type of cartilage known as menisci or meniscus, which help to share weight evenly across your knee joint, and theres also cartilage underneath your kneecap.
Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in your knee joint to thin and the surfaces of the joint to become rougher, which means that the knee doesnt move as smoothly as it should, and it might feel painful and stiff.
Osteoarthritis can affect anyone at any age, but its more common in women over 50.
Injuries or other joint problems, such as gout, can make people more likely to get osteoarthritis. The genes we inherit from our parents can also increase the risk of the condition developing.
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Affected Joints In Ra
RA usually begins in the smaller joints. Youre likely to have pain, stiffness, and swelling in the finger joints. As RA progresses, symptoms can develop in larger joints such as knees, shoulders, and ankles.
RA is a symmetrical disease. That means youll experience symptoms on both sides of your body at the same time.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Vs Osteoarthritis: Differences Between The Symptoms
Although both arthritic conditions cause pain and stiffness in the joints, there are important differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. For example, the joints in rheumatoid arthritis will be swollen, but in osteoarthritis there is usually little to no swelling. The following are other differences in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis symptoms.
- Time of Symptom Outbreak: Rheumatoid arthritis patients will often wake up with stiff joints in the morning, with symptoms lasting an hour or longer. Osteoarthritis patients will also wake up with stiffness, and it often goes away within a half hour, but will likely return after some type of physical activity.
- Location of Symptoms: Rheumatoid arthritis is symmetrical, meaning that the same joints are affected on both sides of the body. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is not. The degenerative condition tends to affect weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, and spine, but it can also affect the hands.
- Non-Joint Symptoms: Osteoarthritis will typically only affect the joints, but patients with rheumatoid arthritis will experience non-joint symptoms such as aching muscles, excessive fatigue, nerve damage, weight loss, depression, and dryness of the mouth and eyes. Children with rheumatoid arthritis may also develop a low-grade fever.
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How Will Osteoarthritis Of The Spine Affect Me
The first sign of osteoarthritis of the spine is usually pain and stiffness in your back or neck.
The condition can be difficult to diagnose, as it can be hard to tell which symptoms are linked to osteoarthritis. It can even be hard to spot back and neck problems on x-rays of the spine, as changes caused by osteoarthritis dont always cause pain.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the spine will vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are:
- pain in your back or neck
- stiffness, especially first thing in the morning or after resting
- crunching or grinding noises when moving your back or neck.
People who have osteoarthritis in their neck might also have headaches or feel pain in their shoulders and arms.
Its normal for the cartilage in our joints to get thinner, especially as we get older. But in people with osteoarthritis, its the bodys normal process of repairing damage to joints that can cause pain and stiffness.
When the body starts to repair damage to cartilage, the whole joint can be affected including the bone, tendons and ligaments.
During the repair process, the edges of the bones in the spine can grow outwards, forming bony spurs. These are known as osteophytes . The discs between the vertebrae in the spine can also become thinner.
Complementary Medicine For Osteoarthritis
In many cases, theres little research evidence to show that supplements and herbal remedies can improve arthritis or its symptoms, but many people feel they do benefit from them.
Below are a few of the supplements often used by people with osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine is found naturally in the body in structures such as ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Supplements are usually produced from crab, lobster or prawn shells, although shellfish-free types are available. Theres some research to suggest it may have some benefit in painful osteoarthritis, especially of the knee.
Most trials have used a dose of 500 mg three times a day, and the evidence seems to suggest glucosamine sulphate may be more effective than glucosamine hydrochloride. It doesnt help the pain straight away so youll need to take it for a couple of months. If it hasnt helped after two months, then its unlikely that it will.
Chondroitin exists naturally in our bodies and its thought that it helps give cartilage elasticity. The research evidence is limited to animal studies that suggest it might help to slow the breakdown of cartilage.
Dont expect to see any improvement for at least two months. And if your cartilage is badly damaged, its unlikely that youll benefit from chondroitin.
There are a number of different treatments available and they can generally be used alongside prescribed or over-the-counter medicines.
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What Medications Are Used To Treat Osteoarthritis
The first step with medication is often over-the-counter pain relievers as needed. These include acetaminophen , ibuprofen , and naproxen . Don’t take over-the-counter medications for more than 10 days without checking with your doctor. Taking them longer than that increases the chance of side effects. If over-the-counter treatments aren’t effective, your doctor may decide to prescribe a stronger anti-inflammatory drug or other medication to help ease the pain. Some medications in the form of creams, rubs, or sprays may be applied over the skin of affected areas to relieve pain. For some people with persistent pain despite these pills or creams, steroids can be injected directly into the joint. These injections can be given several times a year, though some experts believe this may ultimately accelerate joint damage.
Injections of hyaluronic acid directly into the knee joint can relieve pain in some people with osteoarthritis.
When osteoarthritis pain is severe and other treatments are not working, some doctors will give stronger pain pills, such as narcotics.
Unfortunately, none of these will reverse or slow the progression of joint damage caused by osteoarthritis.
What Are The Treatment Options
Right now, there is no cure for inflammatory arthritis. But, again, early diagnosis and treatment at the diseases first stages can help prevent serious complications. Following a diagnosis, your doctor may prescribe a set of medication that will help to relieve the pain and swelling. In addition, these prescribed drugs may include ones that will help to calm the immune system. Prescribed drugs may consist of corticosteroids, such as prednisone, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.
Your doctor may want to surgically replace an affected joint if all other non-surgical treatments have failed in severe cases. Under the guidance of your healthcare team, you will need to find a balance of activity that will maintain your overall health, along with rest, which may reduce those painful flare-ups.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Vs Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, a condition that has two main causes. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, and osteoarthritis is degeneration of the joints over time. While the underlying causes are different, there are similarities to the symptoms.
The general symptoms of both types of arthritis are painful and stiff joints, reduced range of motion of the joints, warmth or tenderness in the joints affected, and more severe symptoms first thing in the morning.
Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
If you have back pain, it may indicate that you have spinal OA. This condition affects the facet joints located throughout the spine.
Age and trauma to the spine are both potential risk factors for spinal OA. A person who is overweight, or whose job requires squatting and sitting, may also be at increased risk.
Spinal OAs symptoms can vary in severity. They include:
- stiffness or tenderness in the joints in your back
- weakness, numbness, or tingling in your arms or legs
- reduced range of motion
Its important to pay attention to these symptoms. Without treatment, spinal OA can worsen, causing more severe symptoms and disability. Get the facts on OA of the spine.
You may have risk factors for OA that you cant change, such as heredity and age. However, other risk factors can be controlled. Managing them can help reduce your risk of OA.
The following tips can help you manage the risk factors under your control:
- Support your body. If youre an athlete or an avid exerciser, make sure you care for your body. Wear athletic supports and shoes that reduce impact on your knees. Also make sure to vary your sports, so that all of your muscles get a workout, not just the same muscles every time.
- Maintain a moderate weight. Keep your body mass index in the appropriate range for your height and sex.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Reach for a range of healthy foods, with a focus on fruits and vegetables.
- Get enough rest. Give your body ample opportunities to rest and sleep.
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