Types Of Inflammatory Arthritis
Some of the common types of inflammatory arthritis are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis :RA is an autoimmune condition. In RA, your immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of your joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis :PsA is a type of arthritis that impacts individuals with the skin condition psoriasis. Its an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks healthy joint and skin tissue.
- Axial spondyloarthritis: Axial spondyloarthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that mainly impacts the spine and sacroiliac joints. The SI joints are the joints that connect your hipbone to your spine.
- Lupus arthritis: Like RA and PsA, lupus is an autoimmune condition. Many people with lupus have musculoskeletal involvement, which can lead to joint pain and swelling.
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis :JIA is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects children and adolescents. Its an autoimmune condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissues.
- Gout:Gout is an inflammatory condition that can cause joints to swell and become sensitive and painful. Its triggered by the presence of uric acid crystals in the joints.
Generally speaking, all types of inflammatory arthritis involve the following symptoms in the joints:
- tenderness or pain
However, each type of inflammatory arthritis can also have unique symptoms or impact a specific area of the body. Lets explore this now.
Other Conditions And Joint Pain
Other forms of arthritis, and other conditions, can also cause joint pain. Examples include:
- fibromyalgia syndrome, a condition in which your brain processes pain in your muscles and joints in a way that amplifies your perception of the pain
- scleroderma, an autoimmune condition in which inflammation and hardening in your skin connective tissues can lead to organ damage and joint pain
Treatment Goals: Manage Pain And Improve Function
Osteoarthritis treatment plans often include exercise, rest and joint care, pain relief, weight control, medicines, surgery, and complementary treatment approaches. Current treatments for osteoarthritis can relieve symptoms such as pain and disability, but there are no treatments that can cure the condition.
Although health care professionals can prescribe or recommend treatments to help you manage your arthritis, the real key to living well with the disease is you. Research shows that people with osteoarthritis who take part in their own care report less pain and make fewer doctor visits. They also enjoy a better quality of life.
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How Is Oa Treated
There is no cure for OA, so doctors usually treat OA symptoms with a combination of therapies, which may include the following:
- Increasing physical activity
- Medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs
- Supportive devices such as crutches or canes
In addition to these treatments, people can gain confidence in managing their OA with self-management strategies. These strategies help reduce pain and disability so people with osteoarthritis can pursue the activities that are important to them. These five simple and effective arthritis management strategies can help.
Physical Activity for Arthritis
Some people are concerned that physical activity will make their arthritis worse, but joint-friendly physical activity can actually improve arthritis pain, function, and quality of life.
How Is Spinal Arthritis Treated
The treatment for spinal arthritis depends on many factors. They may include your age, level of pain, type and severity of arthritis and personal health goals. Because the joint damage caused by arthritis is irreversible, the treatment usually focuses on managing pain and preventing further damage.
Nonsurgical treatments for spinal arthritis may include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids to reduce pain and swelling
Other medications targeting specific symptoms or triggers of inflammatory arthritis
Physical therapy to improve back muscle strength and range of motion in the spine
Lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation or stress on your spine: losing weight, quitting smoking, changing your posture, etc.
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What Lifestyle Changes Can Help People With Arthritis
Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight reduce the risk of developing OA and can reduce symptoms if you already have it.
Eating a healthy diet is important for weight loss. Choosing a diet with lots of antioxidants, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, can help reduce inflammation. Other inflammation-reducing foods include fish and nuts.
Foods to minimize or avoid if you have arthritis include fried foods, processed foods, dairy products, and high intakes of meat.
Some research also suggests that gluten antibodies may be present in people with RA. A gluten-free diet may improve symptoms and disease progression. A 2015 study also recommends a gluten-free diet for all people who receive a diagnosis of undifferentiated connective tissue disease.
Regular exercise will keep your joints flexible. Swimming is often a good form of exercise for people with arthritis because it doesnt put pressure on your joints the way running and walking do. Staying active is important, but you should also be sure to rest when you need to and avoid overexerting yourself.
At-home exercises you can try include:
- the head tilt, neck rotation, and other exercises to relieve pain in your neck
Are There Different Types Of Knee Osteoarthritis
The knee has three contact zones, also known as compartments where osteoarthritis usually occurs. A common way to classify knee osteoarthritis is by which of the three compartments of are affected:
- Medial Tibiofemoral Compartment the inside part of the knee where the tibia meets the femur .
- Lateral Tibiofemoral Compartment The outside part of the knee where the tibia meets the femur .
- Patellofemoral compartment The front of the knee between the patella and femur .
Estimates of how common osteoarthritis is in each compartment of the knee vary quite widely. A study published by Oxford University found that of a group of subjects with radiographic knee osteoarthritis :
- 59% had osteoarthritis in both the patellofemoral compartment and at least one tibiofemoral compartment.
- 35% had osteoarthritis only in the patellofemoral compartment
- Only 6% had osteoarthritis in one or both of the tibiofemoral compartments.
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What Does This Mean For My Lifestyle And Quality Of Life
The impact of severe arthritis on quality of life is different for all people and there are many factors that help determine this. The severity of symptoms is one of the main factors in the impact of arthritis on your quality of life. If someone experiences less impacted mobility and less pain in general, their lifestyle would typically be affected to a lesser extent. Staying proactive when possible in trying to reduce the impact of various everyday activities can go a long way in maintaining your lifestyle. Working with a medical professional to find a suitable management plan for you, as well as being careful to follow that plan can also help to maintain quality of life. In this section, we will discuss some of the common challenges in the day-to-day life of someone impacted by late-stage knee arthritis.
As mentioned earlier squatting places forces on the knee that are many times greater than a persons body weight. In advanced arthritis, this makes it much more difficult to squat due to the pain and stiffness in the affected joints. This can make performing household tasks, exercises or working more difficult.
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.
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Spinal Arthritis May Contribute To Other Issues In The Spine
Spinal arthritis may cause bone spurs â overgrowths on the edges of the bones. In the spine, bone spurs particularly affect facet joints, making them grow larger. This condition is called facet joint hypertrophy. Although bone spurs on their own are not harmful, they may narrow the passages for the spinal cord and the nerves exiting the spine. This may lead to two painful conditions:
Spinal stenosisâ compression of the spinal cord inside the spinal canal
Radiculopathyâ pinching of the peripheral nerves as they exit the spine
Ankylosing spondylitis may also cause additional problems such as:
Stress fractures in places where new bone has formed
A spinal deformity called kyphosis
What Causes Osteoarthritis
Primary osteoarthritis is a heterogeneous disease meaning it has many different causes, it is not only âwear and tearâ arthritis. Some contributing factors to OA are modifiable and others are non-modifiable . Age is a contributing factor, although not all older adults develop osteoarthritis and for those who do, not all develop associated pain. As discussed above, there can also be inflammatory and metabolic risks that can increase the incidence of osteoarthritis, particularly in the setting of diabetes and/or elevated cholesterol.
Osteoarthritis can be genetic both as primary such as nodular OA of the hands as well as secondary related to other genetic disorders, such as hypermobility of joints. Inflammatory and infectious arthritis can contribute to the development of secondary osteoarthritis due to chronic inflammation and joint destruction. Previous injuries or traumas including sports-related and repetitive motions can also contribute to osteoarthritis.
Although the exact mechanisms of cartilage loss and bone changes are unknown, advancements have been made in recent years. It is suspected that complex signaling processes, during joint inflammation and defective repair mechanisms in response to injury, gradually wear down cartilage within the joints. Other changes cause the joint to lose mobility and function, resulting in joint pain with activity.
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How Is Arthritis Treated
The main goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of pain youre experiencing and prevent additional damage to the joints. Youll learn what works best for you in terms of controlling pain. Some people find heating pads and ice packs to be soothing. Others use mobility assistance devices, like canes or walkers, to help take pressure off sore joints.
Improving your joint function is also important. Your doctor may prescribe you a combination of treatment methods to achieve the best results.
Difference Between Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are several different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common forms. Although the symptoms of these two types of arthritis can be similar, it’s very important to distinguish between them in order to determine the proper treatment.
At the University of Michigan Health System, our experienced rheumatologists will do appropriate tests to determine which type of arthritis you have. Then we will develop an effective treatment plan and will explain your options.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the smooth cartilage joint surface wears out. Osteoarthritis usually begins in an isolated joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body instead of intruders. In this case, it attacks the synovial membrane that encases and protects the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis often targets several joints at one time. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- the symmetrical nature of the disease ,
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Who Is Affected By Osteoarthritis
Approximately 80% of older adults, ages 55 years and older, have evidence of osteoarthritis on X-ray. Of these, an estimated 60% experience symptoms. It is estimated that 240 million adults worldwide have symptomatic osteoarthritis, including more than 30 million U.S. adults. Post-menopausal women have an increased incidence of knee osteoarthritis compared to men.
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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Oa And Ra: Key Comparisons
More than 30 million people in the United States are believed to have osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease. It’s often called wear-and-tear arthritis and is caused by the breakdown of joint cartilagecushioning that sits between the bones that form your joints.
Cartilage loss can cause bones to rub together, which is extremely painful. Osteoarthritis typically begins in a single joint and is more common after age 65.
Rheumatoid arthritis is much less common, with an estimated 1.5 people in the U.S. diagnosed with it. RA is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that primarily targets the lining of the joint , but it can also affect the organs throughout your body. Multiple joints are usually involved, as well.
RA disease onset is most common in people between 30 and 60. Women are two to three times more likely than men to have the disease, and men tend to get it later in life.
|OA vs. RA: At a Glance|
Understanding And Treating Ra
Diagnosing RA may not be easy because disease symptoms can be similar to many other conditions. Once the diagnosis is made, the severity of the disease needs to be determined in order to choose optimal treatment. An ongoing understanding of disease activity is critical to your health and well-being.
The RASS will help your doctor pinpoint the severity of your disease and the effectiveness of treatment.
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Cartilage Loss/joint Space Narrowing
Cartilage loss is one of the primary markers used in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. People with knee osteoarthritis can experience close to double the amount of degradation compared to the level of cartilage loss in a healthy knee over the same period of time. This cartilage loss causes the space between bones in the knee joint to narrow and can lead to bone-on-bone contact in the knee, often causing severe pain and discomfort. The rate of cartilage loss varies widely among individuals so it is difficult to predict how quickly it will wear away for any one person. During everyday activities like walking, crouching, or getting up from a seated position the forces acting at the points of contact between the joints can be up to three times greater than body weight. During a squat, this number approached seven times body weight. When the bones no longer have the cushioning provided by cartilage this can cause intense pain during these activities.
What Is Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
Severe rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease affecting the synovium, or joint lining, that causes pain and extensive damage. RA typically affects people who are 20-60 years old but can strike younger victims. The cause is not known. Treatments for this disease include medication, surgery and physical therapy. Long-term severe RA can raise the risk of other serious health problems, including disability and vision complications.
Unlike osteoarthritis, which is found in older individuals and involves wear and tear of joints, severe rheumatoid arthritis can occur in children, known as juvenile RA. Inflammatory cells release cytokines, causing changes in the synovium of the affected area. The lining becomes thicker, and cartilage is eventually destroyed, making joints unstable. Usually the hands, wrists, feet and ankles are affected first. Eventually, the knees, hips, elbows and shoulders will begin to show signs of the disease.
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How Is Arthritis Diagnosed
Seeing your primary care physician is a good first step if youre unsure who to see for an arthritis diagnosis. They will perform a physical exam to check for fluid around the joints, warm or red joints, and limited range of motion in the joints. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist if needed.
If youre experiencing severe symptoms, you may choose to schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist first. This may lead to a faster diagnosis and treatment.
Extracting and analyzing inflammation levels in your blood and joint fluids can help your doctor determine what kind of arthritis you have. Blood tests that check for specific types of antibodies like anti-CCP , RF , and ANA are also common diagnostic tests.