Category Archives: Arthritis

Is it Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Similarities can cause difficulty when differentiating the diseases, but new biomarkers can help. Watch this video by Quest Diagnostics.

Information On Rheumatoid Arthritis -Focuses On Pain Treatment

While there is no known cause of autoimmune deficiencies, information on rheumatoid arthritis points out that some environmental factors may be involved. It is also thought that viruses, bacteria or fungus have some role in its development, information on rheumatoid arthritis targets the treatment more than the cause.

One of the causes of arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to go into a self-preservation mode and attack healthy tissues, believing they are a threat to its well-being.

Unlike osteoarthritis, which generally affects older people as a degenerative disease, information on rheumatoid arthritis points out this disease can attack not only the cartilage in the joints, but also the bone structure.

When pain usually associated with arthritis is experienced, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the pain, but thorough diagnosis by the doctor can determine if is a natural progression of cartilage loss or an internal strike by the body’s immune system that is causing the problem.

The repeated inflammation of bone tissue cause the pain to come and go, making diagnosis difficult. Exploratory x-rays and CAT-scans can help determine the cause.

Additionally, information on rheumatoid arthritis suggests that the degeneration it causes is symmetrical, meaning if one hand is affected, the same effect will be experienced in the other hand as well.

No Known Cure For Rheumatoid Arthritis: There is no known treatment to totally stop the progression of this type of infection, but many drug therapies used in the initial stages have been shown to help reduce the frequency of inflammation as well as damage to the joints and other organs.

Therefore, most of the information on rheumatoid arthritis is aimed at treating the pain and stopping the spread of the inflammation and two different classes of drugs are most often used.

Anti-inflammatory drugs are often used to help reduce the pain in affected joints and to help reduce swelling. They are used in place of regular aspirin due to the lower dosage requirement to achieve the same effects. Also, continued use of long-acting drugs to prevent bone deformity may be needed.

While the first line drugs work against the inflammation and pain, these second line drugs, which can take months to show signs of working, are to prevent the crippling effects of bone deformity. Today, newer drug therapies work biologically to halt the progression of inflammation, and are many of the same drugs used to fight the effects of cancer.

How to Recognize Common Arthritis Symptoms

Generally, the earlier your doctor knows about your arthritis symptoms, the earlier you can be accurately diagnosed and get effective treatment. It can be scary going to the doctor, but you can be in and out quicker if you are able to give your doctor accurate descriptions of you problem.  Be sure to tell him or her when the problem started and if there are any times the pains seems worse.  Also knowing these common arthritis symptoms will make you realize when to make a doctor’s appointment or not.

1. Joint Pain

This is one of the biggest arthritis symptoms.  Arthritis is an umbrella term for over 100 types of inflammations of the joints.  Joints, in this case, do not refer to any herbal smokes, but to the natural hinges of your body.  Joints and therefore, joint pain, are in your wrists, ankles, hips, neck, fingers, knees and shoulders.  This is usually a pain you have never had before while performing tasks that you never before had any problems doing, such as opening a bottle or turning the pages of a book or walking up a flight of stairs.

2. Joint Stiffness

This is another of the major arthritis symptoms to look out for.  Limbs and joints that previously not hurt while moving not only hurt, they refuse to move.  This can be varied such as a hand refusing to uncurl from a fist position you made as you slept to not being able to move a leg.  This can get better throughout the day, and often gets worse in the cold.

3. Physical Joint Changes

These are other common arthritis symptoms, although they do not happen to everyone with the beginnings of arthritis.  The painful places of your body become visibly swollen, more red or discolored and very tender, often to the point where the only thing they will tolerate touching them is air.

4. Other Tips

To diagnose you better, your doctor will also need to know your medical history and the medical histories of your parents and siblings, if possible.  If they are willing to talk about it, ask and write down what your parents or sibling remember about when their arthritis started and what type of arthritis it was diagnosed as. Remember to thank them!

Neck Arthritis Remedy and Treatment

Neck Arthritis (or cervical spondylosis ) can spread pain through out the body. Neck Arthritis is the result of the degeneration of the padding with the disks in the back in the cervical spine. This form of neck arthritis is the most prevalent cause of neck pain and is most common in the older population.

Typically, in patients over 60, about 75 percent of men and women suffer from some form of neck arthritis. While the aging process is the most common cause of this problem, a neck injury that may have occurred several years prior, can also be blamed.

Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis, is a degenerative condition cause by the unusual wearing of the bones in the neck and the loss of cartilage, which cushions the vertebrae in the neck.

Neck pain can also be caused by bone spurs on the bones that can break off an work their way into the cartilage. The loss of cartilage also creates an open space between the vertebrae into which nerves can be compressed, causing additional pain in other extremities.

Pain the neck, arms and back can result from this nerve interaction and if the spinal cord is affected by neck arthritis, the pain can also make its way into the legs. In addition to the pain caused by neck arthritis, a loss of feeling may also be experienced.

Non-Surgical Treatments Used In Treatment

For persons in the first stages of neck arthritis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help ease the pain, but one of the principal concerns is to prevent damage to the nerves and the spinal cord. In some cases, a neck brace may be needed to stabilize the neck area and prevent awkward movements. As the conditions worsen, holding the neck still with a cervical brace may be recommended and cortisone injections into the affected part of the cervical spine may relieve some of the pain.

In more severe cases of neck arthritis, hospitalization may be required with a traction device to prevent the neck from moving and causing nerve and spinal cord damage. In these case, while hospitalized with neck arthritis, a person may be given muscle relaxers and narcotic pain relievers.

As a last ditch effort, doctors may recommend surgical intervention of reclaim the space between the vertebrae. Surgery may also be needed to remove any bone chips or fragments what have moved into the space vacated by the degenerated cartilage.