About Arthritis Pain and Treating
Severe Arthritic Pain
Today is a good date to learn more about arthritis and how to deal with severe arthritis, plus joint pain and swelling ... If you feel pain and stiffness in your body or have trouble moving around, you might have arthritis. Most kinds of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee. Over time, a swollen joint can become severely damaged. Some forms of severe-arthritis can also cause problems in your organs, such as your eyes or skin.
Types of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It's often related to aging or to an injury.
- Autoimmune arthritis happens when your body's immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of this kind of arthritis. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a form of the disease that happens in children.
- Infectious arthritis s an infection which has spread from other parts of the body to joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis or Sciatica Arthritis aka scoriatic arthritis affects people with psoriasis.
- Gout is a painful type of arthritis from too much uric-acid build-up in the body. It often starts in the big toe.
Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, limiting activities and causing pain in an estimated 20-million adults. The Disease Control Arthritis Program is working on improving quality of life for people affected by arthritis and other pain conditions by working to increase public awareness about arthritis self-management and helping expand the reach of programs proven to improve the quality of life for people suffering from arthritis pain, and severe arthritis pain patients.
Arthritis in General
The word arthritis actually means joint inflammation. The term arthritis is used to describe more than 100 rheumatic diseases and medical conditions affecting the joints, the tissues which surround the joint and other connective tissue. The pattern, severity and location of symptoms can vary depending on the specific form of the disease. Typically, rheumatic conditions are characterized by pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly. Certain rheumatic conditions can also involve the immune system and various internal organs of the body.
Below is a brief overview of the most common forms of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disease which manifests itself in multiple joints of the body. The inflammatory process primarily affects the lining of the joints (synovial membrane), but can also affect other organs. The inflamed synovium leads to erosions of the cartilage and bone and sometimes joint deformity. Pain, swelling, and redness are common joint manifestations. Although the definitive causes are unknown, RA is believed to be the result of a faulty immune response. RA can begin at any age and is associated with fatigue and prolonged stiffness after rest. There is no cure for RA, but new drugs are increasingly available to treat the disease. In addition to meds and possible surgery, good self-management, including exercise, are known to reduce pain and disability.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome predominately characterized by widespread muscular pains and fatigue. The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown; however researchers hypothesize that genetics and physical and emotional stressors are possible contributory factors to the development of the illness. There are difficulties in diagnosing fibromyalgia, since its clinical picture can overlap other illnesses and there are no definitive diagnostic tests. Patient education, pharmacologic agents, and other non pharmacologic therapies are used to treat fibromyalgia. Exercise has been found to improve outcomes for people with fibromyalgia.
Osteoarthritis is a disease characterized by degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint as well as bony overgrowth. The breakdown of these tissues eventually leads to pain and joint stiffness. The joints most commonly affected are the knees, hips, and those in the hands and spine. The specific causes of osteoarthritis are unknown, but are believed to be a result of both mechanical and molecular events in the affected joint. Disease onset is gradual and usually begins after the age of 40. There is currently no cure for OA. Treatment for OA focuses on relieving symptoms and improving function, and can include a combination of patient education, physical therapy, weight control, and use of medications.
Gout is a rheumatic disease resulting from deposition of uric acid crystals (monosodium urate) in tissues and fluids within the body. This process is caused by an overproduction or under excretion of uric acid. Certain common medications, alcohol, and dietary foods are known to be contributory factors. Acute gout will typically manifest itself as an acutely red, hot, and swollen joint with excruciating pain. These acute gouty flare-ups respond well to treatment with oral anti-inflammatory medicines and may be prevented with medication and diet changes. Recurrent bouts of acute gout can lead to a degenerative form of arthritis called gouty arthritis.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus)
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system produces antibodies to cells within the body leading to widespread inflammation and tissue damage. The causes of SLE are unknown but are believed to be linked to genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors. SLE may be characterized by periods of illness and remissions. SLE has a variety of clinical manifestations and can affect joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. People with SLE may experience fatigue, pain or swelling in joints, skin rashes, and fevers. A team approach in treating lupus is often warranted due to the number of organ systems involved.
There is much disagreement among experts about definitions of childhood arthritis. At least three clinical classification schemes exist—juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA), and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). All three schemes do not include many of the conditions considered as arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in adults. Also, a case counted in one classification system may not be a case in another system; however, all schemes define childhood arthritis as occurring in people younger than 16-years.
Because childhood arthritis is an umbrella term covering a number of types of arthritis and because there are a number of different clinical case definitions for childhood arthritis, there is a wide range of estimates of how much childhood arthritis exists and much difficulty in describing its epidemiology.
The most common form of juvenile arthritis is JRA (the term and classification system used most commonly in the United States). JRA involves at least 6 weeks of persistent arthritis in a child younger than 16 years with no other type of childhood arthritis. JRA has three distinct subtypes: systemic (10%), polyarticular (40%) and pauciarticular (50%). Each type has a unique presentation and clinical course and immunogenetic association. For the latter two types, girls are more commonly affected. In all three types about 40–45% still have active disease after 10 years. For the systemic type, the peak age of onset is 1– to 6–years-old and about 50% of cases show very short stature in adulthood as a result. For the pauciarticular form, there are two distinct subtypes- early onset and late onset. Early onset is more common in girls, late onset is more common in boys. The genetics differ as do the clinical courses. In the polyarticular form, there are also two subtypes: rheumatoid factor (RF) positive and negative. RF positive usually effecting girls with onset 8 plus years age and a poor prognosis vs RF negative children. Click now for Health Tip of the Day.
For adults, more than 150 conditions are counted as arthritis and other rheumatic conditions (AORC). Many of these conditions occur in children, although much more rarely.
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