Arthritis, specifically rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the entire body. But did you know that other parts of your body – your skin, eyes and lungs, to name a few. Some of these diseases can also affect other parts of the body including the skin and internal organs. There are many types of arthritis. Most forms of arthritis are. More people have this condition than any other form of arthritis. That leads to inflammation, which can cause severe joint damage if you don't.
arthritis does affect? else What
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory and presumed autoimmune disease that affects the entire body, especially the joints. With regards to the joints, rheumatoid arthritis targets the synovium.
Synovium is a tissue that lines and nourishes joints and tendons throughout the body. As part of this condition, the synovium grows, causing local damage to bones, joints, and soft tissues.
Rheumatoid arthritis commonly begins in the hands, wrists, ankles, and feet, and often affects the same joints on each side of the body. Eventually many other joints are affected. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, though genetic factors are thought to be critical. Not all patients with arthritis will complain of pain, loss of motion, or deformity. The severity of the symptoms is only loosely linked with the severity of the arthritis as seen on X-rays.
Minor joint injuries may aggravate existing joint damage, resulting in arthritic symptoms that the patient has not had before. These symptoms are more likely to be caused by the pre-existing arthritis, and not by the recent, relatively minor traumatic injury. Symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are in some ways the same. However, rheumatoid arthritis often will cause more long-lasting morning stiffness and lead to more swelling and redness of the joints.
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We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Arthritis of the Wrist and Hand Arthritis is the progressive wearing down of cartilage between joints to the point that bone begins wearing against bone.
Read about who is affected, what the symptoms are, how arthritis is diagnosed, treated and what surgical options might be available. Overview Diagnosis and Tests Management and Treatment. Who is affected by arthritis? What are the types and causes of arthritis? What are the symptoms of arthritis? Symptoms of arthritis from any cause can include: Pain that is limited to the joint itself.
This is the main symptom. At first, pain will come and go and is made worse when in use such as when gripping heavy objects. However, pain is relieved with rest. There may be days or weeks without pain, but also periods of constant discomfort. As the disease advances, the pain becomes more constant, even occurring at rest.
The pain changes from a dull ache to a sharp pain, which sometimes extends beyond the joint area. Loss of motion in the joint as arthritis progresses. Some types of arthritis cause swelling or inflammation. The skin over the joint may appear swollen and red and feel hot to the touch. Some types of arthritis can also cause fatigue. There are more than different types of arthritis.
What causes most types is unknown. Because there are so many different types there are likely to be many different causes. Scientists are currently researching what roles three major factors play in certain types of arthritis. These include the genetic factors you inherit from your parents, what happens to you during your life and how you live.
The importance of these factors varies for every type of arthritis. It's important to find out if you have arthritis and what type it is because treatments vary for each type. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to help slow or prevent joint damage that can occur during the first few years for several types. Only a doctor can tell if you have arthritis and what type it is. When you see your doctor for the first time about arthritis, expect at least three things to happen.
Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms examine you and take some tests or X-rays. You can help your doctor by writing down information about your symptoms before your appointment. Bring your answers when you see your doctor. Arthritis may limit how far or how easily you can move a joint. Your doctor may move the joint that hurts or ask you to move it.
This is to see how far the joint moves through its normal range of motion. Your doctor may also check for swelling, tender points, skin rashes or problems with other parts of your body. Finally your doctor may conduct some laboratory tests. These may include tests of your blood, muscles, urine or joint fluid. They also may include X-rays or scans of your body. The tests will depend on what type of arthritis your doctor suspects. They help confirm what type of arthritis your doctor suspects based on your medical history and physical exam and help rule out other diseases that cause similar symptoms.
The overall results from your medical history, physical exam and tests help your doctor match your symptoms to the pattern for a specific type of arthritis. It may take several visits before your doctor can tell what type of arthritis you have. Symptoms for some types of arthritis develop slowly and may appear similar to other types in early stages.
Your doctor may suspect a certain type of arthritis but may watch how your symptoms develop over time to confirm it. Part of your treatment plan may involve working with different health-care specialists.
Some common health-care professionals and their role in your treatment are described below. Most doctors make referrals to one of a group of health professionals with whom they work. But you too can ask your doctor to request medical services you think might help you. Your family doctor may be an excellent source of medical care for your arthritis.
Besides having your medication records, your family doctor already has your medical history, is familiar with your general physical health and knows of any past illnesses or injuries. All these facts will give your family doctor a head start in prescribing a treatment plan most suited to your needs. If your arthritis affects many joints or other parts of the body or seems resistant to treatment, you may benefit from seeing a rheumatologist. This is a doctor with special training and experience in the field of arthritis.
Your family doctor, the local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation or the county medical society can refer you to a rheumatologist. You can also search for a rheumatologist on the American College of Rheumatology web site. The patient plays an important role in his or her medical care. The patient can contribute to the success of a treatment plan by:. Keeping a positive attitude, though sometimes difficult, is an important ingredient in overcoming arthritis. Asking questions and finding out as much as you can about of arthritis and its treatment is important.
So talk over your concerns with your doctor. If you still need more information or if you have difficulty talking to your doctor , ask the nurse, physical therapist, social worker, occupational therapist to help you find answers to your questions. Arthritis most often affects areas in or around joints. Joints are parts of the body where bones meet such as your knee. The ends of the bones are covered by cartilage, a spongy material that acts as a shock absorber to keep bones from rubbing together.
The joint is enclosed in a capsule called the synovium. The synovium's lining releases a slippery fluid that helps the joint move smoothly and easily. Muscles and tendons support the joint and help you move. Different types of arthritis can affect one or more parts of a joint. This often results in a change of shape and alignment in the joints. Certain types of arthritis can also affect other parts of the body, such as the skin and internal organs.
It is important to know which type of arthritis you have so you can treat it properly. If you don't know which type you have, call your doctor or ask during your next visit. Some common types of arthritis are described below. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It affects many of us as we grow older. It is sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it involves the breakdown of cartilage and bones. This causes pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis usually affects the fingers and weight-bearing joints including the knees, feet, hips and back.
It affects both men and women and usually occurs after age Treatments include pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, heat or cold, joint protection, pacing your efforts, self-help skills and sometimes surgery. Fibromyalgia affects muscles and their attachments to bone.
It results in widespread pain and tender points which are certain places on the body that are more sensitive to pain. It also may result in fatigue, disturbed sleep, stiffness and sometimes psychological distress. Fibromyalgia affects mostly women. It is common and often misdiagnosed.
Treatments include exercise, relaxation techniques, pacing your activities and self-help skills. In rheumatoid arthritis , a fault in the body's defense or immune system causes inflammation or swelling. Inflammation begins in the joint lining and then damages both cartilage and bone.
Rheumatoid arthritis often affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Hands, wrists, feet, knees, ankles, shoulders and elbows can be affected.
Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than in men. Treatments include anti-inflammatory and disease-modifying drugs, exercise, heat or cold, saving energy, joint protection, self-help skills and sometimes surgery. Gout results when the body is unable to get rid of a natural substance called uric acid.
The uric acid forms needle-like crystals in the joint that cause severe pain and swelling. Gout usually affects the big toe, knees and wrists. More men than women have gout. Treatments include anti-inflammatory and special gout drugs and sometimes a diet low in purines. Foods such as organ meats, beer, wine and certain types of fish contain high levels of purines.
Low back pain results from a back injury or certain types of arthritis. Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the United States. It can occur at any age in both men and women. Treatments include pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, heat or cold joint protection, pacing your activities and self-help skills.
Bursitis and tendinitis result from irritation caused by injuring or overusing a joint. Bursitis affects a small sac that helps muscles move easily; tendinitis affects the tendons that attach muscle to bone. Treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs heat or cold and exercise. There are many more types of arthritis and related diseases including ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and lupus erythematosus.
Bone spurs are of two basic types. One is the kind that arises near a joint with osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. In this situation, the cartilage has been worn through and the bone responds by growing extra bone at the margins of the joint surface. These "spurs" carry the formal name "osteophytes. Removing these osteophytes is an important part of joint replacement surgery but removing them without addressing the underlying arthritis is usually not effective in relieving symptoms.
The second type of bone spur is the kind that occurs when the attachment of ligaments or tendons to bone become calcified. This can occur on the bottom of the foot around the Achilles Tendon and in the coroacoacromial ligament of the shoulder.
These spurs often look impressive on X-rays, but because they are in the substance of the ligaments rarely cause sufficient problems to merit excision. There are many things that help reduce pain, relieve stiffness and keep you moving. Your care may involve more than one kind of treatment. Your doctor may recommend medications but there are many things you can do on your own to help manage pain and fatigue and move easier. Finding the right treatment takes time. It can involve trial and error until you and your healthcare team or therapist find what works best.
Be sure to let your doctor know if a treatment is not working. Your treatment may also change as your arthritis changes. Treatments for arthritis can be divided into several categories: You can do things in each of these areas to help yourself feel better and move easier.
Many different drugs are used to treat arthritis. Some are available without a prescription; others must be prescribed by your doctor. You should always check with your doctor before taking any medication even over-the-counter drugs. Your doctor can tell you how much and when to take them for best relief as well as how to avoid any drug-related problems.
These are some of the common medications used to treat arthritis. Your doctor may prescribe other medication to treat specific forms of arthritis or in specific situations. Anti-inflammatories reduce both pain and swelling. Some NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are available without a prescription; others are only available by prescription. The most common side effect of these medications is stomach upset.
Call your doctor if stomach pain is more than mild and lasts. Aspirin is commonly used to treat many forms of arthritis. Aspirin-free pain relievers may be recommended by your doctor if you just need pain relief, are allergic to aspirin or have had an ulcer. Acetaminophen gives temporary relief of common arthritis pain but does not reduce swelling. It is available without a prescription. Corticosteroids are prescribed to reduce severe pain and swelling. They are given by injection or in pill form.
Injections can bring quick relief but can only be used several times in one year because they weaken bone and cartilage. Because of potentially serious side effects, corticosteroids must be prescribed and monitored by a doctor. Disease modifiers tend to slow down the disease process in rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers do not know how this happens. These drugs are available only by prescription and may take several weeks or months to work. Your doctor will carefully monitor you for side effects. Sleep medications may promote deeper sleep and help relax muscles. These drugs may help people with fibromyalgia sleep better. They are available by prescription and are used in very low doses at bedtime.
Regular exercise is important to keep you moving and independent. Exercise helps lessen pain, increases movement, reduces fatigue and helps you look and feel better. Three types of exercises can help people with arthritis. Plan your exercises at times of the day when you have less stiffness or pain.
Build up the amount of time you exercise and the number of repetitions you do. Exercise at a level that allows you to talk comfortably during the activity. If pain from exercise lasts more than two hours you may have done too much. Reduce your level of activity next time. Stop exercising right away if you have chest pains severe dizziness or shortness of breath or if you feel sick to your stomach.
Using heat or cold over joints or muscles may give you short-term relief from pain and stiffness. You can also use heat or cold to help prepare for exercise. Some people feel better using heat; others prefer cold. Heat helps relax aching muscles. Sources of heat include heating pads, hot packs, hot tubs or heated pools.
Cold numbs the area so you don't feel as much pain. You can apply cold with ice cold packs or even bags of frozen vegetables. It's important to use heat and cold safely. Don't use either treatment for more than 20 minutes at a time. Let your skin return to normal temperature between applications. Don't use heat with rubs or creams since this can result in skin burns. Pacing yourself saves energy by switching periods of activity with periods of rest.
Pacing helps protect your joints from the stress of repeated tasks and helps reduce fatigue. Alternate heavy or repeated tasks with easy ones.
Change tasks often so you don't hold joints in one position for a long time. Plan rest breaks during your daily activities. You can protect your joints by using them in ways that avoid excess stress. Protecting your joints makes it easier to do daily tasks. Joint position means using joints in the best way to avoid excess stress. Use larger or stronger joints to carry things. For instance, carry your grocery bags using your forearms or palms instead of your fingers.
Walking or assistive devices can keep stress off certain joints. Your doctor may suggest using a cane crutches or a walker to reduce stress on your hips and knees. Many assistive devices have special features that help make tasks easier. Special aids with larger handles such as extra-thick pens make it easier to hold and write. Longer handles and reachers give you better leverage.
Lightweight items such as plastic dishes are easier to carry.
Arthritis of the Wrist and Hand
rheumatoid arthritis (ra) affects joints on both sides of the body, such as both hands, both wrists, or both knees. this symmetry helps to set it apart from other types. Damage to bones and tendons can cause are other common complications of . Many other forms of arthritis and other conditions can also cause They can help diagnose the cause of your symptoms and.