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Arthritis Tips

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - How To Track It?

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - How To Track It?

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis is commonly occurring arthritis in children under the age of 15. Some common problems that are faced by patients with this disease include stiffness, joint pain, and swelling. While the symptoms might persist for a few months for some patients, for others it might continue for the rest of their lives. Patients might face serious complications such as inflammation of the eye, problems related to growth etc. The treatment of this condition focuses on preventing the bones from getting damaged, pain control and improving the function of the body.

What are some of the common symptoms of juvenile arthritis?

  1. Pain: A child suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis might face extreme pain in the joints. They might limp after a nap or night sleep due to pain or stiff joints.
  2. Swelling: Larger joints such as the knee might swell frequently. The swelling might occur in smaller joints too.
  3. Stiffness: In addition to limping the child might appear rough and clumsy after waking from night sleep or a nap.

Other conditions could include rashes, swollen lymph nodes, frequent fever, headache, etc.

What are the causes of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the immune system of the body attacks its own tissues and cells. It is still unclear as to why it happens, although, researchers believe that the environment and heredity have a role to play. Certain genetic mutations might make a child more vulnerable and susceptible to microbes that can trigger this condition.

What are the complications involved?
There could be several complications that might arise due to this condition. It is, therefore, wise to keep a close watch on the child. Seeking immediate medical attention can go a long way in mitigating the risk of these complications.

  • Problems related to the eye: Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis can damage the eye by causing an inflammation known as uveitis. If this condition is not treated, it might result in other conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, blindness etc.
  • Growth problems: Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis could result in growth problems. To treat this, a child would require a dose of corticosteroid.

How to diagnose juvenile arthritis?
It is not very easy to diagnose juvenile arthritis. Doctors often prescribe blood tests to get an idea of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein, anti-nuclear antibody, cyclic citrullinated peptide etc. A doctor might also prescribe imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI etc to detect congenital defects, fractures, tumors etc.

What are the treatment options available?
Some of the medications that are prescribed for this condition include NSAID such as ibuprofen and naproxen, DMARD such as Trexall and Azulfidine, TNF blockers such as Humira and Enbrel, immune suppressants such as Kineret, Rituxin and Orencia. In addition to this doctors would also prescribe corticosteroids and therapies.
 

Learning More About Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Learning More About Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis is commonly occurring arthritis in children under the age of 15. Some common problems that are faced by patients with this disease include stiffness, joint pain, and swelling. While the symptoms might persist for a few months for some patients, for others it might continue for the rest of their lives. Patients might face serious complications such as inflammation of the eye, problems related to growth etc. The treatment of this condition focuses on preventing the bones from getting damaged, pain control and improving the function of the body.

What are some of the common symptoms of juvenile arthritis?

  1. Pain: A child suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis might face extreme pain in the joints. They might limp after a nap or night sleep due to pain or stiff joints.
  2. Swelling: Larger joints such as the knee might swell frequently. The swelling might occur in smaller joints too.
  3. Stiffness: In addition to limping the child might appear rough and clumsy after waking from night sleep or a nap.

Other conditions could include rashes, swollen lymph nodes, frequent fever, headache, etc.

What are the causes of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the immune system of the body attacks its own tissues and cells. It is still unclear as to why it happens, although, researchers believe that the environment and heredity have a role to play. Certain genetic mutations might make a child more vulnerable and susceptible to microbes that can trigger this condition.

What are the complications involved?
There could be several complications that might arise due to this condition. It is, therefore, wise to keep a close watch on the child. Seeking immediate medical attention can go a long way in mitigating the risk of these complications.

  • Problems related to the eye: Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis can damage the eye by causing an inflammation known as uveitis. If this condition is not treated, it might result in other conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, blindness etc.
  • Growth problems: Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis could result in growth problems. To treat this, a child would require a dose of corticosteroid.

How to diagnose juvenile arthritis?
It is not very easy to diagnose juvenile arthritis. Doctors often prescribe blood tests to get an idea of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein, anti-nuclear antibody, cyclic citrullinated peptide etc. A doctor might also prescribe imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI etc to detect congenital defects, fractures, tumours etc.

What are the treatment options available?
Some of the medications that are prescribed for this condition include NSAID such as ibuprofen and naproxen, DMARD such as Trexall and Azulfidine, TNF blockers such as Humira and Enbrel, immune suppressants such as Kineret, Rituxin and Orencia. In addition to this doctors would also prescribe corticosteroids and therapies.
 

Arthritis - Can Acupuncture Help?

Arthritis - Can Acupuncture Help?

Arthritis is among the most common ailments that afflict a large section of the population, especially comprising the age groups of beyond 40 years. Acute joint pains, difficulties in movement and weakened bones are among the most common symptoms of arthritis. Given that it is a condition that has permeated modern life so deeply and that it has also caused a lot of unwanted hindrance to your normal activities, arthritis is one of the feared illnesses of our times. It is true that a fair amount of research has been dedicated towards finding a viable cure for arthritis and many have in fact proven to be effective, but most of these drugs come with their own baggage of side effects. Thus, many of us seek a more natural and lasting healing option that not only soothes the pain but restores our health from within.

Over the recent years, acupuncture has gained a lot of steam as an effective and comprehensive therapy for a wide range of diseases. Among the others, joint ailments and arthritis are prominent diseases that have been comprehensively minimized by benefits reaped out of acupuncture.

Acupuncture believes that the health boosting energy flows through your body through strategic pressure points and by stimulating spasms and afflicted muscles through insertion of tiny needles into the skin, pain can be adequately diminished. Acupuncture also ebbs the harmful side effects that anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers cause.

Some of the obvious benefits of acupuncture could be enlisted as follows :

  1. Alternative to Surgeries - On several occasions, on account of the failure of the usual drug therapy, you may opt for joint replacement surgeries which again usher in its own set of distresses. Acupuncture on the contrary, cures the pain by relying on your innate defense mechanisms and facilitates a natural remedy to arthritis.

  2. Enhances the effectiveness of the usual drugs - For those enduring chronic arthritis pains, acupuncture brings substantial relief but the treatment is long drawn. In such cases, one may choose to not discontinue the drugs and use acupuncture as a complementary therapy. Even in such cases, acupuncture is extremely helpful. It offsets the harmful effects that the drugs have on your body and boosts their impacts on the diseased parts of your body. This method has proven to be a reliable recipe for complete recovery.

Rheumatology Patients - How Can They Manage Pain?

Rheumatology Patients - How Can They Manage Pain?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It affects the joints as well as the skin, lungs, heart, eyes and blood vessels. This condition is most notorious for the pain and discomfort it causes in the joints. Unlike osteoarthritis, it does not attack the cartilage but affects the lining of the joints.

This results in erosion of the bone tissue and can even cause deformities. There is no known cure for this condition and treatment is mostly focused on relieving the pain caused.

Some of the ways to manage your pain are:

  1. Medication: Medication can help control the inflammation and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDs are usually the first course of treatment. These may be accompanied by steroids and help reduce inflammation. The best medication to relieve pain is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. In some cases, stronger pain relievers may be prescribed but these should be used cautiously. Excessive dependence on pain relievers can cause addiction.
  2. Change Your DietA diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can help control inflammation. In turn, this can help relieve discomfort and slow the progression of the disease. Cold water fish and fish oil supplements are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, it is important to have a well-balanced diet and to avoid excessive carbs and sugars that can lead to weight gain. It is important to note that heavier people suffer from more pain as their weight puts pressure on the joints.
  3. Exercise Regularly: Rheumatoid arthritis makes movements difficult and hence exercising may seem counterintuitive but this can help in the long run. Avoid high-intensity workouts and pick low-intensity activities like walking, cycling, swimming etc. Water aerobics is one of the best forms of exercise for rheumatoid arthritis. Yoga can also be very beneficial. Regular exercise is important but it is also important not to overdo it. Put exercising on hold during acute flare-ups and avoid doing anything that increases your pain. It is a good idea to consult a physical therapist to know what the best type of activity is for you.
  4. Hot and cold packs: Heat and cold therapy can help relieve pain immensely. A hot pack will help relax the muscles while the cold pack will numb the pain. Heat packs and cold packs can be used alternatively. Alternatively, you could soak the affected joint in hot water and cold water.

Arthritis - How Effective Is Ayurveda?

Arthritis - How Effective Is Ayurveda?

Inflammation and resultant pain in the joints are usually the basic tenets of Arthritis. This joint disorder can be painful and often, a debilitating one. It can also make the joints stiff. There are many ways of dealing with this problem, but with Ayurveda, one can get to the root cause of the ailment and its presence. This helps in taking a well rounded holistic approach towards treating it with ancient know how that revolves around herbs and other natural substances which have great medicinal value, lifestyle changes, diet, exercise and Yoga, oil massages, and other methods. Arthritis is known as Sandhivat in Ayurvedic jargon. Read on to find out how Ayurveda can help in dealing with Arthritis.

Herbs: One can make use of various herbs that contain Linoleic Acid to help in providing lubrication to the joints so as to prevent pain and stiffness. These herbs include Borage seed oil which is extracted from borage seed, Evening Primrose oil, Blackcurrant seed oil, Capsaicin, Curcumin, Feverfew, Flaxseed oil and a standard Ayurvedic concoction that combines Ashwagandha, Gugulla, ginger, cumin and haldi or turmeric. These substances can help in treating the joints that are suffering from the pain of Arthritis.

Diet: In Ayurveda, to treat ailments like Arthritis, it is usually recommended that a patient should start by flushing out the bodily toxins from within. Diet is one of the ways in which this can be done. A detoxification diet to clean the colon would be one of the foremost ways of doing a cleanse. Further, in one's daily diet, there should be a good dose of vegetables, fruits and other juices. Also, one must have plenty of herbs and spices which can be used to season the food. Curd should generally be avoided and garlic should be used liberally. The various properties help in an inside out cleanse that will help the system function in a better manner so that the treatment of ailments is also effectively supported.

Exercise: In Ayurveda, a certain amount of daily exercise which spans at least 45 minutes to one hour, is a must. A pattern of healthy eating, restful sleep and exercise is what usually helps in treating ailments like Arthritis. For this ailment specifically, light exercise like walking is recommended. Various Yoga asanas that involve sitting, standing, balancing and lying down poses, as well as restful poses, will also help in treating knee, shoulder and lower back pain specifically. Also, mustard oil massages can help in reducing the pain.

These are a few ways in which Ayurveda can help the Arthritis patient live a more normal life with minimal pain.

Arthritis - How To Avoid It?

Arthritis - How To Avoid It?

Arthritis is a very painful disease. It restricts you from doing a lot of the activities you would love to engage in. However, there are steps you could take to reduce the chances of it happening to you.

Here are some of them:

1. Take Omega-3 fatty acids
Research proves that the regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids, present in fish, result in decreased risks of rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in foods such as olive oil and walnuts.

2. Take Vitamins and olive oil
Vitamins are crucial, especially A, C and D. Vitamin A can be found in carrots. Vitamin D can yet again be found in fish while Vitamin C can be found in strawberries, mangoes, pineapples and oranges. Olive oil is also useful because it contains polyphenols which reduce the chances of developing arthritis.

3. Eat ginger and broccoli
Ginger and broccoli are two of the most therapeutic foods for various reasons and the chances of getting arthritis are also proven to reduce due to these foods.

4. Avoid injury
Although this is very hard to do sometimes, avoiding injuries do reduce your chances of getting arthritis.

5. Control your weight
This is very important, especially for your knees. It has been proven by researchers at Johns Hopkins University that if you are 10 kg overweight, then 30 to 60 extra kilograms of weight fall on your knees.

6. Exercise
Strengthening your muscles around your joint decrease the pressure on the joint. If there is less pressure on the joint, then the chances of arthritis are reduced. The best way to decrease pressure on the joint and strengthen your muscles is to exercise.

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Robotic & Conventional Total/Partial Knee Replacement Surgery - An Overview!

Robotic & Conventional Total/Partial Knee Replacement Surgery - An Overview!

A Knee Replacement Surgery, also called Arthroplasty, is the one in which the portion of the knee affected by arthritis is removed and covered to form new joint surfaces from metal and plastic parts. The procedure restores mobility, functionality, and alleviates pain. Therefore, it is a life-altering procedure for patients to help them resume an active lifestyle.

The Partial (Unicompartmental) Knee Replacement Surgery is the one in which only one compartment of the knee is replaced. It performed when arthritis is not very severe. The decision also depends upon the severity of deformity and stiffness. The patients experience less pain and recover faster in this case, resulting in a more natural feeling post-surgery. In the case of Total Knee Replacement Surgery, all the three
compartments of the knee are replaced. It is performed in severe cases of arthritis. The decision to opt for a specific type of surgery depends on the particular case. Each case is unique and very contextual. The doctor thus decides and recommends accordingly.

Conventional Knee Replacement Surgery:

In Conventional Knee Replacement Surgery, correct position and alignment of the implant (plastic or metal) are visually identified by the surgeon based on the joint X-Ray. The prosthesis is cemented in place manually after insertion of the implant. Although, the conventional approach to this type of surgery is common and successful, there are incidences of improper installation of the replacement parts, also referred to as postoperative misalignment. This is due to manual instrumentation. Thus, there is less precision in positioning the implant.

Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery:

Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery employs a robotic arm for the surgery controlled by the surgeon. Computed Tomography (CT) scans are used instead of the X-Rays for constructing a three-dimensional image of the joint for guidance to facilitate decision-making during the surgery. It helps in planning the course of the surgery. It facilitates the precise positioning of the implant for ensuring correct alignment of the leg and balancing of the soft tissue. The robotic arm shapes precisely the surrounding bone before the implant is placed. Real-time video helps the surgeon navigate properly the joint internally. Also, since the 'envelope' in which to work is clearly pre-defined, there is zero chance of the instruments to slip away and harm the surrounding tissue.

Benefits of Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery:

● This type of approach ensures more precision in the entire procedure, even when the same medical professional employs either of the two approaches.
● It leads to extremely accurate positioning of the implant, resulting in a more natural feel post-surgery.
● This type has a lesser risk of harm to surrounding tissues leading to improved safety.
● This approach involves small incisions that recover quickly and cause less pain.
● There is a very small amount of blood loss and an extremely low risk of blood clot.
● Post-surgery, there are fewer chances of abnormal wear, tear, and loosening. Thus, there is good potential for a better function in the long term, all due to extreme precision.
● Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery is considered to be superior to the Conventional Knee Replacement Surgery due to improved outcomes and less hassle.

Take Away:

There are many benefits of Robotic Knee Replacement. However, one should consult a doctor before opting for this surgery.

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Physiotherapy - How It Can Subdue Your Pain?

Physiotherapy - How It Can Subdue Your Pain?

Physiotherapy or physical therapy focuses on enhancing mobility and treating disabilities. Physiotherapy is used commonly in case of sports injuries, partial or complete paralysis, arthritis, neurological disorders, etc. along with helping the patient regain movement and improving flexibility, physiotherapy also helps deals with back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic headaches and injury-related pain. This pain may make you want to simply curl up and stay immobile but this could be detrimental to your progress. Through physiotherapy, a patient can learn how to function and move safely and thus becomes stronger.

Here are a few ways physiotherapy is beneficial:

1. Speed of relief: Physiotherapy brings fast relief from pain with use of different modalities and techniques.

2. It helps with weight management: When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis and knee joint pain, being overweight is one of the key factors triggering the pain. This is because of the more your weight, the more the pressure on your joints and hence the more the pain. Physiotherapy helps increase a patient’s mobility and thus, aids in weight loss. This, in turn, reduces the pressure on joints and pain associated with it.

3. It strengthens muscles: Physiotherapy deals with both the muscles affected by an injury as well as the unaffected muscles. While it helps regain control over the injured muscles, ligament and tendons it also helps strengthen the unaffected muscles. This helps them compensate for the limited functioning of the affected muscles. By strengthening the muscles, physiotherapy also makes movement easier and helps reduce pain.

4. It helps improve posture: For people with back problems, the way you sit and stand can make a big difference to the pain experienced. Physiotherapy teaches a person how to sit and stand straight so as to support the back muscles properly.

5. It helps determine the right equipment: Having the right shoes can play a big role in alleviating pain associated with walking. Similarly, physiotherapy can equip a person with the right equipment to make movement easier and less painful. This could be as simple as a walking stick for arthritic patients or a robotic glove for patients who have paralysed hand muscles. Furniture such as supportive mattresses and office chairs can also help alleviate back pain.

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Arthritis In The Knee - Ways To Trace It!

Arthritis In The Knee - Ways To Trace It!

If you are suffering from arthritis, it is important for you to know about how it affects your knee and other joints. Arthritis is a chronic, systematic inflammatory disease which damages your joints and connective tissues. Your knee is commonly affected by arthritis and there are three primary types of arthritis that occur in the knees. They include osteoarthritisrheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis.

Types of arthritis 
The different types of arthritis affecting the knees occur due to different reasons. Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition, which wears away the joint cartilage over time. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition, which may occur at any age. Post-traumatic arthritis occurs after an injury is inflicted to the knee and may occur several years after a ligament injury or knee fracture.

Major symptoms:

  1. Arthritis pain may occur all of a sudden but develops slowly. In the early stages, the pain is observed in the morning after you have been inactive over the night. Pain is likely when you want to move around. Pain may be experienced even when immobile.
  2. Periodic inflammation is a common symptom of arthritis of the knee. This happens because of the formation of bone spurs or excess fluids in your knee. The swelling gets pronounced after being inactive for a long period. The skin on your knee may look red and feel warm while you touch it. This may lead to chronic inflammation, which is very difficult to manage.

Treatment
There are several ways of treating knee arthritis. The mode of treatment depends on the severity and cause of knee arthritis. NSAIDS or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly prescribed for dealing with arthritis pain temporarily. Other medicines used for knee arthritis treatment are as follows:

  1. Analgesics, which help in pain reduction act as good alternatives to NSAIDS.
  2. Corticosteroids are used for reducing inflammation.
  3. Certain DMARDs or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are used.

Certain injections that are used for helping with knee arthritis. They include:

  1. Hyaluronic acid supplements, which ease the pain and inflammation by lubricating your knee joints.
  2. Corticosteroid injections also soothe inflammation and pain.

You may also require a surgery for dealing with knee arthritis when other modes of treatment fail. The most common surgeries are as follows:

  1. Total joint replacement, where your knee is replaced with a prosthetic made of metal, plastic or ceramic.
  2. Osteotomy, where the knee bones are modified for controlling pressure and damage in the knees.
  3. Arthroscopy, where an incision is made in the knee for removing damaged parts.

Learning Tips To Subdue Discomfort Caused By Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Learning Tips To Subdue Discomfort Caused By Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful disease of the joints, mostly affecting older people. It mostly results in swollen, aching joints that make movement extremely challenging. Rheumatoid arthritis results in receding and tenderness of the synovial membrane. This leads to a decline in flexibility, causing intense distress, thus hindering daily activities.

Steps to manage the discomfort caused by it-

  1. There is no complete cure for Rheumatoid arthritis. The discomfort, however, can be controlled to a certain extent with regular exercises, change in diet and medications.

  2. Regular exercise can help in increasing the flexibility, maintaining the synovial fluid between joints that help in lubrication.

  3. Home remedies including the use of medical oils to massage the affected joints on a regular basis. In this case, there are several herbal or Ayurvedic oils available, that can provide a temporary remedy.

  4. It is important to increase the intake of vitamin D. This can be done by spending a short while out in the sun every day. Vitamin D supplements are also available in the form of capsules.

  5. A decrease in alcohol consumption is highly recommended to people with bones and joints disorders.

  6. Swimming is an excellent exercise as it causes minimal labor on the joints. It is extremely beneficial to all people.

  7. It is important to lose excess weight, so as to lessen the pressure on the joints.  For example, heavy and wide waist structure can affect the knees in the long run. It can help increase your energy level and help you function efficiently.

  8. Smoking and drinking affect almost all organs of the body eventually and lead to a painful death or physical abnormalities. It has been found that overindulgence in alcohol and tobacco can also flare up chances of rheumatoid arthritis.

  9. It has been found that rheumatoid arthritis mostly affects women. Therefore, women need to be exceptionally cautious about their daily exercise schedule and diet.

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