Back Clinic Arthritis Team. Arthritis is a widespread ailment but not well understood. The word arthritis does not indicate a single disease but rather refers to joint pain or joint disease. 100 different types exist. People of all ages, sex, and races can develop arthritis. It is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some form of joint pain or disease. It is common among women and occurs more as people get older. Symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion (ROM).
Symptoms can come and go, and they can be mild, moderate, or severe. They can stay the same for years but can get worse over time. In severe cases, it may result in chronic pain, the inability to do daily chores and difficulty walking or climbing stairs. It can cause permanent joint damage and changes. These changes might be visible, i.e., knobby finger joints, but usually can only be seen on x-rays. Some types of arthritis affect the eyes, heart, kidneys, lungs, and skin.
Aging Arthritis: How the body changes as the years go by is determined by an individual’s diet, physical activity/exercise, genetics, stress levels, sleep patterns, and self-care. As the body ages, natural degeneration from everyday wear and tear will present. The focus is on understanding how age-related degeneration can affect the body and what to do to prevent and treat it.
The condition can cause long-term joint damage that can lead to disability.
Aging Arthritis and Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is recommended for the treatment of any form of arthritis. Chiropractic care can work with other therapies to reduce swelling and inflammation, alleviate pain, and improve mobility and flexibility.
A chiropractor will utilize body imagery before beginning treatment.
Imaging gives insight into the condition of the joints, and the visual, combined with a self-report from the individual, allows the chiropractor to create a personalized treatment plan.
Once a chiropractor has identified which techniques the body can handle, treatment will commence that can include:
Low-level cold laser therapy
A chiropractor’s objective is to rebalance, realign and strengthen the body, relieve pressure or stress at the junction of the joints, and expedite healing and rehabilitation.
LLT Laser Therapy
Abyad, A, and J T Boyer. “Arthritis and aging.” Current opinion in rheumatology vol. 4,2 (1992): 153-9. doi:10.1097/00002281-199204000-00004
Chalan, Paulina, et al. “Rheumatoid Arthritis, Immunosenescence and the Hallmarks of Aging.” Current aging science vol. 8,2 (2015): 131-46. doi:10.2174/1874609808666150727110744
Goronzy, Jorg J et al. “Immune aging, and rheumatoid arthritis.” Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America vol. 36,2 (2010): 297-310. doi:10.1016/j.rdc.2010.03.001
Greene, M A, and R F Loeser. “Aging-related inflammation in osteoarthritis.” Osteoarthritis and cartilage vol. 23,11 (2015): 1966-71. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2015.01.008
The body has a defensive response known as the immune system that comes to the rescue when traumatic events or injuries impact certain areas of the body. The immune system releases inflammatory cytokines to the affected area and begins the healing process to repair the damage while also getting rid of the foreign intruders in the body. Inflammation can be potentially beneficial and harmful to the body, depending on how severe the injury has potentially impacted the area. When inflammation begins to cause an impact on the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and joints, it can lead to chronic issues associated with pain. To that point, it causes the body to be dysfunctional while mimicking other symptoms. Today’s article examines how chronic inflammatory responses affect the joints, their associated symptoms, and how to manage chronic joint inflammation. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in anti-inflammatory treatments to help many individuals dealing with chronic inflammation of the joints. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
How Does Chronic Inflammatory Response Affect The Joints?
Have you been experiencing pain in some regions of your body? What about experiencing tenderness in your muscles? Do your joints ache when you are doing everyday activities? If you have been dealing with these issues, it might be due to chronic inflammatory responses affecting your musculoskeletal joints. As stated earlier, inflammation can be both beneficial and harmful to the body, depending on the severity of the impact the body has taken. In its beneficial form, the body activates the immune system and eliminates pathogens from bacteria, viruses, and other environmental triggers to promote healing and tissue repair. This potentially makes the affected area red and inflamed, thus repairing the damaged cells.
However, in its harmful form, studies reveal that chronic inflammatory responses can break down immune tolerance, causing significant alterations to all the tissues, organs, and joints. To that point, the residual effects of high inflammation can cause harm to the joints and cartilage, making them potentially involved with pain and possibly deformity over time. The joints help keep the body moving, surrounded by connective muscle tissue that helps stabilize the body; when chronic inflammatory responses start to affect the joints, they can become a mediator for pain and discomfort while triggering musculoskeletal disorders. Studies reveal that inflammation in the joints can cause damage to the cartilage and result in degenerative changes to the body. This includes functionality loss, joint instability, and other symptoms associated with chronic joint inflammation.
The Symptoms Associated With Chronic Joint Inflammation
When it comes to chronic joint inflammation, it can mimic other chronic conditions that present joint instability while overlapping different chronic disorders. This makes diagnosing difficult, especially if the person is dealing with inflammation on one side of their body, but it affects another part. This is known as referred pain, and studies reveal that most inflammatory forms that affect the joints are sometimes arthritic and have systemic symptoms that may occur in different body areas. Some of the symptoms associated with chronic joint inflammation can include:
The Difference Between Healthy Joints & Inflamed Joints-Video
Have you been dealing with joint pain throughout your life? Do you feel muscle stiffness in certain areas when you move around? Or do you feel muscle tenderness in certain areas? Many of these symptoms are associated with joint inflammation, potentially overlapping with musculoskeletal pain. The video above explains the difference between healthy joints and inflamed joints. Healthy joints are utilized when the surrounding muscles are strong and functional while no pain is inflicted on the body. Inflamed joints may be caused by numerous factors like lifestyle habits, physical inactivity, or previous conditions associated with inflamed joint pain. Studies reveal that inflammatory cytokines may potentially amplify musculoskeletal discomfort that affects the musculoskeletal tissues that surround the joints. To that point, inflammation of the musculoskeletal system may overlap with joint pain, thus directly impacting a person’s quality of life. Fortunately, there are ways to manage chronic joint inflammation and restore a person’s health and wellness.
Managing Chronic Joint Inflammation
Since inflammation is beneficial and harmful to the body, there are different ways to manage chronic inflammatory markers triggering joint pain. Many individuals who want to lower inflammation in their joints will begin to incorporate natural ways to lessen the pain. Eating foods high in fiber may potentially help lower inflammatory markers, including physical activities to improve musculoskeletal and joint stability and utilizing chiropractic care. Studies reveal that chronic joint inflammation associated with pain does affect a person’s ability to sleep and emotional health. To that point, incorporating treatments to manage inflammatory effects may potentially improve a person’s self-efficacy. Now how does chiropractic care help manage chronic joint inflammation? Chiropractic care includes inflammation reduction techniques that help loosen the stiff muscles that surround the inflamed joints. Joint inflammation may also be due to subluxation (spinal misalignment) associated with environmental factors. Utilizing chiropractic care not only alleviates the symptoms caused by joint inflammation but may potentially alleviate the cause of inflammation. Once a person has completed their chiropractic care treatment, they can return to normal activities without the risk of re-injury and re-inflammation.
Inflammation in the body can be beneficial and harmful depending on the impacted area. The body unleashes inflammatory cytokines when a traumatic event or injury has occurred in certain body areas. This is due to the immune system naturally responding to the damaged cells, thus causing the area to be red, hot, and swollen to promote healing. To that point, inflammation can impact the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and joints, which can lead to chronic issues associated with pain. Chronic joint inflammation is residual high inflammatory effects that cause harm to the cartilage and joint structures, thus making them potentially involved with pain and possible deformity. Fortunately, treatments like high fiber and anti-inflammatory foods, getting enough exercise, and chiropractic care may help manage chronic joint inflammation and its associated pain symptoms. This way, many individuals can resume their normal activities.
The hips in the lower extremities of the body help stabilize the weight of the upper half while providing movement to the lower half. The hips also allow the body to twist, turn, and bend back and forth. The hip joints connect to the inside of the pelvic bone, while the pelvic bone is connected to the sacroiliac joint, which connects to the spine. When natural wear and tear affects the joints as the body ages, issues like hip pain and osteoarthritis associated with low back pain occur, causing various symptoms to arise in the body. Today’s article looks at osteoarthritis, how it impacts the hips, and how to manage hip osteoarthritis. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal therapies to help those with hip pain and osteoarthritis. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Have you been experiencing pain in your hips or lower back? How about muscle stiffness near the groin? Do symptoms associated with sciatica seem to flare up near your hips and the back of your leg? Many of these symptoms are signs that you could be at risk of developing osteoarthritis near your hips. While arthritis refers to inflammation of the body’s joints, osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that causes degeneration of the joint cartilage, triggering joint pain and functionality loss. Even though there are several hundred types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is one of the most common types that many people, especially older adults, are affected by. As the body becomes older naturally through age, the repairs from an injury begin to slow down, and the cartilage (the connective tissue that protects the bones from each other) will start to thin out, triggering bone rubbing together, causing inflammation to occur, bone spurs, and inevitable pain. Osteoarthritis is often associated with old age and is multifactorial as factors that can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis include:
How Does It Impact The Hips?
Since osteoarthritis affects the joints, how does it cause an impact on the hips? When health issues affect the body, it can cause painful symptoms to gradually worsen and become a risk of developing hip pain. Studies reveal that hip pain is common in all adults and activity levels in the anterior, lateral, or posterior regions near the hips.
Anterior hip pain: Causes referred pain (pain felt in one part of the body but is actually in a different location) associated with internal organ systems.
Lateral hip pain: Causes wear-and-tear pain on the soft muscle tissues on the sides of the hips.
Posterior hip pain: Causes referred pain associated with the lumbar spinal pathology like sciatic nerve entrapment correlating with a deep gluteal syndrome.
All these issues affecting the hips overlap with various issues associated with osteoarthritis. When hip pain originates from osteoarthritis, factors like minimal physical activity or slight movements while resting in bed can worsen due to the hip joints having limited or restricted movement. Studies reveal that hip pain is associated with simple movement impairments that make it difficult to diagnose due to referred pain from the spine, knees, or even the groin area.
How does hip osteoarthritis correlate with groin pain? Studies reveal that when a person is dealing with hip osteoarthritis, groin and buttock pain are slightly more common. The hip joint is behind the groin muscle, which is why groin pain overlaps with hip pain as the root. Hip and groin pain could also be involved with radiating pain down toward the knees in the body.
Exercises For Hip Osteoarthritis- Video
Are you experiencing bladder issues? How about stiffness near or around your hips and groin area? Do issues like low back and sciatica pain? Experiencing these issues could be signs of hip osteoarthritis affecting your lower body. Studies reveal that hip osteoarthritis is a significant source of morbidity, pain, gait abnormalities, and functional impairments potentially involved with other issues. Fortunately, there are ways to manage hip osteoarthritis, as the video above shows eight great exercises for hip osteoarthritis. Certain exercise moves for individuals with hip osteoarthritis can help strengthen the surrounding muscles around the joints while increasing joint mobility to reduce pain and stiffness. Exercising can also be beneficial to the individual as it can provide:
Increase blood circulation
Provides energy boost
Promotes muscle endurance
Other available therapies help manage hip osteoarthritis while alleviating associated symptoms affecting the body.
Managing Hip Osteoarthritis Pain
Many individuals suffering from hip osteoarthritis try to find ways to relieve the pain. While they can’t do anything to prevent wear and tear on the joints completely, there are ways to slow down the process and manage hip osteoarthritis in the body. Small changes like incorporating food can dampen inflammatory effects on the joints while providing nutrients to the body. An exercise regime can help strengthen the weak muscles supporting the joints while increasing mobility and range of motion. Treatments like spinal traction and chiropractic care relieve pain and stiffness from joint disorders like osteoarthritis. Chiropractic care provides spinal manipulation on the back and joints to be adjusted. While spinal traction helps the compressed discs lay off the pressure on the surrounding nerves associated with hip pain. Incorporating any of these can help slow the progression of hip osteoarthritis and bring back mobility to the hips.
The hips provide stability to the upper and lower parts of the body. While supporting the weight of the upper half and movement to the lower half, the hips can succumb to wear and tear in the body. When the hip joints begin to wear and tear slowly, it can lead to the progression of hip osteoarthritis, where the cartilage of the joints begins to cause the bones to rub against each other, triggering inflammation. Hip osteoarthritis makes diagnosing difficult because the referred pain from the spine, knees, or groin area overlaps the symptoms. All is not lost, as there are available treatments to manage hip osteoarthritis that can help slow the progress of this disorder and bring back the mobility of the lower half of the body.
Khan, A M, et al. “Hip Osteoarthritis: Where Is the Pain?” Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2004, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15005931/.
Kim, Chan, et al. “Association of Hip Pain with Radiographic Evidence of Hip Osteoarthritis: Diagnostic Test Study.” BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), BMJ Publishing Group Ltd., 2 Dec. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4667842/.
Sen, Rouhin, and John A Hurley. “Osteoarthritis – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 1 May 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482326/.
Many individuals have dealt with issues affecting their lives in some way or form. People with autoimmune diseases must learn to manage their immune system from constantly attacking their bodies to function normally. The immune system’s primary function in the body is to attack environmental factors that harm the cells, muscles, and organs. When a person has an autoimmune disease, either from their family history or environmental factors, their immune system will begin to attack the body’s normal cells because it thinks it is a foreign invader to the body. Some common autoimmune disorders that most people have include lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Most of these common autoimmune disorders correlate to common symptoms that add to other issues that affect the body. Today’s article looks at rheumatoid arthritis, its symptoms, how it relates to fatigue, and how there are available treatments to manage rheumatoid arthritis as well as fatigue. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal therapies to help those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and fatigue. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Have you been feeling stiffness and inflammation around your joints? have you experienced gut issues affecting your life? Or do problems of insomnia or fatigue seem to affect your quality of life? Many of these symptoms are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and swelling in the joints. The video above explains how to manage rheumatoid arthritis and its associated symptoms. Fatigue is one of the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis as the inflammatory cytokines could be a co-morbidity in altering brain function that can lead to an overlap of pain and fatigue in the body, as studies reveal. While there hasn’t been a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, various treatment approaches can help people manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Some of the most commonly rheumatoid arthritis symptoms do to the body include pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints, joint deformity, and stiffness. Unlike wear and tear damage from different types of common inflammatory issues, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may come and go that can range from mild, moderate, or even severe. When this happens, rheumatoid arthritis may be the result of making it difficult to perform simple tasks and cause joint alterations. Research shows that rheumatoid arthritis associated with inflammation can damage different body parts like the gut. Gastrointestinal problems like leaky gut, IBS, or SIBO could trigger flare-ups in individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis. This is known as somato-visceral pain, where the muscles affect the vital organs, causing problems for the body.
How Does Fatigue Correlate To RA?
Individuals that have rheumatoid arthritis do suffer from various symptoms that are associated with inflammatory issues. When inflammation begins to affect the body, it can overlap the profiles of fatigue and poorer quality of life in the individual. So how does fatigue correlate to rheumatoid arthritis? Studies reveal that fatigue is considered one of the acute symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis that imposes a burden on individuals, thus being associated with reducing their health and wellness. Fatigue has many dimensions that do impact many individuals. Some people will explain to their primary physicians that they are constantly tired, overworked, and repeatedly stressed from everyday life or disorders affecting their bodies. For rheumatoid arthritis individuals, studies reveal that high inflammatory factors associated with fatigue may cause them to feel exhausted. This is related to individuals who have insomnia from other conditions.
Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis-Video
Have you been feeling stiffness and inflammation around your joints? have you experienced gut issues affecting your life? Or do problems of insomnia or fatigue seem to affect your quality of life? Many of these symptoms are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and swelling in the joints. The video above explains how to manage rheumatoid arthritis and its associated symptoms. Fatigue is one of the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis as the inflammatory cytokines could be a co-morbidity in altering brain function that can lead to an overlap of pain and fatigue in the body, as studies reveal. While there hasn’t been a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, various treatment approaches can help people manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatments For RA & Fatigue
Even though there hasn’t been a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are ways to manage the associated symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Eating anti-inflammatory riched foods could potentially dampen the effect of inflammation on the joints. One way while exercising can help loosen up stiff joints and bring back muscle strength, thus restoring joint motion. Treatments like chiropractic care can also provide pain relief and management for individuals dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. Chiropractic care comprises passive and active treatment modalities for rheumatoid arthritis and fatigue. Chiropractors utilize spinal adjustments and manual manipulation to reduce misalignment or subluxation of the spine. Chiropractic care may also help with many symptoms like fatigue associated with rheumatoid arthritis without invasive treatments or medication. Chiropractic care could potentially improve the function of the bones, joints, and even the nervous system in the body.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes joint stiffness and swelling. The causes of this autoimmune disease are unknown. Still, factors like stress, gut issues, and obesity are associated with symptoms like fatigue, leaky gut, muscle stiffness, and poorer quality of life could potentially be involved with rheumatoid arthritis. Treatments like eating anti-inflammatory foods, exercising, and chiropractic care could help manage inflammatory issues triggering rheumatoid arthritis and potentially reduce the effects of fatigue from the body, thus slowing down the progression and bringing back a person’s quality of life.
Korte, S Mechiel, and Rainer H Straub. “Fatigue in Inflammatory Rheumatic Disorders: Pathophysiological Mechanisms.” Rheumatology (Oxford, England), Oxford University Press, 1 Nov. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827268/.
Santos, Eduardo J F, et al. “The Impact of Fatigue in Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Challenges of Its Assessment.” Rheumatology (Oxford, England), Oxford University Press, 1 Nov. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827262/.
Spondylitis Anti-Inflammation Diet: Individuals who have a chronic back pain condition can be recommended to have two or more vertebrae fused to correct the problem/s and alleviate the pain. However, a form of inflammatory spinal arthritis can cause the vertebrae to fuse by themselves, known as ankylosing spondylitis. One recommended way to bring pain relief is by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Studies have shown that a low-inflammatory diet can help improve spondylitis symptoms.
Spondylitis Anti-Inflammation Diet
Ankylosing spondylitis is a progressive inflammatory disease that primarily affects the spine; however, individual symptoms vary. Symptoms include stiffness and pain in the neck, hips, low back, and fatigue. There is no definite pattern meaning:
Symptoms can improve.
Symptoms can worsen or flare up.
Symptoms can stop for a period of time.
Women are affected more often than men with no known cause. There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, but treatments and self-care can slow down the disease’s progression and help manage symptoms.
Diet and Inflammation
Diet is not the root cause of inflammatory disease, but eating inflammation-causing foods can worsen symptoms. Reducing inflammation can help alleviate pain.
Eliminating foods that cause or increase inflammation is recommended to help the body become stronger and manage symptoms.
Functional medicine practitioners can help guide individuals on maximizing healthy nutrition and using it to reduce pain and symptoms.
If an individual has a genetic predisposition, their diet can be crucial to calm down the symptoms and help turn the autoimmune disease around.
A spondylitis anti-inflammation diet should be rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids. Evidence shows that a diet low in starches can lead to less ankylosing spondylitis activity. Low-starch can also help limit the presence of Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacteria that feeds on starch and is a known trigger for the onset and development of ankylosing spondylitis.
Foods To Eat
These include spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and collard greens containing magnesiumand polyphenols that reduce inflammation.
These can be raw or cooked with garlic and olive oil added to maximize benefits.
These contain sulforaphane, anantioxidantthat includes broccoli cauliflower and can be eaten raw or cooked, roasted with olive oil, sauteed, and stir-fried.
Individuals may not be symptomatic with certain foods, but that doesn’t mean the foods should be consumed. Gluten, dairy, and eggs can cause potential problems as they compromise the gut and the immune system. These can set back the individual’s healing or remission.
What Happens To The Body When Eating Fruit
Fruit is made up of simple sugar called fructose, providing the body with a carbohydrate energy source. The natural sugar the body gets from a piece of fruit is not the same as processed fructose added to processed products like fructose corn syrup. Processed products are typically filled with empty calories and very little nutrition. When the body has fruit, the liver processes fructose before getting absorbed through the small intestine. Research shows that exposing the gut to more fiber-rich foods like fruit helps the gut achieve an anti-obese condition by increasing the good bacteria and reducing the obese bacteria. Essential nutrients from fruit include:
The USDA recommends making half of each meal/plate be fruit and vegetables.
Arthritis can be a debilitating disease that interferes with everyday life. There are over 20% of adults aged 65 and older that have arthritis along with all the symptoms like pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion. The most commonly affected joints include the shoulders, hands, spine, hips, and knees. Arthritis results from damage to joint cartilage from various factors such as age, wear and tear, injury, being overweight, and disease. While medication and surgery are the most common treatment options, an arthritis chiropractor can offer a conservative, natural, non-invasive option to manage symptoms.
Arthritis Chiropractor Helps By
While arthritis, either caused by wear and tear – Osteoarthritis or disease – Rheumatoid Arthritis cannot be cured. An arthritis chiropractor can help manage symptoms and prevent progression. Chiropractors are trained to use various techniques to help alleviate pain and tension, including arthritis. Chiropractic treatment aims to alleviate pain by adjusting, massaging, and realigning the musculoskeletal system to relieve stress, stretch the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and restore balance within the body. They open the body to allow proper/optimal nerve energy and blood circulation. This is beneficial for arthritic joints to reduce unnecessary strain, translating to reduced wear on the joints and keeping the body active.
There are significant benefits that regular chiropractic treatment can offer. These include:
Restored range of motion
Joint pain relief
Improved nerve function for optimal tissue healing
Regular adjustments will keep the body optimally aligned and functioning smoothly.
Arthritis chiropractors can recognize the most subtle changes.
Healthy lifestyle adjustments help manage arthritis.
Guidance on healthy habits that include:
Proper sleep habits
The sooner chiropractic care is sought out, the better to prevent symptoms from worsening. Chiropractic can generate great results with less need for medication/s or surgery.
Identifying The Risk of Sarcopenia and Decreased Mobility
As the body ages, it begins to lose muscle mass, and as more sedentary behavior is adopted, the rate of loss increases along with age-related injury. Identifying these age-related changes in muscle and how they relate to frailty risk can be challenging to identify and track. By accurately measuring fat-free mass in each region of the body, Skeletal Muscle Index – SMI quickly specifies muscle mass and frailty risk. Sarcopenia and frailty specifically affect the elderly population, affecting mortality, cognitive function, and quality of life. Loss of muscle in the arms and legs is associated with:
Reductions in mobility
Increased risk of falls
Extended hospital stays
Falls and fractures frequently result in a cycle of muscle deterioration. Analysis tools can help track body composition changes to minimize muscle wasting and the risk of impaired mobility. Assessing skeletal muscle mass in outpatient and hospital settings can decrease debilitating outcomes before they happen. The InBody analysis is quick and easy, providing a calculation for skeletal muscle index and the sum of the lean mass in the arms and legs. The ease of performing the InBody test provides physicians more time to work with and educate individuals on adopting lifestyle changes to help prevent sarcopenia.
Aletaha, Daniel. “Precision medicine and management of rheumatoid arthritis.” Journal of autoimmunity vol. 110 (2020): 102405. doi:10.1016/j.jaut.2020.102405
Beasley, Jeanine. “Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: conservative therapeutic management.” Journal of hand therapy: official journal of the American Society of Hand Therapists vol. 25,2 (2012): 163-71; quiz 172. doi:10.1016/j.jht.2011.11.001
Demoruelle, M Kristen, and Kevin D Deane. “Treatment strategies in early rheumatoid arthritis and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis.” Current rheumatology reports vol. 14,5 (2012): 472-80. doi:10.1007/s11926-012-0275-1
Kavuncu, Vural, and Deniz Evcik. “Physiotherapy in rheumatoid arthritis.” MedGenMed: Medscape general medicine vol. 6,2 3. 17 May. 2004
Moon, Jeong Jae et al. “New Skeletal Muscle Mass Index in Diagnosis of Sarcopenia.” Journal of bone metabolism vol. 25,1 (2018): 15-21. doi:10.11005/jbm.2018.25.1.15
Psoriatic arthritis can develop in individuals who have psoriasis, affecting various joints, especially the knees. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes skin cells to build up and form patches of itchy, dry skin known as plaques. Psoriatic arthritis is a long-term inflammatory disease that can cause inflammation, stiffness, and pain. Symptoms can progressively worsen over time without treatment. Early diagnosis is vital to minimize damage to the joints and slow the condition’s progress with treatment.
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms like stiffness and swelling can present differently from person to person. For example, some individuals with psoriatic knee arthritis will experience stiffness or pain in one knee, while others experience symptoms in both knees. Psoriatic arthritis in the knee can also cause swelling in the surrounding:
Symptoms can also present in the:
Symptoms usually begin between the ages of 30 and 50. Common symptoms include:
Stiffness after resting or sleeping.
Inflammation in the knee and surrounding area.
Warm or hot skin on the knee from the inflammation.
Pain in and around the joints, tendons, or ligaments.
Joint sticking, difficulty moving, or reduced range of motion.
Other symptoms include:
Pain and redness in the eyes
Swollen fingers or toes
Difficulty walking from pain in the feet or Achilles tendon.
The severity of psoriasis does not determine psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Symptoms can go through a pattern of relapses and remissions. Individuals can have a sudden attack where symptoms get worse over a short time. After the flare-up, symptoms can improve as the condition goes into remission. Symptoms may not present for a long time until another flare-up. For example, an individual may have severe psoriasis but only mild psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis develops when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. The faulty immune response causes the body to quickly generate new skin cells that stack on top of each other forming plaques. When the condition affects the joints, it leads to inflammation. While there is no apparent cause for psoriatic arthritis, researchers have found connections to genetics and the environment, as well as, individuals with close relatives that have psoriatic arthritis could be more likely to develop the condition. Other factors that could influence the development include:
The condition can happen at any age, but according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, most individuals first notice symptoms about ten years after their psoriasis begins. However, only 30% of individuals with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.
Doctors use imaging tools to diagnose psoriatic arthritis in the knee. They will use:
To help them check for irregularities or signs of inflammation in the joint and surrounding tissues.
Additional tests are used to rule out other common forms of arthritis like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
Blood tests check for inflammation and specific antibodies.
In some cases, a small amount of fluid from the joint is taken to help eliminate the possibility of other underlying conditions like an infection.
There is currently no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but treatments are being developed and show promise for long-term management. Current treatments focus on managing symptoms and improving the quality of life for the individual.
Biologic medications like tumor necrosis factor or TNF inhibitors are recommended as the first-line therapy for most individuals with a new diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. These meds help block TNF, which plays a crucial role in inflammation. They have shown to be effective at reducing the severity of symptoms and the frequency of flare-ups. Biologics can cause unwanted side effects, especially in individuals that experience frequent infections and need routine monitoring.
Small Molecule Medications
Individuals that cannot use biologic medications may be recommended a new class of medication called oral small molecules or OSMs. Examples include apremilast – Otezla and tofacitinib – Xeljanz.
Disease-modifying Antirheumatic Drugs
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs – DMARDs are a long-term option. They are used to slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis, and examples include methotrexate and cyclosporine. DMARDs work best when an individual begins taking them as early as they can take time to work. However, individuals are encouraged to continue taking them, even if symptoms do not improve right away.
A doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs and corticosteroid injections when knee symptoms flare-up. These are short-term treatments that provide immediate relief, as long-term use can lead to side effects. Individuals can find relief with combined self-care that includes:
Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen/Advil or naproxen/Aleve.
Applying ice and heat packs.
Gentle exercise to promote a full range of motion.
Gentle stretching or yoga can help relax tight muscles.
However, chiropractic is not the primary treatment for arthritis but is intended to be used in combination to relieve pain, loosen and stretch the muscles and balance the body.
Strength, Balance, and Improved Body Composition
Functional fitness is the ability to move comfortably every day. The benefits of physical activity also contribute to improved body composition. Working to reach a certain level of functional fitness can help the aging process that has been shown to reduce metabolic rate. Inactivity is why individuals lose Lean Body Mass as they age, leading to increased body fat. Lean Body Mass contributes to the body’s overall Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR, also known as metabolism. This is the number of calories the body needs to support essential functions. Everyone is encouraged to engage in strength training or resistance exercises, but specifically older adults. This can help regain muscle loss which can lead to an increase in lean body mass. The increase in Lean Body Mass increases BMR, which helps prevent fat gain.
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