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Arthritis

Arthritis causes pain due to swelling of the joints. People with arthritis my experience pain when moving, reduced mobility and difficulty performing day-to-day tasks.


At Healand Clinic, we have a range of therapies to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and provide pain relief. You can find a full breakdown of our pain treatments here.



Rheumatoid arthritis


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that primarily affects the joints. It is characterized by inflammation of the synovium, the tissue lining the joints, leading to joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other organs and systems in the body. Here's an overview of rheumatoid arthritis:


Causes


The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. In individuals with a genetic predisposition, certain triggers, such as infections or hormonal changes, may activate the immune system, leading to an autoimmune response. This autoimmune response mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues, including the synovium, causing inflammation and joint damage.


Symptoms


Joint pain and stiffness: The hallmark symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is joint pain and stiffness, often affecting multiple joints symmetrically. Morning stiffness lasting for more than an hour is a common feature.


Joint swelling and tenderness


Inflammation of the synovium leads to joint swelling, tenderness, and warmth. The affected joints may appear red and feel tender to the touch.


Fatigue

Many individuals with rheumatoid arthritis experience persistent fatigue, which can interfere with daily activities.


Systemic symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect other organs and systems in the body, leading to symptoms such as low-grade fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and general malaise.


Joint deformities

Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joint deformities and changes in joint alignment, leading to impaired function and mobility.


Diagnosis

Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis involves a combination of clinical evaluation, medical history, and laboratory tests.


Your Heland clinician may assess the pattern and duration of joint symptoms, perform a physical examination, and order blood tests to check for specific markers of inflammation and autoimmunity, such as rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies. Imaging tests, such as X-rays or ultrasound, may be used to evaluate joint damage and monitor disease progression.


Treatment

The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis aims to control inflammation, relieve symptoms, slow down joint damage, and improve quality of life. The approach often involves a combination of medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications.


How can Healand help with rheumatoid arthritis?

At Healand Clinic, we offer a range of therapies that can help with pain and inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Please book a consultation to discuss this further with us using the form at the end of this article.


Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis, a chronic skin condition characterized by scaly patches and redness. PsA can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, as well as skin and nail changes. Here's an overview of psoriatic arthritis:


Causes

The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown, but like other types of arthritis, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. In individuals with a genetic predisposition, certain triggers, such as infections or injury, may activate the immune system, leading to inflammation and joint damage.


Symptoms

Joint pain and stiffness: Psoriatic arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, often affecting the fingers, toes, wrists, ankles, and lower back. The joint pain may be worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity.


Skin and nail changes

Some people with psoriatic arthritis also have psoriasis, which can cause scaly patches and redness on the skin, particularly on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause nail changes, such as pitting, thickening, and separation from the nail bed.


Fatigue

Many individuals with psoriatic arthritis experience persistent fatigue, which can interfere with daily activities.


Eye problems

In some cases, psoriatic arthritis can cause inflammation in the eyes, leading to redness, pain, and blurred vision.


Joint deformities

Over time, psoriatic arthritis can cause joint deformities and changes in joint alignment, leading to impaired function and mobility.


Diagnosis

Diagnosing psoriatic arthritis can be challenging because the symptoms can overlap with other types of arthritis and skin conditions.


Your Healand Clinician may assess the pattern and duration of joint symptoms, perform a physical examination, and order blood tests to check for specific markers of inflammation and autoimmunity, such as rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies. Imaging tests, such as X-rays or ultrasound, may be used to evaluate joint damage and monitor disease progression.


Treatment

The treatment of psoriatic arthritis aims to control inflammation, relieve symptoms, slow down joint damage, and improve quality of life. The approach often involves a combination of medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications.


How can Healand help with psoriatic arthritis?

We offer a range of therapies that can help with pain and inflammation caused by psoriatic arthritis. Please book a consultation to discuss this further with us using the form at the end of this article.


Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and is characterized by the degeneration and breakdown of the joint cartilage. It primarily affects the joints in the hands, knees, hips, and spine, although it can occur in other joints as well. Osteoarthritis typically develops gradually and worsens over time. Here's an overview of osteoarthritis:


Causes

The exact cause of osteoarthritis is not fully understood, but several factors can contribute to its development:


Aging

As people age, the cartilage in their joints naturally undergoes wear and tear, making it more susceptible to damage.


Joint injury

Previous joint injuries, such as fractures, ligament tears, or dislocations, can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.


Joint overuse

Repetitive movements or activities that put excessive stress on the joints, such as certain occupations or sports, can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.


Obesity

Being overweight or obese puts extra stress on the joints, particularly the weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips, increasing the risk of osteoarthritis.


Genetic factors

Certain genes may make individuals more prone to developing osteoarthritis.


Symptoms


Joint pain

The primary symptom of osteoarthritis is joint pain, which typically worsens with activity and improves with rest. The pain may be described as a dull ache or stiffness in the affected joint.


Joint stiffness

Stiffness in the affected joint, especially after periods of inactivity, is common in osteoarthritis. It usually improves with movement.


Joint swelling

The affected joint may appear swollen, and there may be a feeling of warmth or tenderness.

Reduced range of motion: Osteoarthritis can limit the joint's ability to move fully, leading to a decreased range of motion.


Joint instability

In advanced stages of osteoarthritis, the affected joint may feel unstable or give way.

Bone spurs: Osteoarthritis can lead to the development of bone spurs, which are bony projections that can form around the joint.


Treatment

The treatment of osteoarthritis aims to relieve pain, improve joint function, and enhance overall quality of life. The approach often involves a combination of the following:


Medications

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help reduce pain and inflammation.


Topical creams or ointments containing NSAIDs or capsaicin may be applied directly to the affected joint for localized pain relief.


In some cases, corticosteroid injections into the joint may be recommended for short-term pain relief.


Physical therapy

A physical therapist can provide exercises and techniques to strengthen the muscles around the affected joint, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. They may also use modalities such as heat or cold therapy.


Assistive devices

The use of assistive devices, such as braces, splints, or canes, can help support the joint, relieve pressure, and improve mobility.


Lifestyle modifications

  • Regular exercise

Low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, can help improve joint function, reduce pain, and maintain a healthy weight.

  • Weight management

Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce stress on the joints and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.

  • Joint protection

Avoiding activities that worsen joint pain and using proper body mechanics can help protect the joints.


How can Healand help with osteoarthritis?

We offer a range of therapies that can help with pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. Please book a consultation to discuss this further with us.




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