All About Bursitis: Where It Occurs, Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

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Bursitis is a fairly common condition that results when bursae, which are tiny fluid-filled sacs, become inflamed.1,2,3 The role of bursae is to act as a cushion between the bones, muscles, and tendons that surround the joints.2 This type of inflammation can be very painful and flare up frequently with movement.

Older adults, individuals who have jobs or hobbies that require repetitive motions, and people who have medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or gout are more at risk of developing bursitis.

To inform patients and their caregivers, this article will cover the basics of bursitis, including common body parts affected, its causes, bursitis symptoms, and bursitis treatment options.

Bursitis Locations in the Body

Bursitis is a condition that can occur in various parts of the body and be very painful in each one of them.1 Bursitis hip is very common because this condition tends to form around joints that engage in repetitive motions.4 Bursitis knee is also very common since knees are used so frequently in daily activities. Other locations where bursitis commonly occurs are the shoulders, elbows, heels, and the base of the big toe.1,3

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Bursitis Causes

The most common bursitis causes involve repetitive motions that are related to occupational duties. For example, individuals who have spent extensive time scrubbing floors on their knees or lifting heavy objects over their heads are more prone to bursitis.

Stretching before performing repetitive work tasks, taking frequent breaks, and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce one’s chances of having bursitis.5 It is also possible to develop bursitis after suffering a joint injury, an infection, or alongside other inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and gout.1,3

Bursitis Symptoms

Some of the most common bursitis symptoms are achiness, stiffness, pain, swelling, and redness around the affected joint.1,3,5,6 It is likely time to consult a physician when it suddenly becomes impossible to move a joint, when excessive bruising or rashes occur, sharp or disabling pains are felt, or if a fever develops.

Physicians typically conduct a physical exam and order x-rays, ultrasounds, or MRIs to diagnose bursitis. Fluid may also be taken from the inflamed area to rule out the possibility of infection, and blood tests can help determine the exact cause of the pain and inflammation.

Bursitis Treatment

Effective bursitis treatment options involve resting the joints to help the pain subside and to prevent additional trauma.1,3,5,6 Bursitis pain may be alleviated by rest within a few weeks but may come back unexpectedly at a later time.

Other recommendations for bursitis treatment include oral pain medications, topical pain relief creams like JointFlex, and applying ice to the affected area. Physical therapy exercises may also be used to strengthen muscles around the inflamed joint.

In more severe cases of bursitis, corticosteroid medications may be administered to relieve inflammation and pain.1,7 Surgery may be necessary to drain an inflamed bursa or even to remove the bursae. Finally, a cane or crutches can be used by bursitis patients as temporary measures to take the pressure off of the affected joints during the healing process.

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1. Biundo, J. J. (2018 April). Bursitis. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 12, 2018 from,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/muscle,-bursa,-and-tendon-disorders/bursitis.
2. Bursitis. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 12, 2018 from
3. Bursitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Retrieved October 12, 2018 from
4. Bursitis a common cause of painful hips, knees, heels and elbows: Most conditions can be managed with simple, nonsurgical techniques.” American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Retrieved October 27, 2018 from ScienceDaily
5. Cooper, G. (2012 April 27). What Is Bursitis? Arthritis Health. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from
6. Bursitis. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from
7. Bursitis overview. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved October 27, 2018 from

Poor Posture Pain and Tips for Improving Posture Every Day

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As children, many people are taught to sit up straight and practice good posture. But these lifelong habits do much more than just exude confidence and make a good first impression.

Bad posture is one of the most common causes of neck and back pain, especially when one slouches while sitting, standing, and walking.

On the contrary, good posture involves maintaining a neutral spine with natural curves at the base of the neck, the middle back, and the lower back. Good posture also vertically aligns the ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. This article will address poor posture pain, ways for improving posture, and easy exercises for posture that can be practiced every day.

The Perils of Poor Posture Pain

Aside from whiplash, poor posture is one of the most common causes of neck pain.1,2 There are many muscles in the neck that become stiff and tight when the head and spine are not optimally aligned. Many people sit with their heads extending out in front of the shoulders. This position contributes to degenerative disc disease because the weight of the head puts excess pressure on the vertebrae.3

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Slouching also puts a strain on the various parts of the back by constricting nerves and blood vessels.4 This type of back pain often comes and goes when a person switches positions and starts in the neck before moving down to the lower back.5

How to Fix Posture in Daily Life

For people who work in an office, consider switching from a sitting desk to a standing desk to change positions throughout the work day. One easy way to start fixing posture with daily activities is to use a chair support for the lower back while sitting in an office chair.6,7 Simply keeping the shoulders relaxed and remembering to stand tall can help improve posture with minimal effort.

Doing simple stretches and exercises while at work will keep the body limber and also provide mental stimulation. Breathing in slowly through the nose and filling the belly with air helps establish better posture too. For joint stiffness caused by poor posture over the years, try JointFlex, a powerful pain relief cream that helps people keep moving without a prescription.

The Benefits of Improving Posture

Perhaps the most convincing benefit of improving posture is less pain, but there are many other good reasons to learn how to fix posture as well. Better posture will keep the bones, muscles, and joints aligned and working well for many years. It helps prevent abnormal wear and tear of joint surfaces and decreases the amount of stress put on the spine. Also, good posture helps prevent fatigue because the body doesn’t need to use extra energy to function and the muscles are being utilized more efficiently.

Great Exercises for Posture

Yoga, Pilates, and core fitness programs are excellent workouts for improving posture and reducing posture pain.9 Meanwhile, leg extensions work the core muscles to help stabilize the hips, curl-up crunches work the abdominal muscles and obliques to align the core,10 and back extension exercises strengthen the muscles that extend the spine and the lower back.11 Other great yoga-style exercises for better posture are plank pose, cat/cow pose, and reverse tabletop pose.

Consider attending a yoga class led by an experienced instructor and asking for individual guidance on posture-improving poses that are unfamiliar or challenging. It’s never too late to correct one’s posture and to start incorporating exercises for posture into daily life.

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1. Morrison, G. (2018 October 19). How poor posture causes neck pain. Spine Health. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
2. Yeomans, S. G. (2016 May 11). Ten tips to prevent neck pain. Spine Health. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
3. Sellers, J. T. (2014 June 16). Step two of DDD management: Reduce lower back stress. Spine Health. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
4. Spine health: Five negative effects of bad posture. Bay Imaging Consultants Medical Group. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
5. Moeller, A. (2016 September 29). Is poor posture causing your back pain? Spine Health. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
6. Andrews, K. (2013 December 4). Ten tips for improving posture and ergonomics. Spine Health. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
7. Posture. Better Health Channel. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
8. The power of good posture. Rush University Medical Center. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
9. Pilates and yoga – health benefits. Better Health Channel. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
10. Forlander, D. A. (2013 August 1). Why strong core muscles matter. Summitt Medical Group. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
11. Helpful exercises. Columbia University Department of Neurological Surgery. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from

Causes of Lyme Disease Joint Pain: Can Lyme Disease Cause Arthritis?

This entry was posted in Joint Pain Regions and tagged on by .

Lyme disease is spread by ticks and can usually be treated with antibiotics if the symptoms are caught early.1,2

However, if Lyme disease is not treated, the bacteria can spread to the joints and cause Lyme disease joint pain.3,4 This is just one of many symptoms of the disease but one that can be particularly painful and debilitating.

Many people wonder if this type of joint pain truly is arthritis or whether it will only last as long as Lyme disease is present in the body.

This article will address the question of whether Lyme disease can cause arthritis and some effective ways to cope with Lyme disease joint pain.

Lyme Disease Joint Pain

The most common symptoms of Lyme disease are fatigue, skin rashes, headaches, sleep problems, neurological problems, and joint pain.1,2,3 Unexplained pain and stiffness in the joints is sometimes one of the earliest signs of Lyme disease and may prompt sufferers to seek medical attention.5 However, other physicians have found that Lyme disease arthritis often occurs several months after the onset of the disease. Severe and permanent joint damage can occur if the condition remains untreated.

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Individuals with Lyme disease may experience joints that are inflamed, swollen, and warm to the touch. The researchers in one scientific study concluded that approximately 60 percent of individuals with untreated Lyme disease had joint and muscle symptoms,6 and another study found that about half of people with Lyme disease felt arthritis symptoms intermittently.2,7

Lyme Disease Knee Pain

The joint pain caused by Lyme disease primarily occurs in the knees and other larger joints. Other commonly affected joints are the hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles. This pain occurs because the bacteria that causes Lyme disease invades the joints and causes the tissues that line them to become inflamed. Many patients with this condition describe their experience as joint pain that moves from one joint to another and pain that comes and goes throughout the day.

Finding Lyme Disease Joint Pain Relief

If Lyme disease is diagnosed and treated right away, it is far less likely that arthritis symptoms will occur.1,7 But unfortunately, it is very easy to misdiagnose Lyme disease arthritis and mistake it for another condition.8 A single course of antibiotics may be sufficient in curing the Lyme disease and alleviating the arthritis symptoms that it causes.9 But if long-term joint damage is sustained by the disease, additional treatment options may need to be pursued. Chronic arthritis may develop after periods of continuous joint inflammation even after the Lyme disease bacteria has been flushed from the body.

For example, it may help to apply an arthritis pain relief cream, such as JointFlex, to the large joints affected by Lyme disease. Anti-inflammatory oral medications may also be recommended to reduce levels of swelling in the joints. If joint pain symptoms persist after two to three months of antibiotics, DMARDs or synovectomy may be recommended as well for some patients. The best way to prevent these symptoms and Lyme disease, in general, is to avoid tall grass and brush habitats that are favored by ticks, use insect repellents while spending time outdoors, and inspect the body for ticks so that they can be promptly removed before spreading disease.

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1. Lyme disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from
2. Lyme disease. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from
3. Lyme disease. American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from
4. Arvikar, S. L. & Steere, A. C. (2015 June). Diagnosis and treatment of Lyme arthritis. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, 29, 269-280. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology and Information
5. Lyme disease signs and symptoms. Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from
6. Bratton, R. L., Whiteside, J. W., Hovan, M. J., Engle, R. L., & Edwards, F. D. (2008 May). Diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from
7. Bush, L. M. & Schmidt, C. E. (2018 May). Lyme disease. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from
8. Lantos, P. M. (2015 June). Chronic Lyme disease. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, 29, 325-340. Retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information
9. Lyme disease: treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from

Sleeping with Back Pain and How to Choose a Comfortable Mattress

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Sleep and back pain often go hand-in-hand because this type of pain makes it very difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. A lack of sleep and sleepless nights can make pain worse, and even sleeping in certain positions can exacerbate the issue. Without sleep, individuals are not able to function in daily life and enjoy the activities they love. But with effective pain management and a supportive mattress, people with arthritis and joint pain can get the rest they need to feel great all throughout the day. This article will address the issue of sleeping with back pain, as well as recommendations for the best sleeping positions and comfortable mattresses.

But with effective pain management and a supportive mattress, people with arthritis and joint pain can get the rest they need to feel great all throughout the day. This article will address the issue of sleeping with back pain, as well as recommendations for the best sleeping positions and comfortable mattresses.

Lower Back Pain While Sleeping

One common complaint among arthritis sufferers is lower back pain while sleeping. This type of pain can be caused by an issue with the spine, such as disc degeneration. Nocturnal back pain can also be caused by various forms of arthritis, sprains, fractures, pregnancy, and scoliosis. In serious cases, it may also be a sign of a spinal tumor. Some people experience the pain as soon as they lie down, while others are woken up by it in the middle of the night.

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How to Relieve Back Pain While Sleeping

Choosing a good mattress is a great first step to having restful nights in spite of back pain. It is also necessary to find a sleeping position that works well for your body.

Powerful arthritis pain relief creams, like JointFlex, can be applied shortly before bed to ease the pain quickly and continue to work while drifting off to sleep. It also helps to get in and out of bed slowly while supporting the back with the hands, bending the knees, and rolling onto one’s side.

Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain

What many people don’t realize is that lying the wrong way in bed can actually make pain worse. For most individuals, the best sleeping position for lower back pain is on the back. Many people find relief by placing a pillow under the knees for extra support and to prevent the back from arching.

The stomach is considered to be the worst position for sleeping if one has back pain. Side sleeping is not ideal, but better than stomach sleeping if one is unable to sleep on the back.

Mattress Buying Tips for Back Pain Sufferers

The mattress that one chooses for the bedroom makes a big difference in how restful the night’s sleep will be. Firm or medium-firm mattresses are typically best for back pain sufferers because they offer extra support for the back. Just because a mattress is marketed as having a 20-year lifespan doesn’t mean that it is supportive enough for that length of time. Back pain experts have recommended the Saatva Mattress, Amerisleep AS2, the Helix Mattress, and the Bear Mattress for people with back pain.

However, it is important to test various mattress brands and level of firmness with various sleeping positions before choosing a new one to purchase. Many mattress purchases include a risk-free home trial to allow customers to try out a mattress for a month or more in order to determine its level of comfort and support.

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Early Signs of Hip Impingement and Common Causes

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Hip impingement, also known as femoroacetabular impingement, involves a structural or mechanical issue with one’s hip joint and can affect people of all ages.1,2,3 In fact, this condition commonly affects active teenagers and young adults. This condition causes increased friction in the hip joint that can wear it down and cause pain in the short term and extensive damage in the long term.

This article will explore the early signs of hip impingement to help hip pain sufferers recognize the symptoms and seek treatment as soon as possible. It will also discuss how this condition can lead to arthritis if untreated due to cartilage being broken down and worn away with repetitive use

What Is Hip Impingement?

The human hip naturally allows for the top of the thigh bone to connect to the hip socket so that it can move smoothly in the socket.4 This smooth movement is facilitated by a smooth layer of cartilage that prevents bones from grinding on each other and to secure the thigh bone in its place.5

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But in individuals with hip impingement, these bones do not move together smoothly and pain results.2,3 Deformities at the ball at the top of the femur and deformities of the hip socket are two common causes of hip impingement.

Early Symptoms of Hip Impingement

Many people who have hip impingement do not experience any symptoms at all in the very early stages of the disorder. But over time, individuals may begin to notice a limited range of motion in the hip and stiffness in the front thigh region and in the groin. Other individuals may notice a clicking or popping sensation in the hip joint during movement.

Although many hip conditions affect elderly adults, this one is most common among active people under the age of 40.6,8 Once symptoms are felt, it is likely that some cartilage damage has already occurred.

How Can Hip Impingement Lead to Arthritis?

People who have arthritis, as well as those who do not, can develop hip impingement. However, an untreated condition of hip impingement is actually a common cause of osteoarthritis.7

This is because hip impingement causes cartilage damage that is characterized by this painful form of arthritis. Hip impingement is often considered to be a pre-arthritic condition, which means that further damage may be prevented before the cartilage damage is very severe.8

The Importance of Early Detection

It can be very difficult to diagnose hip impingement, but early detection is the key to preventing osteoarthritis for many patients. A physician will typically conduct a physical exam to test the hip’s range of motion and order an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI to further inspect the health of the hip joint.9

When hip impingement is detected early, it may be possible to manage the condition by simply reducing certain physical activities and trying physiotherapy or injections. Many people with hip impingement pain use topical arthritis creams, such as JointFlex, to relieve their pain quickly and throughout the day. However, surgical intervention may be recommended for more serious cases of hip impingement, especially arthroscopic treatment to correct an impingement deformity.

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1. Pun, S., Kumar, D., & Lane, N. E. (2015 January). Femoroacetabular impingement. Arthritis and Rheumatology, 67, 17-27. October 25, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology Information
2. Hip impingement. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved October 25, 2018 from,HipImpingement.
3. Femoroacetabular impingement. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Retrieved October 25, 2018 from–conditions/femoroacetabular-impingement/.
4. Hip. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved October 25, 2018 from
5. Funiciello, M. (2011 August 12). Hip anatomy. Arthritis Health. Retrieved October 25, 2018 from
6. Boone, G. R., Pagnotto, M. R., Walker, J. A., Trousdale, R. T., & Sierra, R. J. (2012 October). Caution should be taken in performing surgical hip dislocation for the treatment of femoroacetabular impingement in patients over the age of 40. HSS Journal, 8, 230-234. Retrieved October 25, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology Information
7. Zhang, C., Li, L., Forster, B. B., Kopec, J. A., Ratzlaff, C., Halai, L., Cibere, J., & Esdaile, J. M. (2015 December). Femoroacetabular impingement and osteoarthritis of the hip. Canadian Family Physician, 61, 1055-1060. Retrieved October 25, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology Information
8. Dooley, P. J. (2008 January). Femoroacetabular impingement syndrome: Nonarthritic hip pain in young adults. Canadian Family Physician, 54, 42-47. Retrieved October 25, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology Information
9. Kuhlman, G. & Domb, B. G. (2009 December 15). Hip impingement: Identifying and treating a common cause of hip pain. American Family Physician, 80, 1429-1434. Retrieved October 25, 2018 from

The Most Important Things to Know About Septic Arthritis

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Unlike some forms of arthritis, septic arthritis has a very specific and well-known cause. Although known as infectious arthritis, this form of arthritis is marked by a painful infection in one of the body’s joints.1,2 Surveys show that at least 20,000 cases of this condition occur in the U.S. each year. However, certain types of people are more likely to develop this condition than others.3

In the paragraphs that follow, this article will cover the most important things to know about septic arthritis. This includes what the condition is, who it affects, what the symptoms are, and how people suffering from septic arthritis can find relief.

Causes of Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is commonly caused by a fungus or bacteria and involves a joint that has become inflamed due to an infection.1,2,3 This condition most commonly affects a single large joint in the body, like a hip or knee. However, in some cases, septic arthritis affects more than one joint in the body.

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Bacteria can be spread through the bloodstream from an infected part of the body or from an open wound following surgery or injury.4 Staphylococcus and Streptococcus are common bacteria that can cause septic arthritis. Certain types of fungi, like Histoplasma and Blastomyces dermatitis, can also lead to infections that cause septic arthritis.5

Who Develops Septic Arthritis

Interestingly, infants and the elderly are the most common demographic groups that develop septic arthritis.2 People who have certain viruses are also more susceptible to this condition. These conditions include hepatitis A, B, and C, HIV, mumps, and herpes viruses.

Individuals who have weak immune systems, immune deficiency disorders, or who use drugs intravenously are also at risk. Other risk factors include having fragile skin, suffering a prior joint trauma, currently taking medications for rheumatoid arthritis, or having other existing joint problems.

Symptoms of Septic Arthritis

Unfortunately, the symptoms of septic arthritis are not only limited to joint pain and swelling.1,2 The pain in the affected joint is usually very severe and accompanied by warmth and redness in the joint due to the increase in blood flow. Also, accompanying symptoms include fatigue, chills, fever, and a lack of mobility in the affected joint. It is most common for septic arthritis to affect the knees, it is also possible in the hips, shoulders, and other joints.

Diagnosing and Treating Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is typically diagnosed by conducting a procedure known as arthrocentesis, which involves drawing a sample of fluid from a joint for evaluation.6,7 X-rays will indicate if joint damage is present, and blood tests can help monitor inflammation levels.2,4

Physicians may recommend various types of treatment for this condition. Antibiotics are often used to kill the infection causing the joint pain, and the fluid can be drained from a joint to alleviate the pressure.2,7 Over-the-counter pain relief creams like JointFlex and oral medications may be recommended as well help reduce pain on an ongoing basis. But overall, it is crucial to see a doctor as soon as pain in a joint begins to minimize the risk of long-term joint damage.

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1. Infectious arthritis. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from
2. Schmitt, S. (2017 May). Septic arthritis. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Avoiding incorrect diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. Rheumatology Network. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/bone-and-joint-infections/infectious-arthritis.
3. Cho, H. J. & Burke, L. A. (2017 October). Septic arthritis. Hospital Medicine Clinics, 3, 494-503. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from ResearchGate
4. Infectious arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from
5. Cuéllar, M. L., Silveira, L. H., & Espinoza, L. R. (1992 May) Fungal arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 51, 690-697. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from National Center for Biotechnology Information
6. Cole, J. D. (2014 February 19). What is arthrocentesis? Arthritis Health. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from
7. Tupper, J. & Visser, S. (2009 April). Septic until proven otherwise. Canadian Family Medicine, 55, 374-375. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from National Center for Biotechnology Information

Understanding What Inflammatory Arthritis Is and Who It Affects

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Inflammatory arthritis is not one single disease, but rather a group of diseases that are characterized by inflamed joints and tissues.1,2 Many common types of arthritis are inflammatory in nature, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Systemic lupus erythematosus and ankylosing spondylitis are other forms of inflammatory arthritis that affect individuals.

The purpose of this article is to define and discuss inflammatory arthritis, including its symptoms and who is most at risk of developing this type of condition. The information below will also suggest ways for people with inflammatory arthritis to diagnose their pain and find relief through modern medicine, lifestyle changes, and home care.

Causes of Inflammatory Arthritis

Oftentimes, inflammatory arthritis is caused by an autoimmune condition in which the body’s own immune system turns against itself and begins to attack itself. Other potential causes include hormones, infections, and even stress.1,2,3 The exact causes of many types of inflammatory arthritis are unknown, and additional research is underway.

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Who Does Inflammatory Arthritis Affect?

Research has shown that genetics play a part in who develops inflammatory arthritis, at least to some extent. Unlike osteoarthritis, which commonly affects older adults and ex-athletes who put excess wear and tear on their joints,4,5 inflammatory arthritis can affect individuals of any age and level of activity. Studies have shown that women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, a common form of inflammatory arthritis, than men.6 Children also develop inflammatory arthritis, and it can even affect the eyes and lungs of their young, developing bodies.7

Symptoms of Inflammatory Arthritis

Inflammatory forms of arthritis are considered to be systemic, which means that they affect the whole body and not just a single part.1 The most prevalent symptom of inflammatory arthritis, regardless of the type, is pain, swelling, and warmth in the joints. It is also common for people with this condition to feel stiffness in the morning that lasts for a few hours. In some cases, inflammatory arthritis sufferers may experience rashes on their skin, fever, and hair loss as well.

Finding Relief for Inflammatory Arthritis

As with any type of arthritis, the first step in finding relief for the inflammation and pain is to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Doctors can make this diagnosis by a review of one’s medical history and a physical exam with lab tests, x-rays, and imaging technology.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often recommended to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with this condition. Also, arthritis pain relief creams like JointFlex deeply penetrate the site of pain to provide immediate relief and foster long-term improvements. In severe cases, doctors may recommend corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs to stop inflammation in order to protect the joints and organs.

For individuals living with inflammatory arthritis, daily life can be a challenge. Exercise is often recommended to support weight loss and muscle strengthening to support the joints and reduce the weight burden.8 It may also help to use a cane or walker for mobility and to use adaptive technology for household tasks like opening jars and using the shower.

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1. Inflammatory arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
2. Cooper, G. (2011 January 10). Inflammatory arthritis. Arthritis Health. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
3. The menopause-arthritis connection. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
4. Kontzias, A. (2017 July). Osteoarthritis (OA). Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/joint-disorders/osteoarthritis-oa/.
5. Amoako, A. O. & Pujalte, G. G. A. (2014 May 22). Osteoarthritis in young, active, and athletic individuals. Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders, 7, 27-32. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from National Center for Biotechnology Information
6. Kontzias, A. (2017 July). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved November 10, 2018,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/joint-disorders/rheumatoid-arthritis-ra.
7. Juvenile arthritis. American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from
8. Physical activity for arthritis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from

Why Humidity & Rain Affects Arthritis & How to Stop Weather Pains

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Does Weather Affect Arthritis? Understanding Barometric Pressure and Pain

In many places, spring is known as a time for rain, and summer is a time for humidity. Both of these seasons can be challenging for arthritis sufferers because the weather has a significant impact on how the joints feel and perform.

Studies have revealed contradictory evidence about why the connection between weather and arthritis exists. However, many people notice undeniable changes in how they feel depending on what’s going on outside.

This article provides an explanation about why humidity and rain affect arthritis symptoms and how arthritis sufferers can find relief.

With a better understanding of how weather affects pain and the connection between barometric pressure and pain, individuals may be able to manage symptoms better and live the lives they want.

Spring Rain & Arthritis Pain: Changes in Barometric Pressure and Joint Pain

Many research studies have pointed to changes in temperature and barometric pressure as causes for arthritis pain.1,2,3 Both rising and falling barometric pressure have been linked to arthritis symptoms. However, low barometric pressure, especially when it occurs just before a storm, often means that arthritis sufferers experience uncomfortable pressure in their joints. Back pain and knee pain are particularly common among people who experience arthritis pain before storms arrive.

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But to the contrary, arthritis patients who move to dry climates rarely experience total relief after leaving wet and humid places.6 There is no definite scientific consensus as to why weather affects arthritis pain, but there is a good chance that symptoms will travel along wherever an individual decides to move to.

Summer Humidity & Arthritis Pain

Similarly, many arthritis sufferers report feeling more arthritis pain when the air is filled with humidity. This could be because the body’s tendons, ligaments, and muscles expand when humidity rises and barometric pressure drops.4

Some studies also show that high humidity levels can cause sweating and dehydration which can make the blood thicker, which increases blood pressure in the blood vessels and makes the body work more to pump blood through the body.5,6 Humid days can also cause the body to become dehydrated, which can decrease the concentration of fluid around the joints and create more joint pain.6

Managing Weather Aches & Barometric Pressure Pains

Unfortunately, arthritis symptoms will likely persist no matter what the weather conditions are or what climate one lives in. It is important to stay well-hydrated, especially if the weather is rainy or humid, to keep the joints internally lubricated. It may seem that outside moisture would find its way into the body, but that is not necessarily the case.

In a similar way, swimming is a great exercise for arthritis sufferers to loosen up sore joints despite the weather.7 Swimming laps at an indoor pool or joining a water therapy program8,9 can make a huge difference for arthritis sufferers during rainy and humid seasons. It may seem counter intuitive to immerse the body in water when excess moisture in the air may be causing symptoms to worsen. But low-impact exercises like swimming can actually make a big difference for a joint’s range of motion over time. For immediate relief, over-the-counter arthritis creams like JointFlex can help arthritis sufferers enjoy the changing of seasons with less pain and discomfort. Individuals who suffer from weather-related arthritis symptoms should contact their doctors to discuss over-the-counter treatment options.

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1. Your local weather: Predict your joint pain level based on the local weather. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from
2. Shmerling, R. H. (2015 November 20). Can the weather really worsen arthritis pain? Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved October 18, 2018
3. McAlindon, T., Formica, M., Schmid, C. H., Fletcher, J., Maroon, J. C., & Bost, J. W. (2007 May). Changes in barometric pressure and ambient temperature influence osteoarthritis pain. The American Journal of Medicine, 120, 429-434. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology Information
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