Many types of joint pain associated with arthritis are slow to develop and get worse over time if an effective treatment strategy is not in place. However, other types of joint pain occur unexpectedly and are a major cause of concern among people who don’t normally experience painful joints.
Here is some information about sudden joint pain all over, including what it feels like, sudden joint pain causes, and how to treat the pain when it strikes without warning.
We’ll address the areas of the body where sudden severe joint pain is commonly felt and when it may be time to consult a doctor about the joint pain symptoms.
What Is Sudden Joint Pain?
Sudden joint pain is a type of pain that isn’t knowingly associated with a chronic condition, but rather comes on quickly for one or more reasons. This sudden joint pain is typically sharp and acute, and it is felt in commonly overused joints, such as the hands and knees. Individuals who experience sudden severe joint pain may be able to pinpoint the cause of the pain, or it could be a mystery that has yet to be diagnosed.
Sudden Joint Pain Causes
Sudden joint pain could be caused by an injury that affects a single large joint in the body,1,2,3 such as sudden joint pain in the hands. This type of pain occurs immediately following an injury and should subside once the injury naturally heals.2 An infection can also cause sudden joint pain and start causing pain within a few hours of being infected.4 Joint pain caused by an infection will often be accompanied by swelling, redness, and immobility of the joint.
Another issue that can cause sudden and severe joint pain is joint crystals caused by gout or other conditions that cause the crystals to form in the joint fluid due to uric acid build-up.5 This type of sudden joint pain commonly occurs in the big toe, instep of the foot, and ankle. Other sudden joint pain causes include tendonitis, lupus, other autoimmune diseases, measles, mumps, and chicken pox.
Sudden Joint Pain in Hands
One common place for sudden joint pain to occur is in the hands because of how many daily activities require the use of the hands.2 Lupus is a possible cause of sudden joint pain in the hands,6 as well as overuse disorders that suddenly hit their peak, like carpal tunnel syndrome.7,8,9
Sudden Joint Pain All Over
It is also possible to feel sudden joint pain all over, and not just in one singular part of the body. This type of sudden pain is often due to the start of a chronic joint disorder or due to inflammation. The pain is usually acute and affects multiple joints.4 Septic arthritis is a possible cause of sudden joint pain all over because this type of arthritis is caused by inflamed joints that are affected by bacteria or fungi in the bloodstream.10,11
How to Treat Sudden Severe Joint Pain
To help treat sudden severe joint pain, try applying fast-acting JointFlex to the site of pain for immediate and long-lasting relief. It may help to increase physical activity after the sudden joint pain begins to stretch and mobilize the joints.4 Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids and getting a massage may help with the sudden pain as well. 12,13 If your sudden joint pain is severe, or you’re unsure of the cause, seek medical attention.
REFERENCES for SUDDEN JOINT PAIN
1. Joint pain. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003261.htm.
2. Hand injuries and disorders. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/handinjuriesanddisorders.html/.
3. Knee pain. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 18, 2018 https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003187.htm.
4. Villa-Forte, A. (2017 December). Joint pain: Many joints. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 20, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/symptoms-of-musculoskeletal-disorders/joint-pain-many-joints.
5. Edwards, N. L. (2018 May). Gout. The Merck Manual. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/gout-and-calcium-pyrophosphate-arthritis/gout.
6. Nevares, A. M. (2018 April). Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/autoimmune-disorders-of-connective-tissue/systemic-lupus-erythematosus-sle.
7. Steinberg, D. R. (2018 August). Carpal tunnel syndrome. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/hand-disorders/carpal-tunnel-syndrome.
8. Carpal tunnel syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet#3049_4.
9. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome.
10. Infectious Arthritis. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/infectiousarthritis.html.
11. Shirtliff, M. E. & Mader, J. T. (2002 October). Acute septic arthritis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 15, 527-544. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC126863/.
12. Omega-3 fatty acids: Fact sheet for consumers. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/.
13. Bernstein, S. Benefits of massage. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 20, 2018 from https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/other-therapies/massage/massage-benefits.php.
Joint Pain vs. Muscle Pain: What’s the Difference?
When pain is felt in the body, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish exactly where the pain is originating from and why it hurts. Is it joint pain, muscle pain, or something else entirely?
There are some causes of joint and muscle pain that are mistaken for each other, but it’s important to correctly diagnose the issue in order to treat it in the most effective way.
This article will address the topic of joint pain vs. muscle pain, including the differences between these types of pain and when they mirror each other. It will also provide information about how to find joint pain relief and muscle pain relief depending on the diagnosis.
What Can Cause Joint Pain?
Joint pain is often caused by an injury to a specific joint and affects the bones, ligaments, and cartilage around it.1 Arthritis is another common cause of joint pain, including both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.2 Various medical conditions can cause one or more joints to become painful as well, such as Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, gout, bone cancer, avascular necrosis, and rheumatic fever.3
What Can Cause Muscle Pain?
Unlike joint pain, muscle pain is most commonly caused by overuse, strain, or injury to a specific muscle.4 This is common among athletes and people who begin exercising after long periods of inactivity. However, muscle pain can also be due to an illness or infection in the body, and this is where the symptoms can mirror joint pain.5 Individuals may feel pain in their muscles due to influenza, chronic fatigue syndrome, and hypothyroidism. Medical conditions that can cause muscle pain, as well as joint pain, include Lyme disease,6 fibromyalgia,7 and polymyalgia rheumatica.8
How to Tell the Difference Between Joint Pain and Muscle Pain
While the causes of joint and muscle pain are unique to each individual, it is often possible to distinguish between the two. Muscle spasms often occur alongside muscle pain, and the pain gets better when exercised because activity releases lactic acid and toxins that have built up.9 With joint pain, swelling usually occurs around the affected joint, and this type of pain typically takes longer to heal.2,3
Joint Pain Relief
For joint pain relief, a physician may recommend taking a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and using a powerful topical cream, like JointFlex. Other potential remedies to try for joint pain include taking an Epsom salt bath, alternating the use of hot and cold packs, and low-impact exercising to keep the joints mobile and flexible. Since joint pain tends to be a more long-term condition than muscle pain caused by activity, it may also be necessary to lose weight and adjust one’s daily diet to include more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and other anti-inflammatory foods.
Muscle Pain Relief
Muscle pain relief can be accomplished in a few different ways, including massage, applying ice to reduce pain, and resting the affected area.10 It may also help to gently stretch the muscles and avoid high-impact and weight-bearing exercises until the muscle is healed. Muscle pain that is accompanied by stiffness in the neck, immobility in a part of the body, fever, or vomiting may be signs of something more serious that need to be checked out by a doctor.
REFERENCES for JOINT PAIN vs MUSCLE PAIN
1. Joint pain. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 20, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003261.htm.
2. Villa-Forte, A. (2017 December). Joint pain: Single joint. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/symptoms-of-musculoskeletal-disorders/joint-pain-single-joint.
3. Villa-Forte, A. (2017 December). Joint pain: Many joints. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/symptoms-of-musculoskeletal-disorders/joint-pain-many-joints.
4. Muscle pain. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19676.htm.
5. Muscle aches. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003178.htm.
6. Lyme disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html.
7. Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/fibromyalgia.
8. Polymyalgia rheumatica. American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Polymyalgia-Rheumatica.
9. Muscle cramps. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/musclecramps.html.
10. Kuhland, J. 7 essential elements of rest and recovery. Breakingmuscle.com. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/7-essential-elements-of-rest-and-recovery.
Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and How It Affects the Joints
Everyone feels a little tired or exhausted from time to time, but this feeling is nothing compared to chronic fatigue syndrome. This condition is marked by severe fatigue that lasts for six months or more and isn’t a side effect of another medical condition.
It most commonly affects women in their 40s and 50s, but teenagers can also develop chronic fatigue syndrome much earlier in life.
Since chronic fatigue syndrome is closely tied to joint pain, here is some information about what this condition is, what causes it, its symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated. Chronic fatigue syndrome is one of the most misunderstood medical conditions, but it is estimated that it affects up to 2.5 million people in the U.S. alone.1
Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
It can be very difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a patient’s chronic fatigue syndrome because the symptoms can be triggered by a wide variety of factors.2,3,4,5 For example, some sufferers report that a viral infection seemed to lead to their chronic fatigue syndrome, which has led some researchers to believe that certain viruses may cause it.6 Immune system disorders may lead to chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as hormonal imbalances in the adrenal and pituitary glands.7 Stress that is not controlled and managed can lead to a worsening of chronic fatigue symptoms too.
Chronic Fatigue Symptoms & Its’ Relation to Joint Pain
Obviously, the most prevalent symptom of this condition is fatigue, but there’s more to it than just that. Many people who have this disorder also experience muscle and joint pain, enlarged lymph nodes, sore throat, memory loss, poor sleep, low-grade fever, and headaches.8,9,10 Since this is a disorder that typically goes on for many months or even years, chronic fatigue is also known to lead to depression.
Is There a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Test?
Chronic fatigue syndrome can be difficult to diagnosis since the symptoms are shared with many other health conditions too.2,5,6 Unfortunately, there is no single chronic fatigue syndrome test that yet exists. Instead, it is usually necessary for a physician to rule out the possibility of other diseases, such as sleep disorders and heart disease, before arriving at a final diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Options for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
Although there is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome and no medications that exist specifically to treat it, there are ways to manage the symptoms and keep them bearable. Since one of the most common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome is joint pain, it is helpful for many chronic pain sufferers to use a topical cream such as JointFlex to reduce achy muscles and joint symptoms that occur with this condition. Cognitive counseling may help patients regain control of their lives by managing fatigue and joint pain symptoms.2,5,6 It is also recommended that chronic fatigue patients consult a physical therapist to find exercises that are safe to perform and that get the body moving to fight fatigue, boost energy and relieve joint pain. Simple stretching exercises and range-of-motion workouts are very effective in helping individuals overcome chronic fatigue and have enough energy to do the activities they love.
REFERENCES for UNDERSTANDING CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME and HOW IT AFFECTS the JOINT
1. Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/index.html.
2. Gluckman, S. (2018 July). Chronic fatigue syndrome. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/special-subjects/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/.
3. About ME/CFS. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from https://www.nih.gov/mecfs/about-mecfs.
4. Chronic fatigue syndrome. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/infectious_diseases/chronic_fatigue_syndrome_85,P00618.
5. Chronic fatigue syndrome. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/chronicfatiguesyndrome.html.
6. Chronic fatigue syndrome. Office of Women’s Health. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/chronic-fatigue-syndrome.
7. Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: Possible causes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/about/possible-causes.html.
8. Twisk, F. N. M. (2015 June 6). Accurate diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome based upon objective test methods for characteristic symptoms. World Journal of Methodology, 5, 68-87. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4482824/.
9. Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: Treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/treatment/index.html/.
10. Shee, C. D. (2003). Phantom lymphadenopathy. An association with chronic fatigue syndrome. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 79, 59-60. Retrieved October 28, 2018 from https://pmj.bmj.com/content/79/927/59.citation-tools.
How & Why Staph Infections Can Cause Joint Pain
Staphylococcus bacteria is commonly found on human skin and causes no adverse reactions at all.2 However, these bacteria can cause minor skin irritations in some people, and it can even be life-threatening if the infection reaches the heart, lungs, or joints.1 Anyone can develop a staph infection, but certain people are more at risk for them, such as individuals with chronic conditions, individuals with weakened immune systems, and newborn babies.
This article will explore staph infections, including the causes, common staph infection symptoms, and staph infection joint pain locations in the body. It will also address treatment options to relieve joint pain and other symptoms of this condition.
Staph Infection Causes
It is very common for a person to have staph bacteria on the skin and never even know it or develop a staph infection at all.3 However, this type of infection can be spread from one person to another and even live on objects around the house, such as sheets and towels. It is more likely for a person to develop a staph condition if they have underlying health conditions like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, respiratory illnesses, an immune system disorder, or cancer.4
Staph Infection Symptoms
Most commonly, a staph infection appears on the skin in the form of a boil, which is a red and swollen area of the skin that is inflamed and filled with pus.1 A staph infection may also cause impetigo, which is a contagious and painful rash with blisters and oozing fluid. Cellulitis may result if the deeper layers of skin and tissue become infected.5 This type of bacteria is also a common cause of food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, and a blood poisoning disorder called septicemia.6 Finally, a staph infection can cause septic arthritis, which is a condition involving severe joint pain and swelling.7
Locations of Staph Infection Joint Pain
Staph infections are most commonly found in the armpit and around the groin and buttocks areas. However, joint pain that is caused by a staph infection more commonly affects the hips, knees, shoulders, fingers, and toes.8 The joint pain and swelling in the affected joint may be severe and accompanied by fever. People who have existing joint problems have suffered a joint trauma, or who are taking medication for rheumatoid arthritis are more at risk of developing septic arthritis.9
Staph Infection Treatment Options
If a person’s joint pain is caused by a staph infection, there is a good chance it will subside when the infection goes away.8 Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat a staph infection; however, many strands of staph have become resistant to commonly used antibiotics.1,3 A physician may also recommend wound drainage to eliminate the fluid in staph infection sores. If you suspect you have a staph infection, you should consult with your doctor about appropriate treatment. If there is not an open wound in the affected area, your doctor may recommend a joint cream, such as JointFlex®, to help alleviate your painful symptoms. If a significant amount of fluid has collected at a joint, it may be necessary to remove the fluid with a needle or perform a scope procedure that involves inserting drainage tubes through a small incision. If a diagnosis of septic arthritis is made, it is very important to determine the microbe that is causing the infection and begin administering treatment immediately.
REFERENCES for STAPH INFECTIONS and JOINT PAIN
1. Bush, L. M. (2018 May). Staphylococcus aureus infections. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/infections/bacterial-infections-gram-positive-bacteria/staphylococcus-aureus-infections.
2. Staphylococcal infections. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/staphylococcalinfections.html.
3. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/index.html.
4. Healthcare-associated infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/hai/organisms/staph.html.
5. Dhar, A. S. (2017 November). Cellulitis. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/skin-disorders/bacterial-skin-infections/cellulitis.
6. Septicemia. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/nervous_system_disorders/septicemia_85,P00802.
7. Infectious arthritis. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/infectiousarthritis.html.
8. Infectious arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/infectious-arthritis/.
9. Schmitt, S. (2017 May). Infectious arthritis. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/bone-and-joint-infections/infectious-arthritis.
Cervical Osteoarthritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
The term, cervical osteoarthritis, is used to describe arthritis of the neck, and it commonly affects older adults. This is one of many different forms of arthritis and a disease that involves disc and cartilage degeneration.
Arthritis in neck can cause significant pain and immobility; however, neck arthritis symptoms tend to come and go with treatment and rest. It is a chronic condition that can make daily tasks more difficult and uncomfortable, but it’s not typically a progressive disease or one that requires surgery.
This article covers the topic of cervical osteoarthritis, including arthritis in neck causes, symptoms, risk factors, and treatments.
Causes of Arthritis in the Neck
As a degenerative condition, cervical osteoarthritis is caused when the bones and cartilage of the neck are worn down over time or due to an injury or medical condition. Bone spurs can cause arthritis in the neck, as well as spinal discs that become under-lubricated and herniated discs that leak out cushioning material needed for protection. An injury, such as an auto accident, and jobs that require frequent heavy lifting can lead to early onset cervical osteoarthritis.
Who Is Most at Risk for Cervical Neck Pain?
Age is the biggest risk factor of arthritis in neck due to normal wear and tear over the years. Individuals who have a family history of cervical osteoarthrosis may develop the condition earlier in life, however. People who strain the neck from heavy lifting or repetitive movements are at a greater risk of cervical neck pain as well. Individuals who are overweight are more likely to develop osteoarthritis in various regions of the body, including the neck, because extra weight puts undue stress on the joints.
Neck Arthritis Symptoms
Oftentimes, neck arthritis symptoms are mild and very manageable. Many people with this condition complain of feeling pain around a shoulder blades or increased pain upon coughing or sneezing. Cervical osteoarthritis sufferers may experience this type of pain alongside a persistently stiff neck, frequent headaches, of numbness in the arms and shoulders. They also may feel a grinding sensation while turning the neck.
Neck Arthritis Treatment
It is necessary to seek medical treatment for cervical osteoarthritis to properly diagnose the condition and recommend a customized treatment plan. After going through a patient’s medical history and neck-related symptoms, a doctor may order an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI to take a closer look at what’s going on with the bones of the neck.
Topical arthritis pain relief medications, like JointFlex, can be applied directly to the neck for fast and long-lasting relief of neck pain and stiffness. Rest is recommended, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, chiropractic care, and hot and cold therapy. In more severe cases of cervical osteoarthritis, a doctor may recommend wearing a cervical collar to minimize movement of the neck or injectable corticosteroid drugs. Surgery is very rarely required for a condition of arthritis in neck, and it is typically only considered as a possibility when a person’s range of motion in the neck is severely restricted.
The Importance of Sleep for Joint Pain Relief
There is a very strong connection between sleep and pain, as pain can prevent individuals from sleeping well, but good sleep can ultimately provide joint pain relief too.
There are many benefits of good sleep, and one of them is less painful joints for arthritis sufferers.
Without good sleep on a regular basis, people with arthritis are more likely to have increased pain and inflammation throughout the day and even be more prone to depression and disability.
This article will explore the importance of sleep, how sleep can provide joint pain relief, and how much sleep arthritis sufferers should be getting each night.
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is as essential as getting physical activity, and this is more than just a time for the body to rest or become dormant. When the body is asleep, the brain is still active and forming ideas and memories.1 Without adequate sleep, the mind cannot focus or respond quickly, and the body doesn’t have the energy to carry out daily tasks. Individuals are more prone to developing diseases when they don’t get enough sleep because the immune system can’t fight them off.2 Meanwhile, existing diseases tend to worsen when the body doesn’t get the sleep it needs.
Benefits of Good Sleep
In addition to providing joint pain relief and reducing inflammation in the body, there are many other benefits of good sleep as well.3 Research studies have shown that sleep helps improve memory, spark creativity, sharpen attention, lower stress, and maintain a healthy weight.2,4 The importance of sleep also relates to preventing depression, avoiding accidents, and repairing injuries.
The Connection between Sleep and Pain
When a person’s sleep schedule is disrupted, the brain and spinal cord may process pain sensations abnormally. Also, studies have shown increases in inflammation in people who are sleep deprived.5 During sleep, bodily growth hormones are released to repair small muscle tears that have occurred throughout the day.1,2 Without enough sleep, these repairs may not be feasible and additional pain may result.
How Much Sleep Should Arthritis Sufferers Get?
It is recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night and that those hours fall around the same time each night.1 This is a good guideline for arthritis sufferers as well. To facilitate better sleep, schedule in some time to wind down before bed by limiting caffeine and screen time in the evening. Taking a hot shower or bath before bed can soothe sore joints and ease the body into a restful state.
Arthritis sufferers who have sore knees can place a pillow between them while sleeping on one side.6 A firm mattress is the best for neck and back pain to provide extra support. It is also recommended to sleep on one side with the knees pulled up slightly to the chest to reduce spinal pressure. People who suffer from hand and wrist arthritis pain may benefit from propping up the painful body part while sleeping or using a night splint for support. Topical relief creams, like JointFlex, can help with joint pain at night for a more restful nights sleep.
REFERENCES FOR THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP FOR JOINT PAIN RELIEF
1. Why do we need sleep? National Sleep Foundation. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/why-do-we-need-sleep.
2. Importance of sleep: Six reasons not to scrimp on sleep. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health.
3. Sleep and pain. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/pain-management/chronic-pain/sleep-factors.php.
4. Simon, H. B. (2012 February 15). Sleep helps learning, memory. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sleep-helps-learning-memory-201202154265.
5. Mullington, J. M., Simpson, N. S., Meier-Ewert, H. K., & Haack, M. (2010 October). Sleep loss and inflammation. Best Practices & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 24, 775-784. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548567/.
6. DeVries, C. (2017 March 10). Nine ways you can sleep better with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Health. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from https://www.arthritis-health.com/blog/9-ways-you-can-sleep-better-osteoarthritis.
The Difference Between Fibromyalgia and Arthritis
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that is often misdiagnosed, misunderstood, and confused with other conditions because of its symptoms.1,2
Joint pain and fatigue could be attributed to fibromyalgia, but these could also be symptoms of arthritis or another chronic condition instead. Other confusing fibromyalgia symptoms include changes in a person’s sleep, mood, and memory.
The purpose of this article is to describe the most common fibromyalgia symptoms and provide information about the difference between fibromyalgia and arthritis. It will also address the issue of experiencing fibromyalgia and arthritis together as comorbidities and how to manage this type of pain and discomfort.
What is Fibromyalgia?
For anyone wondering exactly what is fibromyalgia, this is a musculoskeletal disorder in which pain sensations are amplified due to how pain signals are processed in the brain.3,4 It can develop slowly over time or be triggered by stress, an infection, or surgery. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men,5 but there is still a great need for fibromyalgia research to undercover the disease’s causes and any potential cures.
Common fibromyalgia symptoms include dull aching pain that lasts for several months or longer.3,4 It is typically felt all over the body in various parts. In addition to bodily pain, individuals with fibromyalgia may also experience fatigue and a mental fog. People with fibromyalgia often suffer from other coexisting conditions at the same time, such as irritable bowel syndrome, painful menstrual cramps, anxiety, and depression.4,5,7
Difference between Fibromyalgia and Arthritis
People who have both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be more likely to develop fibromyalgia.6,7 These arthritis conditions are risk factors of fibromyalgia, but the causes and symptoms of these conditions are significantly different.
For example, rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disorder that makes the immune system attack the joints.9 RA and fibromyalgia progress very differently as disorders as well. While fibromyalgia usually involves constant pain,8 RA flares up periodically and involves inflammation issues.9 Fibromyalgia isn’t an inflammatory condition, but rather one of the central nervous system that causes abnormal sensory processing.
Also, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage in a person’s joints.10 When someone has osteoarthritis, this lack of cartilage can make the joints rub together and result in pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.11 This distinguishes osteoarthrosis from fibromyalgia, which doesn’t typically involve progressive joint deterioration.
Finally, psoriatic arthritis differs from fibromyalgia in that its pain is typically accompanied by scaly patches on the skin, swollen toes or fingers, and a family history of psoriasis.12
Experiencing Fibromyalgia and Arthritis Together
Although fibromyalgia and arthritis are very different medical conditions, they can still occur in the body at the same time.6 This coexistence can make the symptoms of each condition worse, especially joint pain on both sides of the body, fatigue, and depression. Over-the-counter pain relievers, pain relief creams like JointFlex, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and COX-2 inhibitors may be used to treat patients with fibromyalgia and arthritis together. Meanwhile, reducing daily stress, getting an adequate amount of quality sleep, and exercising a little every day goes a long way in managing symptoms of fibromyalgia and arthritis together.
REFERENCES for DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIBROMYALGIA AND ARTHRITIS
1. Di Franco, M., Iannuccelli. C., Bazzichi, L., Atzeni, F., Consensi, A., Salaffi, F., Pietropaolo, M. et. al. (2011 November-December). Misdiagnosis in fibromyalgia: A multicentre study. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 29, S104-8. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22243557.
2. Avoiding incorrect diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. Rheumatology Network. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from http://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/fibromyalgia/avoiding-incorrect-diagnosis-fibromyalgia-syndrome.
3. Biundo, J. J. (2018 April). Fibromyalgia. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/muscle,-bursa,-and-tendon-disorders/fibromyalgia.
4. Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/fibromyalgia.
5. Fibromyalgia. Office on Women’s Health. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/fibromyalgia.
6. RA with a side of fibromyalgia. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from http://blog.arthritis.org/rheumatoid-arthritis/rheumatoid-arthritis-side-of-fibromyalgia/.
7. Fibromyalgia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/fibromyalgia.htm.
8. Fibromyalgia overview. Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from https://www.hopkinsarthritis.org/arthritis-info/fibromyalgia/.
9. Kontzias, A. (2017 July). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The Merck Manual. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/joint-disorders/rheumatoid-arthritis-ra.
10. Kontzias, A. (2017 July). Osteoarthritis (OA). The Merck Manual. Retrieved October 23, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/joint-disorders/osteoarthritis-oa.
11. Osteoarthritis. American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved October 22, 2018 from https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Osteoarthritis.
12. Psoriatic arthritis. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 22, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/psoriaticarthritis.html.
Gonococcal Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease, with approximately 820,000 new infections detected in the U.S. each year.1 These infections can be easily and effectively treated with medication; however, many people don’t realize they have an STD or seek treatment for them.
This means that complications can occur, such as gonococcal arthritis. This is a rare complication of the STD, but a serious one that can cause long-term joint damage and skin conditions if left untreated.
This article will discuss how gonorrhea can lead to a condition called gonococcal arthritis and how individuals with gonorrhea joint pain can find relief.
Causes of Gonococcal Arthritis
Gonorrhea is most commonly spread through sexual contact, but it can also be passed from mothers to their newborn babies during childbirth.1 Women are most commonly affected by this disease, especially sexually active teenage girls. This STD is caused by a certain type of bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This bacterium can be spread from the blood to one or more joints in the body.2 This is when gonococcal arthritis occurs and can cause severe pain and other symptoms.
Symptoms of Gonococcal Arthritis
Gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all at first, which means that many people don’t even know they have it.1 If the condition exists for a prolonged time without treatment, gonococcal arthritis usually first appears in the knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows.3 It can include joints that are red and swollen, joints that have a restricted range of motion, and tender joints. People with this type of arthritis may also have fevers and skin legions. Babies who are born with gonorrhea and not promptly treated may be more irritable, have difficulty eating, and spontaneously move limbs due to joint abnormalities.1,4
Identifying a Gonococcal Arthritis Rash
One of the most common symptoms of this condition is a gonococcal arthritis rash, which presents itself as skin lesions.2 About half of gonococcal arthritis patients have a skin condition occur, and these lesions may appear as pink or red raised sores.5 They can also develop into purple-colored sores that contain pus. In most patients, the gonococcal arthritis rash is not painful and tends to go away after a few days once treatment begins.
Diagnosis and Treatments for Gonorrhea Joint Pain
The first step in diagnosing gonorrhea joint pain is to conduct a test to determine whether gonorrhea is present.5,6 Urine tests, blood tests, cervical gram stains, or throat cultures may be used. From there, a doctor may take a fluid sample with a needle from the area of the inflamed joint. A lab will determine if the sample contains bacteria that causes gonococcal arthritis. It is very important for individuals who have been diagnosed with gonorrhea to inform their sexual partners so that they can seek testing and treatment as well.
Antibiotic drugs are commonly used to treat gonorrhea, and retesting is necessary to see if the infection has cleared up.7 To relieve the discomfort of gonorrhea joint pain, topical creams like JointFlex may be recommended. Most people who pursue treatment will feel their gonorrhea joint pain subside within a few days. Practicing safe sex is the best way to prevent gonorrhea and the joint pain that can result as a complication of it.
REFERENCES for GONOCOCCAL ARTHRITIS
1. Gonorrhea – CDC fact sheet (Detailed version). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea-detailed.htm.
2. Gonococcal arthritis. MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000453.htm.
3. Li, R. & Gossma, W. G. (2018 September 28). Arthritis, gonococcal. StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470439/.
4. Gonorrhea. Medical Institute for Sexual Health. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.medinstitute.org/factsheets/gonorrhea/.
5. Schmitt, S. (2017 May). Infectious arthritis. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/bone-and-joint-infections/infectious-arthritis.
6. Horowitz, D. L., Katzap, E., Horowitz, S., Barilla-LaBarca, M. L. (2011 September 15). Approach to septic arthritis. American Family Physician, 84, 653-660. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0915/p653.html.
7. Gonorrhea treatment and care. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/treatment.htm.