Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Most Inflamed Joints Caused By Arthritis

If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), Gout, Lupus or Lyme Disease, then you have been diagnosed with a type of arthritis. Many people aren't aware that these conditions fall under the arthritis umbrella, but arthritis literally means 'joint inflammation' and is not a solitary disease. There are more than 100 diseases that are forms of arthritis. Each of these conditions have certain things in common: swelling of the joints, stiffness of the joints and pain.

Here are a few arthritic conditions:

Fibromyalgia – Marked by pain in the tendons, ligaments and muscles, fibromyalgia can cause sleep disturbances, impaired memory, joint numbness and tiredness, among other symptoms. Fibromyalgia is nearly four times more common in women than men and currently has no cure. Doctors usually prescribe lifestyle changes for the condition and treat each symptom separately. For instance, pain medication will be prescribed for pain of the joints and sleeping pills may be prescribed for sleep disturbances.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) – Caused by pressure on the median nerve located in the wrist or repetitive hand motions, carpal tunnel syndrome is marked by pain, tingling, numbness and hand weakness. The disorder will be treated differently depending on the severity. While some people will only need wrist supports and medication, others may need surgery to find relief.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) – A chronic inflammatory disease, ankylosing spondylitis affects people in different ways and is most predominant in males over 40 years of age. The disorder affects the joints of the vertebrae and spine and in severe conditions this inflammation may cause the bones in the spine to fuse together. Some people will only experience mild back pain, and others may experience severe stiffness and pain. The inflammatory disease is unknown in origin and is most commonly treated with pain medications and physical therapy.

Gout – When the body makes too much uric acid or is unable to flush out uric acid, Gout develops. This happens when the uric acids form into crystals that cause inflammation. The big toe is most commonly affected, though gout can also develop in the wrist, elbow, hand, foot, ankle and knee. A change in diet is often recommended for gout and sometimes medications can help. Males develop gout four times more often than females.

Lupus – Another form of arthritis is lupus, which is a term that describes a group of diseases. Lupus caused damage to the connective tissue and joints, resulting in inflammation and the body attacking its own healthy tissues. Lupus affects ten times more women than men. Usually doctors will prescribe medications specific to symptoms. There is no cure for lupus.

Lyme Disease – Caused by receiving a germ-infected tick bite, lyme disease can affect anyone of any age who has been bitten, though it most common in young adults that are active outdoors. Once bitten the germ travels through the bloodstream and affects the nervous system, the heart, the joints and the skin. First signs of lyme disease are headaches, fatigue, rash and joint pain. If not treated, the disease will progress to include memory loss, muscle weakness, chronic fatigue and loss of sensation. Most cases of lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics.

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