If you feel pain and stiffness in your body or have trouble moving around, you might have arthritis. Most kinds of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints.
Arthritis is an inflammation of a joint. The term is often used by the public to indicate any disease involving pain or stiffness of the musculoskeletal system. Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones. Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints.
Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain. Joint pain is referred to as arthralgia.
There are many types of arthritis (over 100 identified, and the number is growing). The types of arthritis range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (such as osteoarthritis) to those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system (such as rheumatoid arthritis). Together, the many types of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness in the United States.
- Acute Arthritis: marked by pain, heat, redness, and swelling.
- Acute Rheumatic: Arthritis swelling, tenderness, and redness of many joints of the body, accompanying rheumatic fever.
- Hypertrophic Arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis marked by hypertrophy of the cartilage at the edge of the joints; osteoarthritis.
- Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis in children under age 16, characterized by swelling, tenderness, and pain, involving one joint or several joints and lasting more than six weeks. It may lead to impaired growth and development, limitation of movement, and ankylosis and contractures of joints. At times it is accompanied by systemic manifestations such as spiking fever, transient rash on the trunk and limbs, hepatosplenomegaly, generalized lymphadenopathy, and anemia, in which case it is known as Still’s disease or systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lyme Arthritis: Lyme disease.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: That associated with severe psoriasis, classically affecting the terminal interphalangeal joints.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: A chronic systemic disease characterized by inflammatory changes occurring throughout the body’s connective tissues. As such, it is classified as a collagen disease. This form of arthritis strikes during the most productive years of adulthood, with onset in the majority of cases between the ages of 20 and 40. No age is spared, however, and the disease may affect infants as well as the very old. The disease affects men and women about equally in number, but three times as many women as men develop symptoms severe enough to require medical attention.
Acute or Chronic Pain located in the posterior regions of the Thorax; LUMBOSACRAL REGION; or the adjacent regions. If you’ve ever groaned, “Oh, my aching back!”, you are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.
Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back include conditions affecting the bony spine; discs between the vertebrae; ligaments around the spine and discs; spinal inflammation; spinal cord and nerves; muscles; internal organs of the pelvis, chest, and abdomen; tumors; and the skin.
Bulging Disc Syndrome
A bulging spinal disc occurs when the disc’s soft, jellylike center (nucleus) is squeezed into cracks in the disc’s outer covering, weakening and stretching that covering. As a disc bulges out from between the neighboring bones (vertebrae), it can press on nerves that travel to the legs or arms and can cause numbness, weakness, or pain.
Normally, spinal discs absorb shock and provide flexibility within the spine. With age, spinal discs break down. They become drier, less flexible, and more easily damaged. Injury and prolonged overuse or misuse can speed the formation of tiny tears in a disc’s capsule. People who smoke cigarettes are at increased risk of disc deterioration.
In most cases, symptoms of a bulging disc can be managed with nonsurgical treatment and will go away over time. In a few cases, surgery is needed.
The cracks in the disc don’t repair themselves, but the pain usually fades over time. Often the body reabsorbs the material from the disc, which helps the pain go away. This process is called resorption. About half of the people with herniated discs in the low back recover within 1 month. And within 6 months, most recover.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder caused by compression at the wrist of the median nerve supplying the hand, causing numbness and tingling. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway of ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually. As they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult. Research has demonstrated that carpal tunnel syndrome is a very significant cause of missed work days due to pain. In 1995, about $270 million was spent on sick days taken for pain from repetitive motion injuries.
Often, the cause is having a smaller carpal tunnel than other people do. Other causes include performing assembly line work, wrist injury, or swelling due to certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Women are three times more likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome than men.
Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Your doctor diagnoses carpal tunnel syndrome with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment includes resting your hand, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines, and sometimes surgery.
A Malabsorption Syndrome that is precipitated by the ingestion of Foods containing Gluten, such as wheat, rye, and barley. It is characterized by Inflammation of the Small Intestine, loss of Microvilli structure, failed Intestinal Absorption, and Malnutrition.
Celiac disease affects each person differently. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system, or in other parts of the body. One person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person may be irritable or depressed. Irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children. Some people have no symptoms.
Celiac disease is genetic. Blood tests can help your doctor diagnose the disease. Your doctor may also need to examine a small piece of tissue from your small intestine. Treatment is a diet free of gluten.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that causes extreme tiredness. People with CFS have debilitating fatigue that lasts for six months or longer. They also have many other symptoms. Some of these are pain in the joints and muscles, headache, and sore throat. CFS does not have a known cause, but appears to result from a combination of factors.
Symptoms are not caused by ongoing exertion; are not relieved by Rest; and result in a substantial reduction of previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities. Minor alterations of immune, neuroendocrine, and autonomic function may be associated with this Syndrome. There is also considerable overlap between this condition and Fibromyalgia.
Pain is a feeling set off in the nervous system. Acute pain lets you know that you may be injured or have a problem you need to take care of. Chronic pain is different. The pain signals go on for weeks, months, or even years. The original cause may have been an injury or infection. There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer. But in some cases there is no clear cause.
A nursing diagnosis accepted by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association, defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage, with sudden or slow onset of any intensity from mild to severe, without an anticipated or predictable end, and with a duration of greater than 6 months.
Problems that cause chronic pain include
Low back strain
Pain from nerve damage
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the digestive system. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s can affect any area from the mouth to the anus. It often affects the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum.
The cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown. It may be due to an abnormal reaction by the body’s immune system. It also seems to run in some families. It most commonly starts between the ages of 13 and 30.
The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and diarrhea.
Other symptoms include:
Bleeding from the rectum
Your doctor will diagnose Crohn’s disease with a physical exam, lab tests, imaging tests, and a colonoscopy.
Crohn’s can cause complications, such as intestinal blockages, ulcers in the intestine, and problems getting enough nutrients. People with Crohn’s can also have joint pain and skin problems. Children with the disease may have growth problems.
There is no cure for Crohn’s. Treatment can help control symptoms, and may include medicines, nutrition supplements, and/or surgery. Some people have long periods of remission, when they are free of symptoms.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degeneration of one or more intervertebral disc(s) of the spine, often called “degenerative disc disease” (DDD) or “degenerative disc disorder,” is a condition that can be painful and can greatly affect the quality of one’s life. Disc degeneration is a disease of aging, and though for most people is not a problem, in certain individuals a degenerated disc can cause severe chronic pain if left untreated.
With symptomatic degenerative disc disease, chronic low back pain sometimes radiates to the hips, or there is pain in the buttocks or thighs while walking; sporadic tingling or weakness through the knees, hands, and fingers may also be evident. Similar pain may be felt or may increase while sitting, bending, lifting, and twisting. Chronic neck pain can also come from the cervical spine, with pain radiating to the head, shoulders, arms and hands. [Cervical Arterial Disease] or CAD may cause interrupted blood supply to the brain resulting in headaches, vertigo, and the diminution of cognitive abilities and memory.
Extension of disc material beyond the posterior annulus fibrosus and posterior longitudinal ligament and into the spinal canal. The spine is made up of a series of connected bones called “vertebrae.” The disc is a combination of strong connective tissues which hold one vertebra to the next and acts as a cushion between the vertebrae. The disc is made of a tough outer layer called the “annulus fibrosus” and a gel-like center called the “nucleus pulposus.” As you get older, the center of the disc may start to lose water content, making the disc less effective as a cushion. This may cause a displacement of the disc’s center (called a herniated or ruptured disc) through a crack in the outer layer. Most disc herniations occur in the bottom two discs of the lumbar spine, at and just below the waist.
A herniated lumbar disc can press on the nerves in the spine and may cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness of the leg called “sciatica.” Sciatica affects about 1-2% of all people, usually between the ages of 30 and 50.