Shoulder Pain

Learning About Arthritis Related Shoulder Pain

Shoulder arthritis is a condition that affects the ball and joint of the shoulder that connect the arm bone to the shoulder blade socket causing damage to the cartilage.  The thin layer of cartilage between bones is gradually broken down when there is arthritis present.  Having arthritis in the shoulder area is very common, especially among athletes such as baseball pitchers who use their shoulders more than most people do. Every time this cartilage is used there is less left and over time it is stripped away.

There is an immense amount of pain when arthritis enters the shoulder area because once the cartilage is worn away the bones grind against one another.  The treatments used commonly are aimed specifically at pain management; the only way to replace cartilage currently is through surgery.  Many cannot afford surgery of this type due to its “non-essential” classification many HMOs will not pay for it.  In some cases cryo therapy is used as a compress not only to dull the pain but also slow down the cartilage deterioration.  However there are different types of arthritis that can cause shoulder pain.  Rheumatoid arthritis for instance is a disease of the immune system that causes the body’s immune system to destroy the cartilage.

There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, however there are treatments such as surgery and some drugs that can suppress the immune system.  These drugs leave the body open to other forms of disease.  Furthermore it is also possible to lose the cartilage in your shoulder through accidents (car accidents are common), this is also considered arthritis.  While it may seem like a bleak condition there are methods of pain management that make living with this disease bearable.

In extreme cases of pain your physician may opt to injecting medicine directly into the shoulder to aid in pain management.  It is also possible to have surgery in which a prosthetic ganoid arthroplasty is performed to artificially replace the cartilage.  The most popular form of treatment with shoulder pain however is the utilization of ice to cause numbness and cooling of the skin and reduce swelling.  While some forms of shoulder arthritis are not preventable it is important to remember that it is possible to cause it yourself if you are careful.  Do not overburden or overtax your shoulder or you could find yourself without cartilage.

Shoulder arthritis is very often an athlete’s disease and it shows in those who use their bodies with reckless abandon in their youth.  Taking the time to let your body rest and heal in between strenuous activities is key in avoiding the pitfalls of serious (and lasting) injury later on in life.  Without even the ability to sleep on an affected shoulder someone who has shoulder arthritis faces a lot of complications in life.  As with most other diseases catching the situation early will allow your Doctor to preserve as much of your cartilage as is possible since arthritis is a degenerative disease.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s Phenomenon Explained

When circulation is cut off to a limb or extremity discoloration can often occur through a reddening or paling effect to the skin.  It is a vascular disease that often occurs in conjunction with arthritis, although it can occur by itself (in this case it is referred to as Raynaud’s disease).  Cases of Raynaud’s disease are far less common than secondary Raynaud’s syndrome.  In some cases extreme discoloration can actually be a sign of gangrene or the formation of necrotic tissue.  If you notice any severe skin discoloration localized in your extremities you need to contact a physician immediately.

The discoloration caused by Raynaud’s disease can be accompanied by numbness due to an adverse effect on the blood supply to that area of the body.  Much like arthritis those with Raynaud’s syndrome should avoid cold climates, although in the case of Raynaud’s there is more at stake than additional discomfort.  With Raynaud’s disease there is a good chance of limb loss if you are in a cold climate in which your condition can be aggravated.  The skin can turn white, red and even blue when a case of Raynaud’s is untreated or severe.  In cold climates one’s skin tends to turn white, a depletion of oxygen is marked by a blue color and immediately after either condition is corrected the skin will turn a bright red temporarily after circulation is restored.

In many cases more often than not women are diagnosed with Raynaud’s than men (regardless of the presence of arthritis) and has been known to occur with some regularity for breastfeeding mothers.  In addition to the fingers and toes being effected by Raynaud’s the nose and earlobes can also be susceptible.  Raynaud’s can often be an initial presenting symptom for rheumatoid arthritis up to 20 years before the disease manifests.  If you have symptoms of Raynaud’s be sure to get checked out for possible problems with arthritis later on.

Living in a warm climate if you have Raynaud’s is a very, very good idea because cold weather could aggravate or even worsen your condition.  If you do happen to experience cold weather or cold conditions and your disease is aggravated there are emergency measures that can be taken to safeguard your health.  If your skin turns white you should run warm water over the affected area and slowly increase the heat until your skin color returns to normal.  If no warm water is available put the discolored area into a warm part of your body such as your mouth or inner thigh (if possible).

In some extreme cases surgery may be necessary to correct for complications caused by Raynaud’s.  Surgery for the treatment of Raynaud’s involves either amputation or the injection of affected tissue with prostacyclin.  In many cases these injections greatly reduced and almost eliminated the pain caused by Raynaud’s.  In some isolated cases however amputation of the affected area is the best course of action for eliminating pain and greatly aid avoiding possible gangrene breakouts later on.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis at a Glance

The disease known as psoriatic arthritis is a very painful condition to have, it can make everyday tasks nearly impossible to complete.  Unknown to many is the possible link between psoriasis and arthritis, while not proven the odds of someone with psoriasis developing arthritis are far greater than someone who did not have psoriasis.  This possible causal relationship is something that can be utilized by those with psoriasis to take preventative measures before arthritis develops.  After psoriatic arthritis develops the treatment available typically comprises different medications and some light physical therapy.

Anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed to lessen the pain of psoriatic arthritis while in more severe cases antirheumatic drugs are prescribed.  In certain situations the use of painkillers may also be authorized.  Psoriatic arthritis is a particularly debilitating condition due to the added symptoms of skin problems in addition to sore joints and aches.  To this end in many cases both psoriasis and arthritis will be treated by prescriptions, treating the psoriasis will remove any visible symptoms of the disease. In some cases psoriatic arthritis can cause swollen fingers and hands as well as feet.

Psoriatic Arthritis occurs from a malfunction in the immune system where your immune system’s cells begin to attack healthy cells.  The cause for this phenomenon is as of yet unknown, this causes the formation of abnormal skin cells (psoriasis) and pain in your joints (arthritis).  It is thought that the cause for psoriatic arthritis is both genetic and environmental, some have even gone so far to say that a pregnant mother’s stress level may impact a child’s health in this way.  Bacterial and viral infections are also thought to possibly play a role where psoriatic arthritis is concerned.

If your spine is where the disease is concentrated symptoms manifest with a good deal of stiffness in the back and a burning sensation in the lower back specifically.  This may sound a bit scary but in reality with proper medication psoriatic arthritis is a completely manageable disease.  The pain will flare up some days more so than others (cold weather can often be an aggravating factor).  Staying inside on a cold day can make a big difference when trying to avoid pain, other aggravating factors can include excessive heat or strenuous physical activity.  The main things to consider when practicing pain management where arthritis is concerned are any severe changes in temperature, strenuous physical activities and even stress.

Those who have psoriasis should be prepared for the possibility of developing psoriatic arthritis at some point, discuss your concerns with your physician and plan ahead regarding medication and other treatment.  Read up on psoriatic arthritis at length so that you can know ahead of time what you are facing if you are diagnosed with either psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.  Knowing what you are facing can make all of the difference in the world when coping with a chronic, painful condition.  While at times the pain will be severe knowing that others share your condition and want to help can help out a lot.S