Autoimmune diseases like arthritis, lupus, and AIDS/HIV can cause sore joints, swollen lymph nodes, and other health issues. Often arthritis is associated with old age, but it can affect people of all ages, and it is not the same thing as the everyday aches and pains that accompany many people as they age. There are over a hundred different types of arthritis; three types are common. Arthritis is a disorder of the musculoskeletal systems and considered an inflammatory disease. Some people get relief with diet change, and others will need medication or surgery to relieve the symptoms from an inflammatory disease.
Joint Lining and Sore Joints
The lining between the joints is called the synovial membrane, and when it becomes inflamed or damaged, it results in sore joints, disfiguration, and related health problems. These are three common types of arthritis:
- Juvenile Arthritis (JA) – this type affects children 16 years old and younger. Though the most commonplace for inflammation is in the joints, this disease can also affect the eyes, skin, and digestive tract. With an examination, imaging of the bones, and health history, a physician will be able to diagnose this kind of arthritis. Treatment consists of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – this type of arthritis can cause disfiguration and can be very painful. In this type, the body attacks the synovial membrane causing fluid to build up between the joints. It can also cause damage to cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Women are more likely to have this type, so there is some speculation that hormones may affect it. Blood tests, imaging, examination, and medical history are used to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment consists of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers.
- Osteoarthritis (OA) – this one is the most common and affects many people by the age of 65. It can be caused by genetics, joint trauma, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. The joints that are the most susceptible are the weight-bearing ones. The cartilage wears away, and as it progresses, the bones will eventually wear away. Diagnosis is made by an exam, imaging, and medical history. Surgery and therapy can help relieve symptoms so that regular activity can be resumed.
Though motion can be painful, exercise can help relieve the symptoms and soreness of arthritis. One of the ways that exercise helps with the discomfort is by contributing to weight loss. With less weight and pressure on the lining between the joints, there is less pain and soreness. It can even slow down damage to the bones and relieve other symptoms.
Symptoms of Arthritis and Relief of Those Symptoms
Sore joints and stiffness are the most well-known symptoms of arthritis, but there are others. Some of them include the following:
- A decrease in motion range
- Joint damage
People with arthritis can also have related health issues like the following:
- Inflammation of the lungs
- Heart problems
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Decreased circulation
- Peripheral nerve damage
- Vision loss
- Rashes, skin ulcers, and nodules
- Enlarged spleen
Arthritis treatments include medication, exercise, surgery, and avoiding foods that cause inflammation in the body. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential to prevent additional stress on the joints. Medications come with their health risks and side effects, so that must be weighed against the benefits. Mental health can be affected by chronic illnesses like arthritis, so it is often beneficial to join a support group because the treatments may give relief and repair damage, but it won’t cure arthritis.
Some believe that arthritis is not a severe health issue, but the fact is that it can become so severe that people are unable to work. The Arthritis Foundation has an article that will help distinguish between facts and fiction about arthritis. The symptoms like swelling and soreness that go hand in hand with arthritis can be treated, and the time between flare-ups can be managed, but it is not curable. Acceptance and flexibility are necessary to adapt to the changes in lifestyle to accommodate this disease.