What Are The Two Types Of Arthritis

By | March 29, 2023

What Are The Two Types Of Arthritis – If you have arm pain, you may be wondering what’s to blame. Here’s what you need to know.

Have you ever felt pain in your hands? In the beginning, you might force it to lie down in a silly way, or get over-injured from your yoga class. But if the pain persists, and depending on the specific combination of symptoms, you may wonder if it is carpal tunnel, a form of arthritis, or something else.

What Are The Two Types Of Arthritis

What Are The Two Types Of Arthritis

For some people, however, it is often neither a situation nor a situation. Having arthritis increases the risk of developing carpal tunnel, so you can have both conditions at the same time.

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In this article, we will explain why arthritis can be the cause of carpal tunnel and share the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel.

Although arthritis and carpal tunnel can affect the hands, arms and fingers, the causes of the symptoms are different.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system attacks the joints, causing inflammation, pain and swelling. Here are some common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:

Osteoarthritis is a form of “wear and tear” that occurs when the cartilage that protects the joints wears down. Here are some common symptoms of osteoarthritis.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the main nerve in the hand, the median nerve, is compressed in the carpal tunnel, a narrow passage in the palm of the hand that also houses the muscles that flex the fingers.

The floor and sides of this two-inch-wide tunnel are made up of small bones in the hand called the carpals, which are held together by a tendon that covers the surface of the carpal tunnel. (The word carpal comes from the Latin carpus, meaning hand.)

Repetitive hand movements, such as those that occur when working on an assembly line, often contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. With excessive movement, the muscles of the fingers can swell or swell and press on the median nerve. Despite the widespread belief that typing causes CTS, even heavy computer use does not cause people to develop it, according to one study.

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What Are The Two Types Of Arthritis

Several health problems can also cause swelling in this area. Arthritis is one, but diabetes and thyroid problems are also linked to carpal tunnel syndrome, as are the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Injuries such as a broken wrist can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.

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“It’s very common to have carpal tunnel syndrome when you have rheumatoid arthritis, especially if you have rheumatoid arthritis in the hand,” says Vinicius Dominguez, MD, a Daytona Beach rheumatologist. , Florida, and medical consultant.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it is likely to affect your hands. research shows that it is the most common area in the upper body for RA, and that 75 percent of people with RA have the wrist.

Although its impact is often not as great as RA, even osteoarthritis (OA), a form of wear-and-tear arthritis, also increases the risk of carpal tunnel. OA in the hand can cause inflammation and bone changes that block the carpal tunnel.

“The wrist is a very small area, and if it becomes inflamed for any reason, it can put pressure on the nerves leading to carpal tunnel syndrome,” says Robert Gotlin, MD, a sports and spine physician in New York City. tunnel syndrome. partner: professor of medicine and orthopedics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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Interestingly, carpal tunnel, like rheumatoid arthritis, is three times more likely to affect women than men, possibly because the carpal tunnel itself can be smaller in women than in men. The dominant arm is usually affected first and causes the most pain.

Like OA, carpal tunnel may develop over time; More than a third of people develop symptoms between the ages of 40 and 70.

Fortunately, despite some similarities in the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis, doctors often do not have much trouble telling the two conditions apart. Even better, there is some overlap between the treatments for these two conditions.

What Are The Two Types Of Arthritis

Dr. Gotlin says when carpal tunnel develops, it follows a pattern. Some important symptoms that can help distinguish carpal tunnel from other types of arthritis include:

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The median nerve gives sensation to these fingers as well as half of the ring finger (the pinky is usually not affected). It also strengthens other muscles at the base of the thumb. At first, the symptoms of anxiety and depression come and go, but as the condition worsens, they can become chronic.

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It can cause you to put things off or interfere with your daily activities. Dr. Gotlin explains: “The thumb provides a good grip, which is important when you want to do things like use a screwdriver or hold something carefully. When carpal tunnel occurs, people may say their toes are numb or swollen, even though there is no swelling. In more severe cases, the muscles at the base of the big toe experience “gross atrophy,” meaning shrinks in size.

Carpal tunnel is very painful at night. Bleeding because your arm doesn’t move, causes the arm to swell. Many people also sleep with their arms bent, which can cause more pain at night.

Another suggestion for carpal tunnel is that in the early days, people are often able to relieve the symptoms by moving their hands quickly (“jump sign” in medical terms). Dr. “This gets the blood flowing again and reduces the inflammation, so the pain goes away,” says Gotlin.

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Your health care provider can diagnose carpal tunnel by taking a medical history and performing a physical exam. He may touch the inside of your arm to see if you feel pain or tremors (Tinel’s test) or ask you to bend your arm for a second to see if this causes symptoms (Phalen’s test). .

Lab tests and X-rays can be used to diagnose problems such as arthritis, diabetes and bone fractures. Your doctor may also perform an electromyography (EMG), which measures the electrical activity of the nerves, to help confirm the presence of carpal tunnel.

For most people, carpal tunnel worsens over time, so early treatment is important. Ignoring the symptoms can cause permanent nerve and muscle damage, which can cause a person to lose hearing, hand strength, and even the ability to distinguish between heat and cold. It can also increase the need for surgery. Fortunately, most people get better after initial treatment that includes:

What Are The Two Types Of Arthritis

If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis, both conditions can be treated at the same time, and sometimes the treatment is the same. For example, NSAIDs can help relieve pain from RA and OA, as well as carpal tunnel. The same is true of corticosteroids. In addition to immobilizing the wrist to relieve CTS symptoms, wearing braces can provide relief and support for arthritis in the wrist, hand, and fingers.

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When carpal tunnel symptoms are severe and/or unresponsive to these care measures, surgery may be necessary. It is a very common operation performed over 400,000 times a year.

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An outpatient procedure known as carpal release surgery involves making one or more small incisions in the wrist or hand and cutting (“freeing”) the tendon that compresses the carpal tunnel. add space. “It’s no longer a tunnel, but a convertible. The roof is gone,” explained Dr. Gotlin.

After surgery, the ligaments usually grow together and leave a larger space than before. Symptoms usually disappear immediately after surgery, but full recovery can take up to a year. Recurrence of carpal tunnel after surgery is rare, although it is more common in people with active rheumatoid arthritis, according to Dr. Dominguez. Note that less than half of people say their hands ever felt normal after surgery. Numbness or other general weakness is normal. However, it is comforting to know that surgery has a high success rate, providing a stable, positive result in up to 90 percent of cases in one study.

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A digital community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide seeking education, support, advocacy and patient-centered research. We represent patients through popular social media, our website, and a 50-state network of nearly 1,500 trained patient volunteers, caregivers, and health advocates. Arthritis and tendonitis can cause a lot of pain, but they are two different conditions. . Learn the difference between arthritis, which involves inflammation of the joints, and tendonitis, which involves inflammation of the muscles.

Everyone hurts sometimes. But pain so severe that you can’t function properly is a red flag to watch out for. If your elbow or shoulder has started to hurt a lot lately, it’s possible that a recent return to tennis or pickleball is to blame. If one of your fingers hurts and seems to lock up when you try to fully extend it, too much typing and texting may be to blame. But what really happens inside?

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