Category Archives: rheumatoid arthritis

Managing arthritis in the hands – MNT

I have mentioned ‘personal posts’ previously. Well, arthritis pains in the hands are something I live with daily. It doesn’t get more personal than this. For the past 15 years. I have had trouble buttoning shirts, jackets, etc. I drop keys and other small objects regularly. Any activity that involves manipulating fingers and thumbs causes pain to me in a greater of lesser degree. I thought this rundown on managing arthritis in the hands by Medical News Today was very thorough. I hope this subject is never more than academic for you.

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This kind of simple activity can be difficult if you have arthritis of the hands.

Many bones in the body, including those of the wrists and hands, are protected by cartilage. Cartilage can wear down over time. As a result, a person can experience a condition known as osteoarthritis.

Another name for this type of arthritis is “wear and tear” arthritis. The most common causes of osteoarthritis include age, repetitive joint movement, trauma, and sex. Genetics can also play a factor in the development of osteoarthritis.

Arthritis in the hands may also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis or post-traumatic arthritis.

Fast facts on arthritis in hands:

Women are more likely than men to experience osteoarthritis.
There is no cure for any type of arthritis in hands.
Treatment focuses on relieving the pain and managing the underlying condition.
In rare instances, a doctor may recommend surgery to repair a severely damaged finger joint.

What types of arthritis affect the hands?

Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can affect the hands.

While osteoarthritis is due to degenerative changes in cartilage, RA is the result of an autoimmune condition.

RA occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue that protects the joints. The resulting symptoms can be similar to those of osteoarthritis, including pain, inflammation, and redness.

RA can occur with no risk factors. However, women are more likely to experience the condition than men. Those with a family history of RA, who are obese, or who smoke are also at a greater risk of developing it.

While a person can experience RA at any age, the most common age of onset is between 40 and 60.

A person can also experience post-traumatic arthritis in the hands. This occurs after a person has damaged their hands, such as in a sport-related injury or accident.

Broken or sprained fingers or wrists can also cause post-traumatic arthritis. Injuries can accelerate the breakdown of protective cartilage as well as cause inflammation. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, arthritis, hand arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoarthritis pain, rheumatoid arthritis, successful aging

Exercise can ease arthritis pain – Harvard

We don’t need excuses to blow off exercising. It’s too hot/too cold, I’m too tired/too sore, you name it. When you have a chronic condition like rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, you have a built in excuse for not exercising. It might hurt.

As the Harvard Health Publication says, “Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can cause pain and stiffness that makes moving the last thing you want to do.

“But staying active is important. Not only is it beneficial for your general health — it’s also a way to strengthen your joints, improve your range of motion, and give you the opportunity to take part in the activities you enjoy.

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“For people with RA, it’s best to take a cautious and strategic approach when starting an exercise program. An individualized program — ideally developed with the help of a physical therapist — can help you protect vulnerable joints while strengthening surrounding muscles. A well-rounded exercise program should include each of these elements: Continue reading

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Filed under arthritis, Exercise, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

Oleda Baker on Arthritis and Alcohol – Guest Post

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As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda in December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.

A while back a major Scandinavian study showed that consumption of moderate amounts of alcohol reduced the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis by 50%. That might be true, But, don’t misinterpret those results. Drinking can only help prevent the development of Rheumatoid arthritis; it works just the opposite if you already have the disease.

So, if you already have rheumatoid arthritis, don’t drink alcohol.

Alcohol interferes with the effectiveness of arthritis medications, making your pain worse. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition. According to the Annals of Epidemiology, chronic, excessive alcohol increases inflammation in your body.

Medications are essential to cope with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. But, taking lots of drugs can damage your liver. Excessive alcohol inflames the liver and affects how it functions.
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Too many drinks put you at risk for hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

Alcohol causes weight gain. Health professionals often recommend shedding pounds to help improve rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Some 30 million people suffer from arthritis; most of them have osteoarthritis. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, arthritis, heart, heart problems, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep, stroke, Weight