Arthritis & Joint Pain: A Closer Look

Arthritis is a single term referring to numerous kinds of joint pain or joint disease. Severe arthritis can lead to chronic pain, permanent joint damage, restricted movement, and the inability to do everyday tasks. These factors can have a significant impact on quality of life.1

At a Glance

  • Although previous estimates indicate 54.4 million U.S. adults have been officially diagnosed with arthritis, a recent study suggests a much higher prevalence—91.2 million U.S. adults either officially diagnosed or reporting symptoms consistent with an arthritis diagnosis.1,2
  • While people of all ages get arthritis, it is most common in those age 65 or older (affecting 49.6%). Arthritis is also more common in women than in men.3
  • Arthritis is common among adults with other chronic conditions—e.g., it affects 49% of those with heart disease, 47% of those with diabetes, and 31% of those with obesity.4
  • The number one cause of disability in the United States is arthritis.1
  • There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related diseases. The most common is osteoarthritis (OA)—affecting more than 30 million Americans1—followed by rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout.5
  • Nearly 50% of those with arthritis report having persistent joint pain, with about 25% of all sufferers reporting severe pain.6
  • While the rates of depression and anxiety among those with arthritis vary, studies show that the rates are 2-10 times higher than those in people without arthritis. And since mental health issues such as these can exacerbate arthritis symptoms, it becomes a never-ending cycle for patients.7

Arthritis Symptoms and Causes of Arthritis & Joint Pain

Joint symptoms can vary depending on the type of arthritis a patient has; generally speaking, however, symptoms may include8:

  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Redness
  • Joint swelling
  • Decreased range of motion

People living with psoriatic arthritis have the joint symptoms of arthritis, plus the skin symptoms of psoriasis, such as itchy, scaly rashes.1

There are different causes for the different types of arthritis. When considering the two most common types, damage happens to the joints in the following ways8:

  • OA: Caused by wear and tear to the cartilage (either built up over the years or from an injury or infection). This results in bone-on-bone grinding, leading to pain and restricted movement.
  • RA: Caused by the body’s immune system attacking the joint capsule lining (the synovial membrane), leading to inflammation and swelling. Over time, RA can destroy cartilage and bone inside the joint.

While most joint pain is caused by arthritis, sometimes other conditions cause pain and inflammation in and around the joint (like in the cartilage, bone, muscles, tendons, or ligaments). Such conditions include9:

Ankylosing spondylitis

Bone cancer

Bursitis

Dislocation

Hypothyroidism

Sprains

Tendonitis

And others

Diagnosing Arthritis

An arthritis diagnosis is made based on medical and family history, physical examination, lab tests, and imaging tests.

Find out from the patient10:

  • When the symptoms began
  • Pain intensity
  • What time of day or night symptoms typically occur
  • Whether symptoms happen during rest, activity, or both
  • How long symptoms last and symptom patterns
  • What, if anything, relieves the pain
  • Family history of arthritis, rheumatic disease, or autoimmune conditions
  • Known medical conditions (past and present), including mental health issues
  • Medications
  • Injury and/or sports history
  • Physical demands of past or current jobs
  • Health habits

Perform a Joint Exam10:

  • Check for signs of joint swelling, stiffness, or redness
  • Count the joints
  • Check to see if the same joint is affected on both sides of the body
  • Feel for warmth, swelling, and fluid
  • Move joints around to check for range of motion
  • Check for tender areas

Consider Lab Tests to Find Out10:

  • Inflammation levels
  • If there are antibodies present
  • The general status of body systems

Consider X-Ray, Ultrasound, and/or MRI to Check For10:

  • Inflammation
  • Structural changes
  • Joint erosion
  • Cartilage loss
  • Tears in the soft tissue
  • Fluid location and amount
  • Loose tissue fragments

Managing & Treating Arthritis

The most common treatment options for arthritis include medication, physical therapy, and surgery. In most cases, the treatment course will depend on the type of arthritis and severity of symptoms, and many patients will need a combination of treatments and management strategies to find relief.11

Common medications for arthritis include11,12:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Counterirritants
  • Biologic response modifiers
  • Opioids
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
  • Corticosteroids

While these medications can be effective for many patients, it’s difficult to find those that prove to be both safe and effective, so it’s important to weigh the benefits and risks—especially when it comes to opioids and NSAIDs in the senior population:

  • Due to the increased risk of opioid-related falls and the rise in opioid misuse among the elderly, the CDC now urges clinicians to consider non-opioid options to manage chronic pain.13,14
  • In recent years, the FDA strengthened its warning on the increased risk of heart attack or stroke with prolonged use of non-aspirin NSAIDs.15 Plus, NSAIDs are contraindicated in patients with chronic kidney disease16—which affects nearly 40% of adults 60 and older17—and in those taking anticoagulants.18

Theraworx Relief for Joint Discomfort and Inflammation is a safe and effective option for those who have inflammation associated with arthritis or other joint conditions.

See how Theraworx Relief is different

Want More?

If you are a healthcare professional and would like to request clinical trial results, receive general information, or get Theraworx Relief on your shelves, contact us today.

REFERENCES:

  1. Arthritis Foundation website. Arthritis by the numbers: book of trusted facts & figures. https://www.arthritis.org/Documents/Sections/About-Arthritis/arthritis-facts-stats-figures.pdf.  Accessed April 15, 2019.
  2. Jafarzadeh SR, Felson DT. Updated estimates suggest a much higher prevalence of arthritis in United States adults than previous ones. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018;70(2):185-192. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/art.40355.
  3. CDC website. Arthritis Data and Statistics: Arthritis-related statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis-related-stats.htm. Accessed April 15, 2019.
  4. CDC website. Arthritis Data and Statistics: Comorbidities. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/comorbidities.htm. Accessed April 15, 2019.
  5. Arthritis Foundation website. Sources of arthritis pain. https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/pain-management/understanding/types-of-pain.php. Accessed April 15, 2019.
  6. CDC website. Arthritis: joint pain and arthritis. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/pain/index.htm. Accessed April 15, 2019.
  7. Arthritis Foundation website. The arthritis-depression connection.  https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/comorbidities/depression-and-arthritis/depression-rheumatoid-arthritis.php. Accessed April 15, 2019.
  8. Mayo Clinic website. Arthritis: symptoms & causes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772. Accessed april 16, 2019.
  9. Mayo Clinic website. Symptoms: joint pain. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/joint-pain/basics/definition/sym-20050668. Accessed April 16, 2019.
  10. Arthritis Foundation website. Diagnosing arthritis. https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/diagnosing-arthritis.php. Accessed April 16, 2019.
  11. Mayo Clinic website. Arthritis: diagnosis & treatment. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350777. Accessed April 16, 2019.
  12. Arthritis Foundation website. Benefits and risks of arthritis medications. https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/plan/arthritis-drugs-benefits-risks.php. Accessed April 16, 2019.
  13. U.S. Pharmacist website. Special considerations for opioid use in elderly patients with chronic pain. https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/special-considerations-for-opioid-use-in-elderly-patients-with-chronic-pain. Accessed April 11, 2019.
  14. HCUP website. Statistical Brief #244. Opioid-related inpatient stays and emergency department visits among patients aged 65 years and older, 2010 and 2015.
  15. FDA website. FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA strengthens warning that non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause heart attacks or strokes. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm451800.htm. Accessed April 26, 2019.
  16. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Choosing Wisely: Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in individuals with hypertension or heart failure or chronic kidney disease of all causes, including diabetes. https://www.aafp.org/afp/recommendations/viewRecommendation.htm?recommendationId=36. Accessed April 26, 2019.
  17. Mallappallil M, Friedman EA, Delano BG, et al. Chronic kidney disease in the elderly: evaluation and management. Clin Pract (Lond). 2014;11(5):525–535. doi:10.2217/cpr.14.46.
  18. Pharmacy Times® website. Oral anticoagulants and NSAIDs, SSRIs, or SNRIs. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2017/december2017/oral-anticoagulants-and-nsaids-ssris-or-snris. Accessed April 26, 2019.
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