Dear Dr. Krant: I am a 55 year-old man who has had osteoarthritis in my feet for 17 years. During the last 3 years it has spread throughout my spine, skull to tailbone, in the shoulders/hips/knees and hands, and nodes on fingers. I also have some difficulty walking. Is this a normal progression, or an extreme variation? You have had osteoarthritis for almost twenty years, beginning in your early 30s. Many people develop aches and pains in the large weight-bearing joints relatively early, even in their twenties. X-ray evidence of joint space narrowing, loose bodies and asymmetry throughout the weight-bearing surfaces usually does not appear until the 40s, although certain people will develop abnormalities early on. This is particularly true when cartilage has been surgically removed from the knees, when work involves repetitive lifting, bending and weight-bearing heavy loads, and when there is a genetic link to an affected parent. Nodes on the fingers (called Heberden...
Proper Care of the Body's Shock Absorbers Just like motor oil keeps your car running smoothly, there’s an important fluid that lubricates and nourishes your joints. This substance is called synovial (syn ō vi`al) fluid, and joints that contain it — like your shoulders and hips — are called synovial joints. As you move, sacks of this fluid cushion your knees and elbows against friction, and these sacks are known as bursae (bûr´s∂). When you hear people talk about tennis elbow — outer elbow pain often caused by repetitive motion — they actually have inflamed bursae, which doctors refer to as bursitis. Joint pain can interfere with your physical activity and daily life. The flip side, however, is that as your fitness level increases, joint pain may decrease. Here are some things you can do to encourage both of these desired results: * Warm up before any activity. Try this for your knees: Sit in a chair, and slowly raise your left foot un...
Stiffness in a joint; Pain - joints; Arthralgia
Follow prescribed therapy in treating the underlying cause.
For nonarthritis joint pain, both rest and exercise are important. Warm baths, massage, and stretching exercises should be used as frequently as possible.
Anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve pain and swelling. Consult your health care provider before giving aspirin or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen to children.
Call your health care provider if
Contact your health care provider if:
You have fever that is not associated with flu symptoms
You have lost 10 pounds or more without trying (unintended weight loss)
Your joint pain lasts for more than 3 days
You have severe, unexplained joint pain, particularly if you have other unexplained symptoms
What to expect at your health care provider's office
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask you about your medica...
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