“Lene, you’re a neurological accident waiting to happen.”
My rheumatologist had ordered X-rays of my neck and the results showed that my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had made the top joint unstable. This was how the doctor told me. They wrote an order for a CT scan to get more detail. Then I waited six weeks for the scan and another six for the results. Thankfully, the CT scan showed that the joint wasn’t in fact unstable.
I refer to those three months as the time my head was loose.
Image credit: Samo Trebizan
RA and spine joints
When it comes to the spine, RA can be either a pain in the butt or a pain in the neck. There is some disagreement in rheumatology about whether RA can affect the spine itself or if it should more accurately be called rheumatoid spondylitis, ankylosing spondylitis, or even osteoarthritis. However, there is agreement that RA can affect the two joints in the spine. One is the sacroiliac or SI joint . It is located...
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis complain of hearing loss, a full feeling in their ears or fluid in their ear. Although hearing loss is not a common symptom of RA, it can be chronic for RA suffers. Studies over the years seem to disagree about what causes the hearing loss and whether it is really related to RA. There may be several reasons for the hearing loss
First, patients taking NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) as well as the DMARD (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug) Plaquenil can develop symptoms of tinnitus and decreased hearing.
Second, patients with Sjogren’s Syndrome can develop hearing loss, although severe hearing loss is unusual. Sjogren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which inflammation of the glands that produce tears and saliva lead to eye and mouth dryness. Sjogren’s Syndrome is also commonly associated with connective tissue disorders such as RA, lupus or scleroderma. People with RA see to have an increased incidence of also develo...
Diseases that fall under spondyloarthritis umbrella are ankylosing spondylitis , reactive arthritis (known previously as Reiter's syndrome) psoriatic arthritis and psoriatic spondylitis, and the arthritis or spondylitis associated with the inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease . Still other patients may develop undifferentiated spondyloarthritis. This means they have symptoms or signs of one of the illnesses above, but don't develop the full blown disease. The disease most frequently begins between ages 20 and 40, but may begin before age 10. It affects more males than females. Risk factors include a family history of ankylosing spondylitis and male gender. Symptoms of Spondyloarthris The disease starts with hip or low back pain that comes and goes and is worse at night, in the morning, or after inactivity. Back pain may begin in the sacroiliac joints (between the pelvis and the spine) and involve all or part of the spine. Pain may go aw...
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