FROM OUR EXPERTS
A majority of patients have one question on their minds: Where the "heck" is that pain coming from? A red, painful swollen knee may hurt deep, on the side, in the middle, in the back, or just plain everywhere. A shoulder may hurt with the arm up, down or to the side. Although the question of "where" may seem simple enough, sometimes sorting out the exact location of the pain generator is an inexact science. Within the structure of a joint there exist three general areas of interest: the passive structures, the active structures and the nerves. Dissecting out the source of the pain involves the close examination of each of these areas. Once the location of the pain is found, the hope is that treatment can be directed, focused and effective.
By definition, a joint is where two bones join together to create a hinge joint , a ball-and-socket joint , a saddle joint , or one of the other types of joints found in the human body . Because the bones are not actively doing anything, just pro...
Read the full text of The Specter of Rheumatoid Arthritis and leave a comment! See all of Sara's Comics Visit the Single Gal's Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis
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...
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