How to Deal With Lupus Arthritis

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by in General Health Concerns

There are many autoimmune diseases which might plague the body. One of which is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. A million people are affected by this type of disorder and over 90 percent who are suffering from it are experiencing muscular and joint pain. One of the most common effects of SLE is lupus arthritis. In fact, over 35 percent of people who are suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus are suffering from this form of arthritis.

What are the symptoms of this condition?

People who are suffering from this form of arthritis will most likely have pain and continuous swelling in the joints. The added pain will often be accompanied by a warm feeling in the affected area along with a form of tenderness. Patients who are suffering from this condition will also suffer from morning stiffness accompanied by a paralyzing effect in the joints. This is due to the fluids which are collected in the bones and in the joints. The fluids cause additional pressure in the joints and it also causes swelling. It can be quite an uncomfortable condition to other people and that is why most hospitals provide various medications in order to combat the pain.

In reality, lupus arthritis is only situated in selected joints and it does not affect the spine and the neck. Joints found in the extremities, such as in the legs and arms, are the ones which are most affected. In the arms, this form of arthritis often affects the hands, wrists, fingers and joints in the elbows. In the leg area, the affected areas are the ankles, toes, feet and the knees. The fluid often travels from the center of the body towards the extremities; hence the joints are affected through a certain pattern.

Identification and Diagnosis

Most conditions also have symptoms of joint pain and swelling, that is why they are often traced back to lupus. Therefore, joint pains and swelling are not effective symptoms in detecting lupus. People who have the condition will most likely suffer from tendinitis, bone necrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and bursitis. In order to effectively diagnose a patient, several x-rays are applied to the patient. However, the x-ray tests might not be able to effectively diagnose the condition since it only shows slight inflammation brought about by joint fluids. The only effective way is through physical examination along with the checking of symptoms and patient history.

Can this condition be treated?

Yes, the treatment for lupus arthritis is based on several medications which are used to combat lupus. The dosages will depend on the severity of the condition and will often be adjusted according to symptoms of patients. For those who are suffering from slight pain or mild swelling, NSAIDs are provided. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin are the ones which are often prescribed by physicians. Several other medications such as corticosteroids and anti-malarials are also given. Lastly, physical therapy is provided in order to prevent swelling. Low impact activities such as swimming and brisk walking are the most effective types of exercise for lupus patients.

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