What is the Difference Between Inflammatory Arthritis and Fibromyalgia ?

Certain types of inflammatory arthritis and fibromyalgia are often confused because their symptoms mimic one another in early stages.

arthritsandfibromyalgia

While fibromyalgia is considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not a true form of arthritis because it does not cause tissue inflammation nor does it damage joints or muscles. However some consider it a rheumatic condition because it can make the joints and surrounding tissues painful and sore to use. In general people with fibromyalgia have normal looking X-ray and blood tests results, and family and friends drive them mad by telling them they look fine. A person with arthritis will have abnormal test results and they may also be in visible pain, with swollen or deformed joints.

Distinguishing between the two to yield a proper diagnosis is important to ensure proper treatment. Both are chronic disorders earmarked by long-lasting pain.

Inflammatory Arthritis

There are several types of inflammatory arthritis which include:

Inflammatory arthritis leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. Long-standing inflammatory arthritis can result in joint deformation and disability.

Typical Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis/Osteoarthritis  Osteoarthritis

• Pain in affected joints, particularly after repetitive use.
• Stiffness, you may feel creaky first thing in the morning.
• Creaking joint noises, cracking and crunching sounds.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Reduced appetite.
• Feeling generally unwell.
• Fatigue.
• Swollen glands.
• General feeling of weakness.

Fibromyalgia

detail_fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia affects not only joints, but muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues in the elbows, hips, chest, knees, lower back, neck, and shoulders. Fibromyalgia can develop alone or with inflammatory arthritis.

Common Shared Symptoms

Both fibromyalgia and inflammatory arthritis sufferers have pain and stiffness in the morning. Other common symptoms shared by the two conditions include:

  • fatigue
  • sleep disturbances
  • limited range of motion
  • numbness or tingling

Typical Signs of Fibromyalgia

• Pain in specific points of the body called the fibromyalgia tender points.
• Flu like pain, primarily in the neck and shoulders.
Depression/anger.
• Feeling anxious.
• Constant extreme fatigue.
• Chronic back pain.
• Bouts of constipation or diarrhea.
• Jaw or facial tenderness (90 percent experience this symptom).
• Headaches and migraines (up to 50 percent of cases).

Diagnosing Symptoms

Tests to distinguish fibromyalgia and inflammatory arthritis include X-rays, blood tests, and ultrasound. Besides inflammatory arthritis, fibromyalgia also shares common symptoms with several other conditions.

  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • cancer
  • depression
  • HIV infection
  • hyperthyroidism
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lyme disease

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Stay back Back Pain

Nowadays people are struggling with back pain more and more. It has become one of the most common and usual problems people are having concerning their health. Back pain is something that we all had at least once in our lifetime. So, we have to be concentrated on staying healthy and doing as much as exercises as we can so we could prevent the annoying pain.

Signs and symptoms of back pain

One of the most commons signs of back pain can include muscle ache, limited flexibility, pain which can be emitted down to your leg, shooting or stabbing pain. If you are having problems with lower back pain they can be connected to your spinal muscles, nerves, bones, degenerative disc disease, etc. High temperature, a swelling, pain in your chest, feeling the pain when you lay down, bladder problems are all symptoms which can be very serious and you most certainly should visit a doctor.

Types of back pain

One of the most common types of pain that we feel concerning our back is actually the lower back pain or lumbago. If you are experiencing a dull pain or a stabbing sensation which makes you hard to move or even stand up straight than you definitely should see a doctor. It can be cause by a slipped disc, whiplash (a neck injury), frozen shoulder, sciatica. Sciatica is a type of back pain that can be caused by heavy lifting or exercising too hard so your muscles become strain. However, if a ruptured disc is involved which presses the sciatic nerve, pain can even go down to your leg.

Chronic conditions

Spondylitis is one of that which refers to chronic back pain due to intense inflammation of the spinal joints. Muscle aches which also include back pain can lead to fibromyalgia. And last but not least is spinal stenosis when there is a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord and putting the pressure on the spinal nerves.

 

Problems

Although you love your job and you need it, but if it involves heavy lifting, pulling it can actually damage your spine and it can contribute to back pain. Also, sitting at a desk eight hours or even more can also be very damaging, so you would have to find an alternative. You may not know this, but any kind of a bag- from purse to backpack can be harmful because it includes additional weight on your back, so try not to carry a heavy load.

“Stand up straight!” You’ve probably heard it a hundred of times. Well you have to keep weight evenly balanced when you are standing and when you are sitting you have to keep your shoulders back and have a good lumbar support.

You’ve probably didn’t think of it as a problem, but huge breasts can cause back pain as well. It can even cause scoliosis, and in the most severe cases the best option is to have a breast surgery in Sydney.

What to do and where to go

Firstly you should visit your doctor as you already know. Secondly, great exercising and training such as yoga can really help you especially because it contains a lot of stretching. Chiropractors use spinal manipulation by pressuring with their hands bones and surrounding tissue on your lower back. Massage can relieve the pain particularly if it is combined with exercising, but it also has to be done intensively depending on the amount of pain. Physical therapy is really great and it can help you strengthen your muscles and getting back into shape. Everything from stretching and strength exercises may help you be fitter.

We should all keep an eye on our posture, exercising, job and everyday activities because our back can actually really suffer. Don’t forget to stretch a bit before you do your training, to stand up straight and not to do heavy lifting and you will feel great.

Sleeping Pills: How Dangerous Are They?

Can’t sleep? Are you one of the several million people who spend hours in bed fighting to slip away from the day’s turmoil, to wake exhausted?

Insomnia is a major problem, one of the serious hazards of living in the 21st century. There is a growing number of people who suffer from lack of sleep, inability to go to sleep or recurring bouts of waking after insufficient sleep.

Because of this, many people, like others throughout the western world, have been slowly drugging themselves towards mesmerism at bedtime.

But changes have taken place. Most doctors no longer dole out hypnotics and sedatives freely, as they and governments have realized that excessive medication is bad.

Increasing numbers of medical journals have underlined the serious long-term effects of constant sedation.

For many years barbiturate drugs were prescribed by the tonne around the world, but as people consumed more and more of them the death toll rose. People were dying from overdoses or from the drastic combination of the drugs and alcohol.

But as the increasing fatalities were becoming frightening, a new family of drugs emerged. These drugs, the benzodiazepines (BZD, BZs), now form the basis of most types of sedative and tranquilizer.

The striking feature of these drugs is their apparent safety. If large doses are taken death is most improbable and even when the drugs are mixed with alcohol, the death rate still does not rise dramatically.

When this is compared with the use of the barbiturates there is an enormous difference. Overdoses with the new drugs usually mean that the patient , simply slips into oblivion for more hours or more days.

However, the drugs are still new, and many doctors are still wondering about long-term safety. Recently the American medical magazine “The New England Journal of Medicine” delved into the sleep problems of the nation.

“Doctors describe 17 percent of their patients as having difficulty in sleeping,” Dr Frederic Solomon reported. “They provide prescription medication for over half of them.”

How do the patients feel? “One third of these patients over the age of 18 years see themselves as having trouble sleeping within a given year, even though only two percent class themselves as insomniacs.” Dr Solomon said.

The Institute of Medicine, a large American body, was asked to give its opinions on the current sedatives available to doctors and patients. It compared the benzodiazepines and the barbiturates, pointing out that the use of alcohol with either family of drugs is potentially very hazardous, but the new drugs are a little safer.

The institute pointed out the use of longer-acting benzodiazepines, when taken regularly, could impair driving ability on the following day. The effect would be magnified if alcohol was consumed on this second day. The report said that a person can become reliant on drug use at night, irrespective of the variety taken.

What about birth defects? “This has not been fully explored,” the institute said, but it suggested that there may be an increased risk of cleft palate with the newer drugs.

However, most doctors would agree that this must be extremely rare.

The Institute summed up its findings by saying “until long-term safety and efficacy of regular hypnotic use is established, doctors should rarely, if ever, prescribe hypnotic drugs for periods longer than two to four weeks for patients who have not yet become reliant on regular use of hypnotics.”

A warm relaxing bath for sleeping better

In short, don’t become an addict. Don’t ask your doctor for “knock-out” pills for a night’s sleep. Give nature a chance, even if the day has been hectic and you are tense and find it hard to settle.

Eventually you will go to sleep at night, and the sooner you rely on your own system the better. I like my nerve systems to tick over neat and fresh each day and numbing the senses doesn’t help this to happen.

Try the simple, natural methods which often work amazingly well. Before bed, sit down for half an hour in a comfortable chair and relax. Read a book, or magazine or paper, ideally something light and not too exciting. This often dulls the mental processes. TV is also a good natural relaxer.

Others find a warm relaxing bath, particularly in winter, a relaxing method of preparing for sleep. And some people like to take a quiet stroll down the road. Milk-based drinks are often good steady tranquilizers which can lull the brain, but tea or coffee, which contain the nerve stimulant caffeine, are not recommended.

Relaxation is the name of the game. When you get to bed you could try counting backwards, as hypnotherapists recommend, and you will probably sink into oblivion.

Or you could gradually and systematically relax each muscle group. Start with the toes and relax them, then the calf and upper leg muscles. Move up to the abdominal muscles, letting these go limp and loose and floppy. Then the chest muscles.

Each time you breathe out, simply let the whole body relax and go limp. Move on to the fingers and forearm muscles, then the upper arms. Finally the back, neck and face are all totally relaxed.

Concentrate on a mental image of yourself actually relaxing. Visualize yourself slipping deeper and deeper into your mattress, feeling heavy, languid, relaxed and deliciously comfortable. Soon you will be asleep.

Now repeat this simple formula each and every night, and the need for drugs will vanish. Try it and see.

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