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.

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:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • lupus
  • psoriatic arthritis

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

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

Gabapentin can be used to treat more than 30 diseases

Gabapentin is used with other medications to prevent and control seizures. It is also used to relieve nerve pain following shingles (a painful rash due to herpes zosterinfection) in adults. Gabapentin is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by yourhealth care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

Gabapentin may also be used to treat other nerve pain conditions (such as diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia) and restless legs syndrome.

Gabapentin can also be used to treat following health conditions:

  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Anxiety
  • Benign Essential Tremor
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome
  • Cluster-Tic Syndrome
  • Cough
  • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Epilepsy
  • Erythromelalgia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hiccups
  • Hot Flashes
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Insomnia
  • Lhermitte’s Sign
  • Migraine
  • Nausea/Vomiting, Chemotherapy Induced
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Occipital Neuralgia
  • Pain
  • Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia
  • Postmenopausal Symptoms
  • Pruritus
  • Pudendal Neuralgia
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Small Fiber Neuropathy
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Syringomyelia
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Vulvodynia

Gabapentin for Fibromyalgia

The symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread pain and tenderness along with other problems, including depression,difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and irritability. The symptoms can interfere with a person’s life at work and at home.

Because there is not a single, specific cause of fibromyalgia and the symptoms can vary from patient to patient, choosing an effective treatment can be challenging. Experts say the best, overall strategy includes medications and nondrug therapies, such as exercise, counseling, and stress relief.

The medications used to treat fibromyalgia includeantidepressants (amitriptyline, nortriptyline, fluoxetine, paroxetine, duloxetine, milnacipran), a few anti-seizure medications (gabapentin, pregabalin), and a muscle relaxant (cyclobenzaprine). But studies show that the benefits of these medications are generally small. There is no clear evidence that one drug is better than another, and all of them probably lose their benefit over time.

Each drug differs in the risks it poses to you. All antidepressants should be used with caution in those with a history of suicide attempt or who are at risk of suicide, especially in people 25 years old or younger. Amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine, gabapentin, and pregabalin all cause increased sedation and should be used with caution in the elderly.

Taking into account the evidence of their effectiveness and safety as well as their price, we have chosen three Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs as initial options to consider if you and your doctor have decided that a medication is appropriate for your fibromyalgia symptoms:

  • Generic amitriptyline
  • Generic gabapentin
  • Generic paroxetine-IR (immediate release)

Some common facts about Complex Regional Pain

Thanks to our modern science which helped us know a lot about CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome). CRPS is basically a pain condition that effects limbs like feet, hand, legs and arms especially after a trauma or injury. In some cases it is mild, some its moderate and in other cases it is severe too.

CRPS can occur due to malfunction or damage of central or peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system comprise of spinal cord and brain and peripheral nervous system consists of nerve signaling via spinal cord and brain to the entire body.

Some common facts about CRPS are

The pain is not directly associated to range of damage or injury

The pain that occurs in case of CRPS can be unbearable without affecting much to tissue health. Remember this pain part of protection of the body on its own and doesn’t indicate any tissue damage.

The limb that is affected can feel different from the way it actually looks

Here temperature and size are included. It also feels like detaches, not mine, doesn’t belong to me . The loss of sensation of owning the limb occurs as brain produces this sense, but brain can also regulate it.

The symptoms absolutely can change depending on how you feel and your mood

Stress can increase the pain. This is because of identified threat to the individual triggering  protection.

Looking at someone who can move their body part leads to depression or hurt you

The brain imitates the similar movement leading to actual pain.

Change in color of limb because of change in blood flow

The ANS (automatic nervous system) controls our blood flow. This system answers to identified threat – fright, flight, freeze.  In simple words this system responds to what and how we think. When it is a embarrassing situation for us we turn to red.  This is due to how we though of that situation. The ANS becomes sensitive, and is asoosciated with CRPS – sweaty palms, changed sense regarding size and color change.

The women are affected almost 3 times more than men. A series of CRPS  treatment is conducted normally to improve symptoms of CRPS. A MRI, x-ray, bone scan or a test of nervous system can help a person know if he/s she has CRPS.

A majority of CRPS patients within the age group of 30-55 years and CRPS can spread occasionally from one part to another anywhere in our body like opposite limb. Symptoms and signs exists from months and extend to years and treatment is only effective when started in initial stages of the disease.

The condition takes several to many years to improve. Approx 75% of patients get back to normal condition whereas some near normal. About 15 per cent have permanent diability(moderate) and 10% cases suffer from permanent diability(severe). Fifty percent of people who remain untreated end up facing extreme residual impairement.

It is better to get your CRPS condition treated in early stages of illness to avoid severe impairment.

Herbal Remedies to treat chronic pain

Treating pain which is chronic in nature is a daunting task as there are number of factors that lead to chronic pain. This article will help you know about herbal remedies that can treat chronic pain naturally.

Vitamin D

Deficiency of vitamin D leads to a lot of chronic diseases. Studies say that people who are vitamin D deficient require more pain medication as compared to those who have normal vitamin D levels. You can get vitamin D not only through supplements but also exposing your body to the sun can give you vitamin D naturally and helps recovering from chronic pain

Magnesium

Magnesium acts as a powerful treatment for nerve pain as well as muscle pain. Magnesium helps balancing a brain chemical called as NMDA which is responsible in imparting pain via nervous system. Deficiency of magnesium is the major cause of pain so you can use magnesium supplements to improve the symptoms of pain.

Skullcap

Skullcap has been known to be effective for 200 years in treating pain, convulsions, nervous tension, and anxiety. Chinese skullcap is similar herb but slightly different and it is useful to treat headaches, inflammation, allergies, infections and even cancer. People suffering from chronic pain can use it as a powerful weapon to calm nerves and relieve pain.

Turmeric

It is the most powerful herb known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is helpful in treating gout, arthritis, sciatic, autoimmune diseases and other conditions related to inflammation. Ideally turmeric help suppress inflammation that leads to diseases and helps in recovering from pains that you are suffering from

Valerian

It is a natural herb with a history of relieving pain. It is often used to promote sleep and relax the body. It also helps easing psychological stress, anxiety which in turn cause unbearable pain. Valerian also treats headaches, joint and muscle pain, depression and menstrual pain.

Devil’s claw

This is an African herb which is very effective in treating low back, arthritis, and hip and knee pain. Studies say that it can even relieve chronic pain within just 10 days of use without leaving any side effects.

SAM-e
It is a well known dietary supplement which is helpful in treating depression and osteoarthritis. It is a compound which is naturally found every cell of human body. It is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. It relives stiffness, ease pain, rebuild cartilage and reduce swelling in joints. SAM-e is helpful in treating pain in lower back, bursitis, fibromyalgia, and tendinitis.

Cannabis

Apart from psychoactive effects, the active ingredient present in cannabis is known for its pain relieving and analgesic properties. According to various studies, cannabis is also effective in easing neurological pain with leading to any serious side effects. Juice extracted from cannabis leaves (raw) is helpful in reversing illness and chronic pain.

Kava Kava

It is a natural herb which is very effective in easing nerves, reducing anxiety, subdue pain and relaxing muscles. It has got synergistic ability which promotes both physical and mental restfulness. It is also useful in relieving chronic pain.

Treating Basic Sports related injury

painreliefrubWhether you engage in recreational, adventure, extreme or competitive sports, you might have gone through some kind of injury in the past. Initial treatment of any type of injury plays an important role in how the injury will recover later. Effective treatments for sport injury will help the athlete recover faster and smoothly. If the sport injury is not handled properly, you might land up spending more time to recover and need to stay away from sport activities.

Well R.I.C.E method is the best method that works as initial treatment for basic sports related injury. Well, R.I.C.E is explained as below.

Rest

The very first thing that you need to do as part of injury treatment is to locate the exact spot of the injury and let it rest. Resting helps any type of injuries to settle and you can get a fair idea about how serious the injury is.

Ice

Also icing the spot which is injured helps decrease swelling, which normally occurs when you are injured. Ice helps stem excess flow of blood to your injured area, which is not needed during initial stages of treatment. It also reduces and numbs the pain from your injury.

You can use ice for ten to twenty minutes after every one hour and continue the process for at least 3 hours. Repeat the process at least thrice a day and continue doing it for 2-3 days.

Compress

When you are not using ice while going to bed, it is better to compress your injured spot with the help of bandage. This helps reduce swelling and water retention disappears that otherwise would accumulate at the spot which is injured.

Elevate

Finally, if you elevate your injured spot above your heart promotes better blood circulation around the spot which is injured. During night prior going to bed elevating injured spot can be helpful.

Apart from above steps, complete rest and proper diet is essential too. Most of the treatments related to sport injury provide help for muscle aches, sprains, muscle strain and muscle cramps.

Avoid applying heat to chronic injuries as they lead to increase in flow of blood and also avoid application of ice to acute injuries.

You can use cold therapy for 3 days in case of a fresh injury and if it doesn’t work, you need to consult the doctor. You can apply ice many times in a day, but do not apply for a period of more than 15 minutes. You should maintain regular time intervals between the applications of ice packs. Also avoid bringing the ice in direct contact with your skin, so use ice packs only.

Heat therapy helps in many ways like it helps reducing stiffness, provides relief from pain, reduces muscle tightening, increases the flow of blood, provides flexibility to the issues around the injury.

A very effective therapy is not losing hope as it is an injury and it will recover, if the sport injury is bit serious, it will take some time but healing will take place.

Effective treatment options for Fibromyalgia

There are many options available to treat Fibromyalgia. It depends on patient condition as which treatment would work best for him/her. Let us have a look at some treatment options available for treating Fibromyalgia.

Allopathic

Allopathic physicians basically prescribe the medicines listed below for Fibromyalgia patients

Antidepressants: Antidepressants are prescribed to individuals suffering with depression. The medication works to maintain the Serotonin levels in your brain.

NSAIDs: They are OTP pain relievers helpful to reduce stiffness and pain that occurs as a result of Fibromyalgia and its effectiveness differs with individuals.

Narcotics: Narcotics aren’t usually recommended by physicians for treating Fibromyalgia because of its addictive nature and dependency.

Muscle Relaxants: if patients take muscle relaxants prior sleeping, it helps reduce spasms and pain

Chiropractor

Chiropractic treatment works on the fact that restricted movement in your spine can result in reduced pain and function. Spinal therapy is a type of therapy that the chiropractor implements to treat the restricted mobility in spine. The target is to restore movement of spine and thus decrease pain and improve function.

Exercise

Fibromyalgia exercise proves to be the most powerful remedies in treating Fibromyalgia. Research and scientific evidences has proved that exercising for at least 20 minutes on a daily basis can work well for patients suffering from Fibromyalgia and is a natural treatment that works. Exercise becomes the important factor in Fibromyalgia Treatment and a properly planned exercise routine can help improve your body tissues, increase mobility and decrease pain. The exercise program designed for Fibromyalgia should be gradual and slow.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy includes various manipulative techniques used to move the soft tissues and body’s muscles. The goal of massage therapy is to enhance the circulation in your muscles, eliminate body’s waste products and enhance the flow of nutrients in your body. Massage helps relaxing your muscles, improve joint mobility and increase the body’s production of natural painkillers. It also helps in reducing anxiety, stress in patients who suffer from pain.

Osteopathy

Osteopaths perform therapies which are similar to what Allopathic physicians perform and osteopaths are licensed to perform various therapies. One sector where osteopathy is different from conventional medicine and is similar to chiropractic medicine is that both chiropractic medicine and osteopathy focus on manipulating and finding out the problems related to spine and joints. The treatment is effective to treat the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

Physiotherapy

Physical therapy is part of health care which helps the patient to regain the strength in bones, muscles and nervous system. The basic therapies included in this treatment are electric stimulation, ultrasound, heat and ice. Manual therapy, therapeutic massage, hydrotherapy, therapeutic massage is used to help patient get rid of pain.

Self Care

Reduce stress- Avoid emotional stress and overexertion. Give yourself some time to relax and practice techniques that are helpful in reducing stress like meditation, deep breathing etc as part of Fibromyalgia treatment. Sleep- sufficient amount of sleep is important to avoid being fatigue. Make sure that you allot time for your sleep wherein you go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time the next morning. Taking short naps is helpful to restore energy.

Drugs and treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Remission and improvement of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is absolutely possible if you start the treatment within first couple of months of first symptoms that you notice. Combining different therapies is essential. Your doctor can customize the treatment for you depending on your medical condition. The treatments for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome comprise of the following

Medications

Doctors may use different types of medications to treat Complex Regional Pain Syndrome symptoms they are

Anticonvulsants/Antidepressants- sometimes anticonvulsants like gabapentin or antidepressants like Amitriptyline are used for treating pain that occurs due to nerve damage.

Pain Relievers- OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen, Motrin B, Naproxen and aspirin can help ease inflammation and pain. Your doctor might prescribe strong pain relievers in case OTC is not effective. Opioid medication is another option, which when taken in right doses can provide relief in case of unbearable pain.

Medication for bone loss- your doctor can suggest medications that help in preventing or slow bone loss.

Intravenous Ketamine- studies say that taking intravenous ketamine in low doses can help eliminate pain as it is a strong anesthetic.

Corticosteroids- medications related to steroids like prednisone helps improve the movement of affected limb and also reduces inflammation.

Therapies

Topical analgesics- topical treatments help decrease the hypersensitivity like capsaicin cream etc.

Physical therapy- very gentle and properly guided exercising of your affected limb can help reduce pain, improve mobility and strength. In case the disease is detected in its early stage, there are many exercises that can prove to be quite helpful.

Applying cold and heat- Application of cold packs and reduce sweating and swelling. Applying heat is useful if the area that is affected is cool.

Biofeedback- for some patients learning techniques used in biofeedback can help. Biofeedback helps you learn more about your body and you can help your body relax and eliminate pain.

Stimulation of Spinal Cord- tiny electrodes are inserted by the doctor along the spinal cord. Electric current (small) sent to your spinal cord gives relief from pain.

Physiotherapy- it helps with flexibility, strength, balance, regaining the muscle mass, cardiovascular conditioning and the therapy is very effective in treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Relaxation techniques- the techniques help reduce anxiety, depression, anger, calms the body. It helps treating pain without any drugs.

Yoga- some yoga postures are also helpful in relieving pain but yoga should be done under the supervision of a trained yoga instructor.

Well it is always better to treat the condition in its early stages as if the pain becomes chronic, each treatment takes longer period of time to show results. The treatments work well when the symptoms are treated in the beginning itself. In severe cases some people also need surgery, but otherwise the above mentioned medications and therapies are quite effective in relieving pain.

Make sure you follow a healthy lifestyle and maintain a good exercise routine and be stress free to fight the symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. You can meditate to be stress free.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Treatment methods

Any illness also has different treatment options available and same goes with   Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. CTS are basically caused due to nerve disorder, especially the middle order nerve present in your hand because of work strain. This condition is common in people who work more than 14 hours in repititive action like typing jobs, which can be on manual typewriters or computer keyboards too.

Some common treatments available to treat   Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are

Conventional treatment for   Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Physical therapy- In this therapy exercise programs related to strengthen of wrist and hands are monitored by physical therapists. A lot of patients opting for this therapy got benefitted from physical therapy and they recommended this therapy to other patients too.

Laser Therapy- laser light of low energy is penetrated into the skin which stimulates the cell activity in injured areas. There is no cut given for light penetration.

Ultrasound- this procedure is quite safe wherein the wrists are attacked using sound waves.

NSAIDs – these drugs are useful in decreasing swelling in median nerve which automatically reduces the pain that occurs in hand, thumb and fingers. Still many patients often complain of side effects like stomach ulcers, upset stomach and nausea.

Surgical Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Endoscopy- includes a technique which is single portal (small incision made at your wrist) or two portals (two incisions made at palm and wrist)

Open Release (Surgery) – an incision of two inch is made in your palm and carpal ligament is freed from median nerve in order to release the pressure and in turn the pain.

Mini open release (surgery) – 1/1/2 inch incision made on the palm and the pressure present on median nerve is released, which helps reduce numbness and pain.

Splints or wrist braces are helpful to keep carpal tunnel in neutral position or widest diameter. This helps keep median nerve less compressed. Wearing a splint or wrist brace during night or when engaged in strenuous activities is recommended as a part of treatment for   Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Another treatment is ingestion of herbal supplements for example neurophine. These supplements help decreasing the ill effects of related deficiencies that accelerates the   Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms. Neurophine helps strengthen the weakest parts of the body. They also relieve inflammation and enhance your immune system. As we know if your body is healthy, it recovers faster. Help the body perform the healing process naturally on its own rather than interfering with the natural process of the body.

It is better to avoid conventional treatment methods if you think your condition is not so severe and can be corrected through alternative and natural treatment as all conventional medicines comes with its side effects and makes your body dependent on chemicals. The chemicals entering your body are harmful and lead to harmful side effects. Other diseases attack your body when your body becomes weak.

Try to adopt natural methods and in severe cases if you need surgery speak to the health care provider for better suggestions.

Learning about causes of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a disease and is a nerve disorder which is rare. Its symptoms start with intense pain that can arise in legs, hands, feet and hands. It happens when you come across a serious injury to the nerve or tissue of the area which is affected. The pain increases and often captures leg or arm. Some changes noticed in areas that get affected post the disorder is sudden changes in temperature and color of the skin. Other symptoms are burning pain which is very intense, skin sensitivity, sweating and swelling.

The theory written for the cause of this condition says it is because of triggering of our immune system, which causes inflammation in the area that is affected. Various symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome are

The affected area gets sensitive to touch

Change in texture of the skin

Painful and burning sensation in area which gets affected

Movement loss in affected area

Muscle weakness and pain

Change in color of the skin

Affected area gets sensitive o sometimes touch and sometimes to temperature.

Even if the disorder is not very common, the doctors are very much aware about this condition. The doctors diagnose based on the result of pain symptoms and physical examination. The above stated symptoms help doctor diagnose the problem correctly. The doctors also take other test like thermography, sweat test, tests for sympathetic nervous system. The disease can be diagnosed but there is not test that determines the disease Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Two types CRPS are

Type one CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) – this type of disorder is caused because of injuries of ankles which get sprained or fractured. The nerve damage in this case is minimal.

Type two Complex Regional Pain Syndrome- this type of disorder is caused due to serious injuries where the nerve damage is quite serious like a broken bone or infection. Though it is rare there is a solution to this condition and doctors suggest sympathetic block, which involves anesthesia injection that helps in obstructing signals. Counseling and physiotherapy also helps many times. If the disorder is detected in its early stages the pain can be prevented from recurring through relevant treatments.

The disease affects women that fall under the age of forty to sixty. During advance stages a mere touch on the part that is affected or exposure to change in temperature increases the pain which is unbearable. Some people get frequent attacks while some are lucky and the pain disappears completely after a couple of months. There are also some symptoms which are extreme and visible such as growth of hair and nail. The growth is at either abnormal speed or is very slow.

Some people also experience clammy hands due to excessive sweating. If you notice symptoms being mentioned above it is better to consult your doctor immediately in order to get timely treatment which can help you reduce pain and stop pain from recurring.