Cause Of Joint Pain In Adults
- Joint, bone or soft tissue injuries: injury to the joint , bone or surrounding muscles, tendons or ligaments . Also see the separate leaflet called Sports Injuries.
- Problems of soft tissues which occur specifically in certain joints:
- Paget’s disease of bone: see the separate leaflet called Paget’s Disease of Bone.
Lyme Disease Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lyme disease can sometimes be confused for other conditions, and its not uncommon for patients presenting with Lyme disease-related joint pain to be misdiagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis . Both Lyme and RA cause joint pain and can be debilitating when left untreated, but there are differences.
- Lyme arthritis tends to manifest in larger joints , on one side of the body. Lyme joint pain tends to come and go.
- Rheumatoid arthritis occurs more often in the hands, feet, fingers, and toes, and shows up on both sides of the body. RA joint pain and stiffness occurs every day, and is usually chronic.
- Lyme disease usually goes away when treated, and most patients make a full recovery.
- Rheumatoid arthritis treatment can manage symptoms and show the progression of the disease, but there is no cure.
Lyme pain can often migrate throughout the body, and patients may have pain in their knee one week, and in their wrists the following week, says Chicago-based integrative medicine specialist Casey Kelley, MD. With rheumatoid arthritis, the pain often stays where it begins and does not migrate.
Getting Lyme puts you at greater risk for later developing RA and other types of inflammatory arthritis. One study found that nearly one-third of participants who had Lyme-arthritis later developed an inflammatory arthritis.
Lyme disease symptoms typically begin 3-30 days after youve been bitten by a tick. Early symptoms of Lyme disease include:
- Bulls eye rash
You’ve Gotten A Positive Blood Test
The fourth and final point to determine if your symptoms are due to Lyme disease is to ask your healthcare provider to run a blood test. Although there are several different laboratory tests to diagnose Lyme disease, these tests each have their pros and cons, and can miss establishing the diagnosis because they are not sensitive enough to always pick up the presence of the bacteria.
A bullseye rash is a classic manifestation of Lyme disease, and does not require a positive blood test, but less than 50% of people may get the rash, and it may be located in a part of the body where the rash cannot easily be seen.
If you suffer from chronic unexplained symptoms, including fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, follow this four-step approach and ask your doctor for a professional opinion.
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You’re Hypersensitive To Your Environment
Lyme can put your immune system into overdrive, causing intolerance to unpleasant smells, moldy rooms, and chemicals, says Reihman. This can cause exaggerated side effects or allergic reactions to medications. Some people with Lyme also have unusual food allergies like Alpha-gal syndrome, an allergic reaction to red meat. “A lot of people with Lyme struggle with an immune response that is both robust and ineffective, as if it is targeting the wrong things,” says Reihman.
When To Consider Testing For Lyme
You might be wondering if your joint pain could be related to Lyme disease, especially if youve had a blacklegged tick bite in the past.
The CDC estimates that a staggering 90% of cases of Lyme disease may go undiagnosed in the US each year. So while approximately 30,000 reported cases of Lyme reported annually, as noted, the actual number of cases may be closer to 300,000.
Lyme disease is often called the great imitator, because it mirrors many other diseases. These include, but are not limited to, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, unless you live in an area considered Lyme endemic, such as the northeastern United States, most conventional doctors may not think to test you for Lyme.
If your symptoms include waxing and waning flu-like symptoms, brain fog, fatigue, or joint pain, and if you think you may have had a tick bite in the past, consider asking your doctor for a test for Lyme disease. Remember that some people with Lyme experience have all of the above symptoms and more, while some experience just one. Also be aware that the ELISA test commonly given by conventional doctors is not always accurate, as it tests for antibodies that may or may not be present at the time of testing. My initial ELISA test came back negative it had been a year since my initial tick bite but my symptoms were in full force.
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Be Ready For Trial And Error
Lyme-related joint pain takes time to both diagnose and treat. In the meantime, there are many things you can do to decrease inflammation and pain. As every Lyme patient is different, try not to get too frustrated if what works for someone else doesnt work for you. Be patient as you experiment with diet, herbs, exercise, alignment, and releasing tight fascia. You will find tools that help you. Reach out and surround yourself with people who understand you and are on your side. We are all healing together.
What Are The Second Stage Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
The symptoms of second stage, early disseminated, Lyme disease can be difficult to attribute. Symptoms include severe fatigue, fever, pain, intermittent weakness and achiness of the muscles and joints, numbness in arms and legs, vision changes, and cognitive dysfunction such as short-term memory difficulties and problems multitasking. These symptoms are not specific for Lyme disease and can make the diagnosis of second stage Lyme disease very challenging.
More recognizable Lyme disease nervous system manifestations include facial paralysis , or meningitis with severe headache and stiff neck. Notable cardiac manifestations include passing out or feeling faint from an abnormally slow heart rate, irregular heart palpitations, or unexplained difficulty tolerating exercise. Meningitis and carditis are both potentially serious Lyme disease conditions and warrant immediate medical attention.
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What Are The Symptoms
The main feature of Lyme arthritis is obvious swelling of one or a few joints. While the knees are affected most often, other large joints such as the shoulder, ankle, elbow, jaw, wrist, and hip can also be involved. The joint may feel warm to the touch or cause pain during movement. Joint swelling can come and go or move between joints, and it may be difficult to detect in the shoulder, hip, or jaw. Lyme arthritis typically develops within one to a few months after infection.
New Symptoms Keep Appearing And Disappearing
One classic characteristic of Lyme Disease is that symptoms come and go. Many Lyme patients find that their symptoms flare up in two- to four-week cycles. “You might feel better for a couple weeks and have a week where you just feel lousy,” says Reihman. The periodic disappearance of symptoms can make you start to doubt if you’re even sick, but the symptoms will come back again without proper treatment, so take them seriously, no matter how fleeting they are.
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My Horrible Story With Lyme Disease:
And it is from these nasty things that lyme disease is spread. Now for me, I did not understand what this condition was or how it would change my life for the worse for years to come until a month after the camping trip occurred that I first began to experience the first symptoms of it and that was on my right knee.
The first time I experienced a slight discomfort there was while I was in middle school. At the time, I dismissed it was
Man with knee pain on color background
a muscle pull and paid it no attention.
However, the next day, as soon as I woke up and moved my knee, darkness filled my eyes, sharp pains hit the knee and I literally screamed in pain. After I removed the cover, I noticed the same knee that was giving me discomfort was now swollen and I could not bend it at all.
In fact, any motion to try and move it, let alone stand on it would result in me falling and/or having immense pain. Obviously I stayed home that day, but an immediate appointment was made to see my pediatrician at the time.
When he examined me, he could not understand what was going on and none of the questions he asked, that I gave an answer to, made sense to him. To his knowledge, everything he knew was swelling and knee problems just didnt fit with what I was experiencing.
Osteoarthritis And Overuse Syndrome
Osteoarthritis is characterized by pain with use and relief with rest. It tends to occur in weight-bearing joints and in those that have sustained previous injury. Onset is insidious, and the course is progressive with occasional exacerbations. Effusion can occur in joints subjected to repetitive microtrauma or overuse. Effusion can also occur with degenerative meniscal tears. Physical examination may reveal effusion and palpable osteophytes. Effusion, erythema and warmth tend to occur with osteoarthritis exacerbations. Radiographs reveal characteristic joint space narrowing and osteophytic spurring. Serum laboratory testing is not necessary unless the diagnosis is unclear.
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Your Pain Moves Around Your Body
Another hallmark sign of Lyme is migratory pain â that is, pain that travels from one body part to the other. You might, for example, find that your right knee is hurting one day and your left knee is hurting the next. Common kinds of pain associated with Lyme include joint paint and nerve pains that create shooting or zapping sensations, says Reihman.
How Do You Get Lyme Disease
In the U.S., Lyme disease is carried primarily by deer or blacklegged ticks, and it is caused by the Borrelia mayonii and Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Its easy to be bitten by ticks in high-risk areas such as Central PA. The creatures are often no bigger than a poppy seed, so they are very difficult to see before they latch on.
However, not all ticks are Lyme disease carriers. To contract the disease, an infected tick needs to bite you. Bacteria from the tick will eventually make its way from the bite through to your bloodstream, usually taking between 36 to 48 hours. For this reason, whenever youve been in the outdoors, particularly in a known tick-heavy area, you should always check your body for parasites before you come back inside.
In the two primary stages of life, U.S. deer ticks feed on rodents, which are a prime source of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Ticks move onto feeding primarily on white-tailed deer when they reach adulthood.
If you find a swollen tick attached to you, it could have fed for long enough to transmit bacteria and should be removed with tick tweezers as soon as possible to prevent infection.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, affecting an estimated 329,000 individuals in the United States each year. It is spread through the bites of infected blacklegged ticks, commonly known as deer ticks.
Lyme disease can cause fatigue, fever, and joint and muscle pain. When treated with antibiotics in the early stages, most people make a quick and complete recovery. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious joint and nervous system complications.
What Are The Causes Of Joint Pain
There are many causes of joint pain. The possible causes will partly depend on your age. The possible causes for joint pain in children are different to the possible causes for adults.
The cause of joint pain may be obvious, such as following a sports injury. At other times it may need investigations and a referral for you to see a specialist to find the diagnosis.
Joint pain may also be caused by different structures in or around the joint. The underlying cause may therefore be a problem with:
- The lining of the joint.
- The bones of the joint or near the joint.
- The tendons, ligaments or muscles around the joint.
Joint pain may also be caused by pain felt along the course of a nerve. This is called ‘referred pain’. For example, a problem in your hip may cause you to also feel pain in your knee. Nerve pain also occurs when a ‘slipped disc’ in your back causes pain in your leg .
The following is a list of the most common causes of joint pain. There are many more less common causes that your doctor may need to consider. See the links for more information about each condition that can cause joint pain.
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How Can Lyme Disease Last For Years
Category: Health Published: October 9, 2015
If treated, Lyme disease does not last for years. However, for some people, the after-effects of the disease can linger for months and sometimes even years. Alternative medicine providers call this condition “Chronic Lyme disease,” but this title is simply wrong. For a person who has been infected with Lyme disease and then treated, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is measurably no longer present in his body, even though he may still feel some symptoms. The correct title for this condition is therefore “Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome.”
Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is delivered to humans through tick bites. From the bite site, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Usually, but not always, an infectious tick bite causes a characteristic red rash at the site of the bite. Other symptoms include fever, muscle soreness, headache, fatigue, and dizziness. In a few cases, symptoms can also include mood swings, memory loss, and sleep disturbance. If left untreated for too long, Lyme disease can lead to nerve damage, thereby causing shooting pain, numbness, and even paralysis.
The CDC states,
Risk Factors For Acquiring Lyme Disease
Where you vacation or live, as well as what outdoor activities you participate in, affects your likelihood of being exposed to Lyme disease. Common factors that put you at risk of contracting Lyme disease include:
- Spending time in grassy or wooded areas. Deer ticks are very prevalent in the Central PA area due to its heavily wooded countryside. Deer ticks thrive in these types of places. Children here are particularly at risk as well as adults who work outdoors.
- Having exposed skin. Ticks find it easy to attach themselves to exposed skin, so if youre in an area thats known for ticks, always wear long sleeves and long pants and never allow your pets to run through long grasses.
- Removing ticks incorrectly or not quickly enough. As you already know, bacteria from a tick bite has the potential to enter your bloodstream if the tick has been attached to you for between 36 to 48 hours or longer. If you spot and correctly remove the tick within 48 hours, your risk of acquiring Lyme disease is low, so always check your skin after being outdoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that older adults and children are most susceptible to the disease, along with others, like park rangers and firefighters, who spend time outside. Its estimated that 300,000 people nationwide are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
As the symptoms and signs of Lyme disease are similar to those found in other conditions and are nonspecific, diagnosis is not easy. In addition to this, the ticks that spread the disease can also transmit other diseases at the same time.
Diagnosis is easier when your doctor can see that you have the characteristic bulls eye rash. However, if you dont, your doctor will ask you about your medical history, whether youve been outdoors in summertime, where you have been outdoors and will give you a medical examination.
Lab tests enable bacteria antibodies to be detected in order to confirm a diagnosis. They are most reliable when youve had the infection for a few weeks, as your body will then have had the time to develop the antibodies.
Tests for Lyme disease include:
- Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. This is the test most commonly used to diagnose Lyme disease, and it detects antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Sometimes the test brings up a false-positive so its not typically used as the sole test for diagnosis.
Although the test may not show as a positive result during the first stage of Lyme disease, often the accompanying rash is distinctive enough to make the diagnosis, especially if youve been in an area where Lyme disease-transmitting ticks are common.
- Western blot test. If the initial ELISA test comes back positive, the Western blot test will confirm your diagnosis.
Diet & Targeted Exercise Can Help Lyme
If you have Lyme disease, discuss a protocol for killing the bacteria with your doctor. Of course, this is imperative for eliminating symptoms.
That said, most Lyme protocols take time, and there is much more you can do during treatment to mitigate symptoms of pain.
For instance, Dr. Farshchians clinic advises people with Lyme arthritis to decrease any environmental factors that may contribute to inflammation, such as mold exposure or mast cell activation . Addressing common comorbidities often makes a significant improvement in symptoms, she says. In addition, her clinic aims to help patients reduce inflammation organically through diet, lifestyle, anti-inflammatory herbal supplements, medications, light therapy, Epsom-salt baths, and exercise.
In my experience and that of my clients, all these approaches can be helpful. Below are a few of my favorite strategies.
1. Rolling with a foam roller
One thing you can easily do at home is to roll tight tissue in your body with a foam roller. This helps to lengthen and release tension in your fascia, or connective tissue.
Rollers are inexpensive and available online. Just play with gently rolling the muscles surrounding painful joints, or really any sore muscles at all, with the roller. If you need ideas for how to experiment with this, this video demonstrates my favorite ways to roll.
2. Gentle strengthening
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