Joint stiffness or stiffness of the joints is the most worrisome disease for the elderly. This damage does not happen suddenly, rather it is a disease that develops with age, so how does it happen, what are its symptoms, and how can it be treated?
Stiffness occurs in the joint as a result of long-term movement and as a result of the use of the motor support system of joints, bones and muscles over the years. What is joint stiffness? And how can stiff joints treatment be treated according to the causes of its occurrence?
What about joint stiffness?
With age, symptoms of joint damage begin to appear, that is, a defect occurs in the function of the joint, which results in a disability in the performance of movements. Most people with the disease begin their suffering in the early morning hours. Sleeping and lying down for a long time are the most important causes of joint stiffness when waking up and difficulty moving them.
Types of joint stiffness
The degree of joint stiffness should be known in order to know the method used to treat joint stiffness. The degree of stiffness ranges between:
Mild joint stiffness
At first, the stiffness of the joint can be mild when it limits movement for a short period in the early morning hours, or after moving from a sitting position for a long time, but it must be mentioned that the long period of lying down has a negative role and is directly proportional to the symptoms of joint stiffness in the sick person.
severe joint stiffness
Severe cases of joint stiffness occur when the cause is an inflammation of the joint, then stiffness is accompanied with other symptoms such as feeling pain, which makes walking and standing difficult and accompanied by a disturbing feeling of pain, which intensifies when a person has a high weight, as excess weight negatively affects the body. Joint movement in general.
Why does joint stiffness occur?
It is necessary to know the real reason behind the appearance of the symptoms of joint stiffness, given that knowing the cause is half the treatment. In fact, not all cases of joint stiffness result from advancing age and joint damage. Rather, there are many other causes, such as: Arthritis of all kinds:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bechter's disease (ankylosing spondylitis)
- psoriatic arthritis
- Reiter's disease
- Enteropathic arthritis
- Idiopathic sacroiliitis
In addition, arthritis associated with infections and infections, such as:
- Infectious arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
Joint stiffness can also result from gout andOsteoarthritis and other joint diseases. It can also cause ill-conceived bad diet and excess weight for patients obesity Occurrence of symptoms of joint stiffness.
Symptoms of joint stiffness
The symptoms associated with joint stiffness vary according to the cause of its occurrence. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system in the human body attacks the healthy body itself. This condition results in damage to the joints, and then with the passage of time symptoms such as :
- Joint pain and stiffness
- joint deformity
- bone erosion
- joint swelling
Joint stiffness treatment
Joint stiffness is a symptom that can be controlled sometimes, but the treatments and methods directed towards it do not lead to the treatment of the underlying disease, but rather a palliative treatment, aimed at improving the patient's lifestyle.
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Since this disease is an autoimmune disease, there is no real treatment for its symptoms, and no treatment can be used to prevent the patient from getting worse. However, a treatment that modifies the course of the disease can be used, including medications for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis:
- Steroid medications: Treatment begins with small doses (5-10 mg/day), which must be given in synergy with other therapies as they reduce joint damage by only 50%.
- Antimalarials: The patient should be examined every 6 months, in case of retinitis pigmentosa.
- D-penicillamine: Its use is reduced due to its many harms. It is taken in the morning on an empty stomach and giving vitamin B6 reduces its side effects.
- Treatment of stiff joints with gold salts: 25-50 mg/week intramuscular injection, or 6 mg/day orally. The injection can be given into the joint.
- Methotrexate: The most popular drug, given once a week at a rate of (7.5-10) mg/week. It can be raised to 20 mg/week, with monitoring of blood parameters, liver enzymes and kidney function. It is forbidden to use it in pregnancy and lactation, and it prevents childbearing in both sexes for a period of 3 months after stopping its use.
- Leflunamide: It acts as a regulator of the immune system. It is given at a dose of 100 mg/day for three days, then 20 mg/week. Childbearing for both sexes is prohibited for a period of two years from stopping it, and it is not given during lactation.
- Salazopyrine: Common drug, given at a dose of 500 mg/day, gradually increased to a therapeutic dose of 2-3 g/day. Blood parameters and liver function should be monitored.
- Biological treatments: New promising therapies.
Treatment of joint stiffness due to osteoporosis
Osteoporosis or osteoporosis causes Osteoarthritis (joint damage), common among the elderly (over 50 years). The joint wears away and the cartilage that protects the bone in the joint wears away. Symptoms of joint stiffness with this disease are common in areas:
- the neck
Over time, bone spurs may appear and a cracking sound may be heard during joint movement. To treat degenerative joint stiffness, you should:
- Taking nutritional health measures to gain as much bone mass as possible is increasingly important in the elderly to slow their bone loss.
- Exercising has a wonderful effect on gaining bone mass.
- Calcium-rich food: To maintain a good level of calcium in the blood, the daily intake of calcium should not be less than 1-1.5 g/day. When the intake of calcium is insufficient, an amount of 500-1000 mg calcium/day must be added, accompanied by monitoring of urine calcification. To avoid the formation of kidney stones.
- Vitamin D: If necessary, the equivalent of 800 IU/day of vitamin D3 can be shared.
- Anti-thinning medications and menopausal hormone replacement therapy can be used as drug therapy.
Pain relievers for joint stiffness
Pain relievers can be used to relieve symptoms of joint stiffness, such as:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- opioid medications
In advanced cases, the patient may need joint replacement.
Treatment of lupus osteoarthritis
Lupus is an autoimmune disease similar to rheumatoid arthritis. It is accompanied by symptoms of pain, swelling and stiffness in the joint, as this disease is considered one of the symptoms Causes of swollen kneeMedications for the treatment of lupus arthritis are:
- Aniflurumab (Safenilo): Aniflurumab is a major treatment for the symptoms of lupus.
- Voclosporin (Lupkinase): It binds to calcineurin protein and contributes to reducing inflammation in the kidneys.
Hydroxychloroquine (antimalarials) and glucocorticosteroids can be used as supportive treatment along with a good lifestyle.
Treatment of joint stiffness caused by folliculitis
The articular bursa is a small fluid-filled sac. The articular bursa becomes inflamed, causing painful joint stiffness. It is common in the following joints:
- the shoulder
- hallux valgus
- ankle joint
Joint stiffness in this case can be treated by resting the joint for weeks by reducing body activity and keeping the joint in a fixed position until the bursa heals. This treatment may be supported with oral and topical NSAIDs.
Treatment of joint stiffness caused by gout
The attack of gout comes suddenly - unlike other causes of joint stiffness - in this case the joints are painful, especially when waking up from sleep. Although gout can affect any joint, the big toe joint is often the first to be affected.
Medications for the treatment of gouty joint stiffness:
- Colchicine orally
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Interleukin-1 inhibitors
In addition, a diet that does not raise uric acid and is not obese should be followed.
Joint stiffness caused by bone cancer
In fact, bone cancer It is a rare cause that affects the stiffness of the joint. In this case, the patient should undergo radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Relieve joint stiffness at home
Joint stiffness can be treated at home in several ways, including:
- putting compresses of hot or cold water; High temperatures may be good for treating stiff joints.
- A cold bag or ice bag can be pressed on the stiff joint for 15-20 minutes, and this process is repeated daily.
A natural remedy for joint stiffness
You can resort to:
- fish oil supplements; Recent trials have demonstrated the benefit of these supplements in reducing inflammation. The optimal dose ranges from 250-500 mg/day.
- flaxseed; These seeds contain alpha-linoleic acid, which helps relieve symptoms of inflammation
Knowing the cause of joint stiffness is the way to develop a stiff joints treatment plan or relieve joint sclerosis pain. Therefore, it is important to reach an accurate diagnosis of the condition before starting treatment.