Lupus, an immune system disorder that’s with you for life, is when immune cells attack your body’s healthy tissues causing tissue damage and chronic inflammation. Lupus has many symptoms and they can exhibit themselves differently in each person. Joint pain and arthritis are experienced by 95% of people with lupus sometime during the course of their disease. It’s important to know which ways lupus can affect your joint function and how you can manage this pain and discomfort. To keep you informed, we’ve outlined 3 ways lupus affects joint function.
Arthralgia literally means joint pain. Heat, swelling, and stiffness in the joints can also occur. Lupus arthritis normally occurs on both sides of the body at the same time. The joints that it most commonly affects are: elbows, ankles, wrists, knees, and the small joints of the hands. Stiffness is experienced mostly in the morning and after sitting for long periods of time.
2. Myalgia or myositis
Myalgia is pain in the muscles and myositis is inflammation of the muscles. This muscle pain and tenderness is normally present in the upper arms and legs. Some lupus sufferers also experience numbness, which may be due to fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, that can coexist with lupus. However, if fibromyalgia is not present, people with lupus may still experience extreme fatigue.
Other joint issues like osteonecrosis, development of nodules, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendon rupture, and tendonitis are rare, but may occur in existence with lupus. Osteonecrosis is damage to the hip joint that often results in severe arthritis.
Lupus can affect your body in many ways and will definitely impact your joint function. Being mindful of these joint issues will allow you to better manage and treat your condition. There are several ways you can treat joint issues including exercise, natural joint supplements, and topical lotion. Whether you have osteoarthritis, lupus, or any other condition that affects the joints, there is no reason you have to live in pain.
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