Oh, those sore joints! A multitude of older adults endure the aches, uncomfortableness and stiffness that are the trademark attributes of arthritis, and presume it must be the cause. Yet actually, there are a variety of conditions that resemble arthritis symptoms, but in many instances should be handled in another way to offer relief. Prior to swallowing another ibuprofen and hoping it helps, look through the list below of alternate diagnoses that could possibly be at play, from the home care Kansas City team at Enhanced Home Care.
While very similar to arthritis in the musculoskeletal pain it causes, fibromyalgia will not typically cause swelling, nor is it degenerative. There’s no erosion or disfigurement of joints, but rather it has an inclination to produce soreness in various areas of the body. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that usually occurs in women, causing the brain to overreact to the body’s pain signals.
As with fibromyalgia, lupus does not erode or disfigure the joints, but the aching experienced can be deceivingly like to that of arthritis, although usually slightly less severe. Lupus, however, as an autoimmune disease, also has an effect on internal organs, skin, and blood vessels, in addition to the joints.
Gout actually is a particular form of arthritis, but is caused by enhanced levels of uric acid in the blood and commonly presents to begin with in the big toe with intensive pain, swelling, redness and warmth. If untreated, gout begins to erode and distort the joints, similar to the effects of arthritis, and can impact any region of the body. Spots of uric acid crystals can generally be observed on the skin as well, helping to distinguish it from typical arthritis.
Muscle and joint pain, often (but not always) together with exhaustion, body aches, stiffness and a fever, are indicative of Lyme disease, an infectious disease commonly transmitted by ticks. In the advanced phases of the disease, it’s common for one large joint in the lower extremity of the body to become swollen and painful.
Reiter’s Syndrome (Reactive Arthritis)
Caused by infection, this condition is oftentimes observed on only one side of the body and features swelling of one particular body part – usually a toe. Inflammation and irritation of tendons, muscles, and ligaments is also fundamental to Reiter’s Syndrome, along with mouth ulcers, conjunctivitis, UTIs and fever. The condition usually improves within a few months, unlike other forms of chronic arthritis.
It’s crucial for anyone experiencing joint pain or discomfort to set up an appointment with the physician to determine the cause and most beneficial treatment plan.
Providers of the home care Kansas City seniors trust, Enhanced Home Care is readily available to render support in a full range of ways for those challenged by any condition of aging. Whether the need is for assistance with duties around the home such as cleaning, organizing, and preparing meals, transportation to health-related appointments and other outings, help with safe showering and dressing, or simply a friendly companion to improve quality of life, we’re available with the individualized care each older person needs.
Contact us to learn more about our in-home senior care solutions or to schedule a free in-home assessment by calling 913-327-0000.