What is Lupus?
Lupus or systematic lupus erythematous is a disease which affects the immune system. In normal conditions, immune system protects us from infections and diseases but in the case of Lupus, the immune system starts to attack the tissues of the body and this leads to illness as well as tissue damage. Some symptoms of Lupus are swelling, inflammation, damage to kidneys, damage to skin, lungs, liver, heart and blood. When a person is suffering from Lupus, his/her body is unable to differentiate between the healthy tissue and the antigens. Lupus can cause complications in various body parts and is associated with arthritis which in this case is termed as Lupus Arthritis. Infact about 90% people who suffer from Lupus experience pain in muscles and joints.
What is Lupus Arthritis?
Lupus arthritis is one of the most common causes of joint pain in those who suffer from Lupus. Extreme pain and discomfort in the joints as well as in the muscles are some of the symptoms of Lupus arthritis. Let’s look at some of the common effects of Lupus arthritis:
- Lupus arthritis causes swelling as well as pain in the joints and this may also be paired with a feeling of warmth in the joints and certain amount of tenderness.
- People with lupus arthritis experience morning stiffness as well.
- In case of Lupus arthritis, fluids gets collected in the joints and this may lead to additional swelling as well as a lot of pressure.
- Lupus arthritis can lead to a lot of discomfort but doesn’t really cause permanent deformity of the joins.
Some facts about Lupus Arthritis
- Lupus arthritis does not affect either the spine or the neck.
- Those joints which are further away from the center of the body are the ones which are most likely to be affected by the pain and swelling.
- Some common areas of lupus arthritis are wrists, hands, fingers, elbows, knees, ankles, toes and feet.
- Since lupus arthritis occurs mostly in symmetrical positions, the same joints on both sides of the body are most likely to be affected.
Diagnosis and identification of Lupus Arthritis
The following are some of the ways to identify lupus arthritis:
- Lupus arthritis is a difficult disease to diagnose because most of the tests which are conducted will show positive results in anyone who is suffering from Lupus and hence joint fluid tests are often conducted.
- Lupus arthritis can be diagnosed by physical examination.
- It can only be identified by the doctor through a detailed history of symptoms and by conducting those tests which can rule out the other possible conditions.
Prevention and Treatment of Lupus arthritis
The following are some ways to prevent or treat lupus arthritis:
- Physical therapy is one of the ways to treat lupus arthritis.
- In some cases, low impact exercises such as swimming, aerobics etc. may also help to relieve this condition.
- Those medications which are given to treat lupus can also be taken to treat lupus arthritis, but only on doctor’s consultation.