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  • Your Joints
    the bone surface at the joint to prevent bones from rubbing directly against each other The joint is surrounded by a capsule also and the space within the joint joint cavity contains a liquid called synovial fluid which provides nutrients to the joint and cartilage It is produced by the synovial membrane or synovium which lines the joint cavity Movement of the joint is operated by the muscles attached to

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  • Types of Arthritis
    goes away In RA the opposite occurs The RA inflammation causes damage it can go on for a long time or come and go When it is active known as a flare up you may feel unwell The body s natural defences the immune system are part of the problem in rheumatoid arthritis It somehow puts itself into reverse and attacks certain parts of the body instead of protecting it This auto immune reaction occurs mainly in the joints but in a flare up other organs can be affected It is not known what causes the immune system to react in this way Click here to download the Living with Rheumatoid Arthriti s booklet for more information on this type of arthritis Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is another of the more common types of arthritis that causes widespread and severe pain aching and fatigue but affects the muscles ligaments and tendons rather than the joints It may affect one part of the body or several different areas such as the limbs neck and back Click here to download the Living with Fibromyalgia booklet for more information on this type of arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis Some people who live with the skin condition psoriasis also develop another of the types of arthritis known as psoriatic arthritis It causes inflammation in and around the joints Psoriatic arthritis can affect most joints but typically causes problems in fingers and toes with pitting and discoloration of nails About a third of people with psoriatic arthritis also have spondylitis a stiff painful back or neck caused by inflammation in the spine You can find out more about the condition in our Understanding Arthritis information booklet Ankylosing Spondylitis Ankylosing spondylitis AS is another form of inflammatory arthritis Its symptoms are centred around pain and inflammation in the joints of the lower back Ankylosing means stiffening spondylitis means inflammation of the spine If left untreated the joints of the spine may become fused bridged by bone and lose their movement Click here to download the Ankylosing Spondylitis booklet for more information on this type of arthritis Gout Gout is one of the oldest types of arthritis where crystals build up in the body and cause joints to become very painful Once treated gout is not a problem for most people Gout symptoms are caused by uric acid crystals in the joints We all have some uric acid in our blood but most of us pass out enough in our urine to keep down the amount in our blood When there is too much uric acid in the tissues it can form crystals These crystals can form in and around joints inflammation swelling and severe pain Click here to download the Living with Gout booklet for more information on this type of arthritis Juvenile Arthritis Approximately 1 000 children in Ireland have arthritis Most types of arthritis in children come under the general heading of juvenile arthritis JA or juvenile idiopathic arthritis to give it its official title JA symptoms include

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  • FCKeditor

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  • Information Booklets - Arthritis Ireland
    Plus Arthritis Ireland on LinkedIn Quicklinks Information About Arthritis Treatments Care Self Management Arthritis Your Life Booklets Exercise Medical Cards Other Resources Helpline Let s Talk Arthritis Peer Support Self Management Courses About Self Management Living Well With Arthritis Living Well With Arthritis Online Breaking the Pain Cycle Get Involved Fundraise Mini Marathon Take on a Challenge Donate Leave a Legacy Corporate Fundraising In Your Area All Events Your Local

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  • What Is Lupus?
    lupus Based on the history of your illness a physical examination and blood tests your doctor will be able to diagnose you Test results help to distinguish lupus from other conditions that may have similar symptoms A number of different blood tests may be used Anti nuclear antibody ANA test Anti double stranded DNA anti dsDNA antibody test Anti Ro antibody test Antiphospholipid antibody test Complement level test Erythrocyte sedimentation rate ESR test Kidney and liver function tests Blood cell counts These tests can also be helpful in monitoring your condition after diagnosis Tests to check on your heart lungs liver and spleen are also important Depending on which organs your doctor thinks may be involved you may have x rays an ultrasound scan a computerised tomography CT scan or a magnetic resonance imaging MRI scan A urine test can show if there s protein or blood in your urine This can help doctors to recognise a problem in your kidneys at a very early stage You may need further tests such as kidney filtration tests What treatments are there for lupus There is no single treatment for lupus but a combination of drugs and self help measures which will

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  • What Is Polymyalgia Rheumatica?
    and painful stiffness in the morning is one of the most common symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica PMR particularly in your shoulders and thighs PMR can come on suddenly appearing within a fortnight and sometimes just after a flu It is unlike the sort of pain or stiffness you experience after exercising Instead it is often widespread and made worse by movement It can also disrupt your sleep at night How is polymyalgia rheumatica PMR diagnosed There is no specific test to diagnose polymyalgia rheumatica Based on your symptoms tests and a physical examination your doctor will make the diagnosis Inflammation alone isn t enough to confirm the diagnosis as it s associated with many other conditions Other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis will need to be ruled out with some other tests X rays or ultrasound scans of your shoulders and hips may also be necessary What treatments are there for polymyagia rheumatica PMR Steroid tablets Steroid tablets are the most common treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica PMR They are not a cure but they can reduce your symptoms symptoms within a day or 2 once you start treatment Your treatment will probably last for 2 years or more depending on your symptoms Your doctor may suggest you also take the following bisphosphonates such as risedronate or alendronate to protect you against developing osteoporosis painkillers or non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs NSAIDs to reduce your pain and stiffness If you are finding that your symptoms are not improving with steroids you may be sent by your doctor to see a specialist who may prescribe methotrexate tablets alongside the steroid tablets Methotrexate is used to treat several different types of rheumatic disease including polymyalgia rheumatica Because one of its actions is to reduce the activity of the immune system it can leave

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  • Diagnosis
    any bony swellings and creaking joints any restricted movement joint tenderness or instability Give you a blood test to rule out other types of arthritis Perform X rays to confirm OA and to see how much damage has occurred An osteoarthritis diagnosis means that your GP will be your main contact for managing your condition You may also be referred to a physiotherapist for advice on keeping your joints mobile If your arthritis is severe the GP can refer you to a rheumatologist orthopaedic surgeon or pain specialist Living with Osteoarthritis will tell you more about what to expect when you visit your GP Testing for rheumatoid arthritis RA Your GP will Examine your joints and skin and test your muscle strength Carry out blood tests looking for inflammation Perform X rays to find signs of damage to joints and bones A rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis means that your GP will refer you to other healthcare professionals including a rheumatologist and physiotherapist You will also be prescribed drugs to control the condition and reduce the inflammation Download are booklet on Drugs and Complementary Therapies for more information arthritis tests and arthritis diagnosis The booklet Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis will tell you more about managing your condition You can also contact the Arthritis Ireland helpline on 1890 252 846 with any questions you may have on any aspect of arthritis Things to remember Being diagnosed with arthritis can be a very intimidating experience especially if you don t know where to turn for help Initial feelings of fear and anger are a completely normal first reaction but by taking the right steps a diagnosis of arthritis does not have to alter your quality of life Ring If you are looking for confidential support and information from people who have experienced an arthritis

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  • Your Healthcare Team
    joints muscles bones skin and other tissues You may be referred to a rheumatologist if you need special care or treatment They can also refer you to other relevant health professionals Your Rheumatology Nurse Nurses who are trained in arthritis care can assist your doctor in your treatment They can also offer structured patient and family education and support services including a telephone helpline Some nurses are also skilled in prescribing medications and joint injections Your Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapists OTs are health professionals who help people with arthritis to function independently at home in the workplace and in the community They can teach you how to reduce strain on your joints while doing everyday activities which may involve using splints or other assistive devices OTs also teach practical stress management techniques to use in everyday life Your Physiotherapist The best way to find out what exercises are best for you is to see a chartered physiotherapist Physiotherapists have a complete understanding of how the body works and will work with you to design a treatment plan and exercise programme that meets your needs In addition to exercise they may also use manual or electrotherapy to help with symptom control Your Social Worker Arthritis can affect many aspects of your life and at times can make simple tasks difficult Family and friends may tell you how well you look yet the truth is you are not feeling well Social workers can help you and your family deal with these challenges Your Pharmacist Pharmacists are health professionals who dispense medications and can teach you the best way to use them They will fill your prescription for medicines and can explain their actions and side effects Your Dietitian Dietitians Nutritionists can help people with arthritis learn ways to plan prepare and eat

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