Arthritis in Finger Joints

Arthritis in Finger Joints: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Pain caused by arthritis can be quite uncomfortable, especially when it affects your finger joints. The symptoms of arthritis in fingers can make normal hand activities like grabbing an object and typing on your computer keyboard, particularly difficult. Hence, it limits your ability to perform simple everyday tasks and leaves a negative impact on your productivity level. The aftereffect of arthritis also depends on which type of arthritis you are suffering from, as it might cause more serious symptoms and increased discomfort.

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hip joint x-ray

A Primer on Arthroplasty Surgery

Our hips and knees undergo a lot of stress throughout our lives. These joints absorb substantial force and weight when we walk, jump, and move. With wear and tear over time, the cartilage in our joints breakdown causing pain during weight-bearing activities.

Other than Cartilage wear out limb/joint misalignment, joint space narrowing, stiff joints, disease, or traumatic conditions may inflict pain and limit movement and mobility

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Knee injury during workout

Everything you need to know about Ligament Tears

Ligament Tears are a common injury people experience, especially with those who are active in sports. Yet, many of us are quite clueless while trying to imagine which of portion of the body it is that actually gets affected.

And rightly so, coz Ligaments aren’t a prominent body organ nor is it something that visible externally to the human eye. So, ignorance on this subject can be quite rational.

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Stiff Neck – Cause And Relief

Have you ever woke up to a stiff neck before? That uncomfortable and tight feeling that makes movement almost impossible and causing you a lot of discomfort throughout the entire day. Stiff neck are frequently experienced by many and it will usually go away by itself after a few days. You may rest assure that stiff neck is not an indication of any serious problems with your neck.

A stiff neck is typically characterized by difficulty moving the neck, especially when trying to turn the head to the side. It may also be accompanied by a headache, neck pain, shoulder pain or arm pain. In order to look sideways an individual may need to turn the entire body instead of the stiff neck. Most people are familiar with the pain of a stiff neck. In most cases, pain and stiffness go away naturally within a week.

If a stiff neck has not improved after a week, it should be checked by a doctor. Also, regardless of how long it has lasted, a stiff neck accompanied by fever, headache, nausea or unexplained sleepiness should be treated by a medical professional immediately.

Causes of Stiff Neck

Injury

Injuries are one of the most common reasons that one will experience stiff neck. A sudden jerking movement at the neck region can injure the muscles and ligaments, causing injury and subsequent pain and stiffness. Injuries can be caused by sports, accidental falls or even a car accident.

Stress

Our body response to stress is the natural tensing of our muscles. If you did not suffer any injuries recently and is experiencing stiff neck, it could be an indication that you are under tremendous stress. It’s time to take things easy and relax.

Muscle spasm

Muscle spasm are due to the signalling of certain messages from our nerves to the muscles which will result in them involuntary contracting, causing stiff neck.

Improper sleeping posture

Improper sleeping posture is probably the most common reason for stiff neck. Our body is in a relaxed state when we are asleep and an improper sleeping posture can cause the pulling of the neck muscles without us being aware of it. Only when we finally wake up do we realise it and it is often too late.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that targets the joints, especially those in the neck. It will result in neck pain and stiffness.

Meningitis

Meningitis is a very serious inflection of the fluid that surrounds our brain and spinal cord and if you suffer from neck pain and stiffness and they are not caused by the factors listed above, you should consult a doctor immediately as a stiff neck is a common symptom of meningitis.

 

Diagnosis of Stiff Neck

Your doctor will take a medical history and do an exam. He or she will check for tenderness, numbness and muscle weakness, as well as see how far you can move your head forward, backward and side to side.

Imaging tests

Your doctor might order imaging tests to get a better picture of the cause of your stiff neck. Examples include:

  • X-rays can reveal areas in your neck where your nerves or spinal cord might be pinched by bone spurs or other degenerative changes.
  • CT scans combine X-ray images taken from many different directions to produce detailed cross-sectional views of the internal structures of your neck.
  • MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create detailed images of bones and soft tissues, including the spinal cord and the nerves coming from the spinal cord.

It’s possible to have X-ray or MRI evidence of structural problems in your neck without having symptoms. Imaging studies are best used as an adjunct to a careful history and physical exam to determine the cause of your pain.

 

Treatment Regime for Stiff Neck

An individual can do several things to begin treating a stiff neck. Some common self-care strategies include:

  • Rest. Taking it easy for one or two days gives injured tissues a chance to begin to heal, which in turn will help relieve stiffness and possible muscle spasm. For example, someone who swims may want to avoid certain swim strokes that involve lots of head twisting for a few days. However, it is recommended to limit rest to one or two days, as too much inactivity can lead to a weakening of the muscles, and weak muscles have to struggle to adequately support the neck and head.
  • Cold and/or heat therapy. Cold therapy/ice packs help relieve most types of neck stiffness by reducing local inflammation. Applying ice during the first 24 to 48 hours of a painful flare-up usually has the most benefit in terms of reducing inflammation. Applying heat to the neck can spur blood flow, which fosters a better healing environment. Some patients prefer ice, whereas others prefer heat. Both may be used alternately.
  • Over-the-counter medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which work by reducing inflammation, are typically a first line of treatment for neck stiffness and soreness. Even non prescription medications have risks, possible side effects, and drug interactions, so be sure to discuss any medications with a doctor.
  • Gentle stretching. Stretching, as soon as tolerated, helps ease the stiffness and restore the neck to a more natural range of motion. For many, it is a good idea to learn appropriate stretches with the help of a physical therapist.
  • Low-impact aerobic exercise. Stretching or any form of low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, is often helpful in relieving any type of stiffness. Even if walking does not directly involve the neck, it helps circulate oxygen to the soft tissues throughout the spine, which in turn promotes healing.

 

Stiff Neck Treatment in Singapore

You can contact us for counselling regarding stiff neck treatment. We are closely working with more than 35 Insurance companies for cashless payments. We are an Accredited Specialist Clinic. E-filing facility is also available at our clinic.

Symptoms And Treatments For Osteoarthritis Of The Big Toe

Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative arthritis that causes pain and swelling in joints. Due to the wear and tear of cartilage in the joint, the bones become more prominent and as a result, rub against each other as they move. While the condition occurs gradually, it worsens over time if left untreated. The big toe is a common area to be affected by osteoarthritis.

Causes

Most cases of osteoarthritis come with age, starting from ages 30 to 60. As the body system slows down, the cartilage deteriorates faster than it can heal, resulting in osteoarthritis to develop.

Obesity also increases the risk of developing the condition. With additional pressure from the body weight, the bones of the feet are stressed and may accelerate the damage of cartilage in the big toe.

Some people are born with an overgrowth of the big toe bone, making the toe joint stiff and difficult to bend, thus more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis.

Symptoms

Some of the first signs of osteoarthritis of the big toe include stiffness, achiness, tenderness and pain in the affected toe, though may also be felt in the arch of the foot and other toes. The toe feels most achy and stiff in the morning and after sitting for a long period of time.

Gradually, you would start to notice swelling around the joint. It might be some time before the bone spur becomes visibly noticeable. However, you would feel the bones rubbing together and causing the area to swell as they get more prominent.

As the big toe gets stiffer, it gets harder to bend the toes. Walking and balancing becomes difficult and painful. The constant rubbing between the toes can cause corns and calluses to form, and even leading to other conditions such as hammer toes.

Treatment

Conservative treatment for osteoarthritis may not cure the condition but can relief the symptoms. Your doctor might prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicine to ease the pain and bring down the swelling. There are also creams and gels to reduce the swelling. Orthoses can be inserted in your shoes to decrease the pressure while walking. It is best to avoid high heels and pointy-toed shoes as these shoes give puts stress on the feet and may aggravate the symptoms.

For very severe cases, your doctor might recommend a joint replacement surgery. The damaged cartilage is removed and the joint is held together in a fixed and immovable position so that the cartilage would not be affected again. However, the results of the surgery might cause a reduction in mobility. Thus, this procedure may only be suitable for elderly patients that do not require as much mobility in daily activities.

Shoulder Joint Tear (Glenoid Labrum Tear): Symptoms & Prevention

The shoulder joint is composed of three different types of bones: the shoulder blade, upper arm bone and collarbone. This type of joint is a ball and socket joint, allowing for extreme flexibility and wide range of motion. The upper arm bone acts like a ball and is securely inside the shoulder blade socket. For stabilization purposes, the upper arm bone is slightly larger than the socket, ensuring that the fit is tight. To further enhance the stability, there is a layer of soft tissue called the labrum. Injuries to the labrum is the cause of a shoulder joint tear. In this article, we will look at some of the symptoms and preventive measures.

Symptoms of Glenoid Labrum tears are difficult to be diagnosed. The pain is unable to be localized to the exact location and pain is severely increased when actions involving the injured shoulder is attempted. Such actions can include stretching the arm or raising a hand. As time passes, the shoulder will be weaker and instability will start to set in.

Shoulder joint tears are often caused by a sudden trauma to the shoulder blade. These can include falling on an outstretched arm or a direct blow to the shoulder. In order to prevent this, protective measures should be taken:

Warm-ups and stretching

Have you ever taken a rubber band and pulled it suddenly? The rubber band will end up breaking immediately. This is the same for our muscles and it is the reason why warm ups and stretching are extremely important. Warming up will loosen the muscles and enable the tendons and ligaments to stretch. This will allow them to function properly and hold the shoulder joint together.

Protective gears

Shoulder joint tears are also much more common in players engaging in high impact sports such as rugby and baseball. Players often wear protective paddings designed for the shoulder. These cushioning pads are able to cushion and absorb shocks to a certain extent. Some are even able to prevent fractures and dislocations.

Build strong muscles

Building up strength in the shoulders will increase the ability of tendons, ligaments and muscles to withstand the impact experienced by the shoulder. Strong muscles will hold the shoulder together and prevent any muscular tears during an impact.

Shoulder joint tears are extremely painful and affects our daily lifestyle. Players who participate in high impact or repetitive sports shoulder consider investing in good protective gears and ensure that proper warm ups are performed prior to the start of their activity.

Symptoms And Treatments For Osteoarthritis Of The Hip

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects any joint in the body. One of the most common places is the hip due to the tremendous amount of stress and workload it faces day in day out. As we age, the cartilage in our joint will start to lessen due to wear and tear. You can simply imagine the cartilage to be a soft cushion located in between the joints and its main function is to absorb any shock experienced by that particular joint. Without this cushion, there will be a direct bone-to-bone interaction. When this occurs, pain and tenderness will kick in. There will be restricted mobility in that joint due to severe pain and simple daily activities can be difficult. Let’s look at some symptoms and treatments for hip osteoarthritis below.

Symptoms

The very first symptom one will experience is the discomfort at the hip joint. This pain is amplified after periods of inactivity such as sitting down for long periods or waking up from a sleep in the morning. When you start to work out the hip through activities such as walking or jogging, the pain is also increased tremendously. There may be also a cracking sound and feel experienced when you are using the hip.

Non-surgical treatment

The very first form of treatment a doctor will administer is medication to help manage the pain. It can come in either an oral or injection form. Some of the common oral medications are ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen. These are usually strong enough to help control the pain adequately. However in serious cases, corticosteroid drugs may need to be injected directly into the hip for an immediate reduction in pain and swelling.

Surgical treatment

In serious cases where the pain persists despite medication treatment, a surgical treatment may be considered. The most common type is a total hip replacement surgery. The damaged bone and cartilage are removed entirely and replaced with man-made ones. The femoral head will be removed and a metallic stem will be placed into the hollow center of the femur. A ceramic ball will be placed at the upper stem and it acts as a replacement for the femoral head. Ceramics are preferred as they are much more biocompatible than metals. The worn out cartilage will also be removed and screws will be used to hold the socket in place. In order to provide a smooth surface, a ceramic spacer will be inserted to reduce coefficient of friction between the two surfaces.

Hip Surgery For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not a selective disease. This indicates that RA can occur in any joint in the body, destroying it and causing pain and bringing disability to the patient. RA usually attack joints that are located in the upper groin region but is not limited to that only. In the initial stages, any form of strenuous activities such as jogging, running or even carrying a heavy object can aggravate the pain. As it slowly progresses, it will start to affect the quality of sleep and lead to patients being disorientated. Hip surgery is one of the most effective treatment methods of RA and we will look into it in this article.

Total hip replacement (THR) is the most common form of surgical treatment for RA with the other being hip resurfacing. In THR, there are three different components for the implant; the stem, ball and socket. The stem will fit itself into the femur while the ball will replace the spherical head of the femur and finally the cup will replace the worn out hip socket. The materials used for the implant have specifically been chosen for the biocompatibility properties. This means that they will not react with the body fluids and chemicals and ultimately causing an undesired immune response from the host body. The materials are also resistant to corrosion and are long-lasting in the region of a decade or more. The mechanical properties are as good as or even better than the natural components of the hip.

THR will be performed in a sterile operating theatre that is free of bacteria in order to prevent infection. Patients will be given a general anesthesia jab, which will cause them to fall asleep throughout the surgery. An incision will be made along the side of the hips and can be as long as 25cm. However, this incision will not be visible as the clothes will be able to cover it decently. The diseased joint will be removed with a surgical saw and the bone will be cleaned and prep for the arrival of the new prosthesis. There will be proper drainage systems to remove blood from the region and when everything is over, sutures will be used to close up the incision.

As with all forms of surgery, there are risks involved. There will always be a slight chance of the formation of a blood clot and infection despite sterilizing the operating theatre.

Possible Benefits Of Total Hip Resurfacing Arthroplasty

Total hip resurfacing arthroplasty is a surgical procedure with the intention of restoring the function of a hip for a patient suffering from degenerative joint diseases. Some of the common degenerative joint diseases include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis to name a few. It is one of the few surgical techniques that can help patients lead an active lifestyle, with the next common one being hip replacement surgery. In recent years, there has been an increase in interest with regards to hip resurfacing. This is largely due to the fact that the bone will be preserved in this case unlike traditional hip replacement, which requires the removal of the hip joint and replaced with an artificial one. In this article, we will discuss about some of the possible benefits of total hip resurfacing arthroplasty over other techniques.

Future proof

Unlike traditional hip replacement surgery, hip resurfacing is much more future proof. Both hip replacement and hip resurfacing uses a man-made component, which will eventually wear out over time. The implant is designed to last between 10 to 20 years before failure. Once failure occurs, a surgery will be performed to remove the failed component and replaced with a brand new one. In a hip replacement surgery, the bone is removed from the femur and revision surgery will be made more difficult. Instead, hip resurfacing does not remove the bone from the femur. Therefore, replacement of the implants is much more simpler, effectively future-proofing it.

Less risk of dislocation

The hip joint is essentially a ball and socket joint, which allows a wide range of motion. In a hip resurfacing surgery, the replacement ball is much bigger than the one used in hip replacement with dimensions closed to the original one. Since it provides a tighter fit, it is much more difficult to fall out of the joint. Thus, dislocation risks are restricted.

Increased range of motion

Patients who choose hip resurfacing over hip replacement tend to enjoy an increased range of motion. This is due to the fact that bone was not removed from the body and the ball and socket joint is fitted better.

Natural walking stance

Patients who had undergone hip resurfacing will be able to walk more naturally compared to patients who did hip replacement. There will be minimal limping and the hip is able to perform close to what it could previously.

Recovery from a total hip resurfacing surgery will take roughly 6 weeks. Throughout this period, physical therapy will be required to prevent scarring and regain the strength and range of motion.

Recovering From Total Joint Replacement

Immediately after your total joint replacement surgery, you will be moved into a recovery room to be monitored for a couple of hours. After the anaesthesia has worn off and you are awake, you will then be moved to your ward where you will stay for the next few days. A typical stay in the hospital will be between 3 to 5 days depending on your progress. Before the effects of the anaesthesia have fully worn off, you should consume pain killers to prevent a sudden onset of unbearable pain. So how do you recover from total joint replacement surgery?

Physical therapy

Muscle atrophy is the result of depriving muscles activities, leading to muscle wastage. This can happen after a couple of days post surgery, leading to shrinking of muscles and muscular apoptosis. In order to prevent this, physical therapy will be required. Physical therapy helps to strengthen the hip joints through various small but effective exercises. It usually begins almost immediately after surgery in order to prevent scar tissues from forming. A physical therapist will be there to teach you some basic exercises to help you regain strength and full hip movement in the shortest time. It continues even when you have been discharged, and you will be required to show up for your physical therapy classes up to 4 times a week.

Understand possible medical complications

Hip replacement surgery has a low risk and infections are at a low rate of 2%. However, this does not mean that you are completely clear of any complications. Blood clots in the leg veins can occur due to prolonged immobility, leading to serious consequences if they travel up to the heart or brain. Therefore, some surgeons will recommend the usage of compressive stockings.

Do not be complacent

As time passes, the hip will be stronger and the usage of walking aids such as crutches or walkers will no longer be required. Some patients will tend to get complacent and start to skip physical therapy sessions or ignore symptoms which may indicate infection. Therefore, always be mindful of your responsibilities as a patient and continue your physical therapy sessions until your therapist has given you the all clear.

Your new hip will be able to last you for at least a decade and provide you with freedom you never imagined. However, you still need to know that it is an artificial joint inside you and materials can fail due to various reasons and a second surgery may be required in future.