Adult-onset Still’s disease is a rare condition which may lead to arthritis. Find some relief from the pain associated with this condition by using these 6 pain relief strategies.
Adult-onset Still’s disease is a relatively rare form of arthritis that affects around 1 in every 100,000 people. It begins with a high fever, a salmon-colored rash, and may even lead to arthritis. An inflammatory form of arthritis, Still’s disease is quite similar to rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation has the capacity to destroy the affected joints, predominantly the wrists. The causes of Still’s disease are not yet known, but research points towards the possibility that the trigger may be some type of infection. There are some people who experience only one episode of this condition. However, there may be a few cases in which this condition persists or may even recur.
Usually, Still’s disease begins with a fever lasting for several days which spikes during the night. You may also experience a salmon-colored rash which looks similar to hives, along with the fever. Some of the other symptoms of Adult-onset Still’s disease include sore throat, swollen joints, inflamed lymph nodes, weight loss, abdominal pain, and pain during deep breathing. Experiencing these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you suffer from the disease. There are other conditions such as mononucleosis and lymphoma that have similar symptoms. But it is advisable to make an appointment with your doctor to get a confirmed diagnosis before any complications arise.
There is no single test that can be used to diagnose an individual with Still’s disease. Your doctor needs to carry out blood tests to rule out the other conditions like Lyme disease, mononucleosis, and particular types of cancer, because they manifest similar symptoms. Even the imaging tests only show the damage caused by Still’s disease. Therefore, in order to diagnose you with the disease, the doctor will need to rule out the other conditions first.
Due to the fact that the initial symptoms of Still’s disease may lead to arthritis, the treatment plan generally focuses on dealing with arthritis. The most common medications prescribed for Still’s disease are over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen and ibuprofen. Some of the other drugs that are also used include steroids like prednisone, biologic response modifiers like infliximab, and methotrexate. The kind of drug that the doctor will prescribe mainly depends upon the side effects and the severity of your symptoms.
It is true that you can treat Adult-onset Still’s disease. However, it is also true that the symptoms of this condition may make an appearance again. There have been numerous studies that have found that around half of all the patients with this condition will develop chronic arthritis. In other words, you may experience joint pain and other symptoms related to arthritis for a long period of time. In such a situation, relying only on pain medications may not be enough because these drugs may lose their effectiveness over a period of time. Try these 6 alternative strategies that can help you manage the pain associated with Adult-onset Still’s disease.
This pain relief strategy involves hooking yourself up to a portable machine that is pocket-sized. It works by sending electrical currents to the painful areas in your body via the electrodes placed on your skin.
The clinical director of outpatient rehab at The George Washington University Hospital, Girish Padmanabhan, says, “Pain is carried on small fibers called C fibers. But other sensations are carried by larger fibers. The sensation of the current is transmitted through the larger fibers, which supersedes the smaller fibers essentially shutting out the pain. The electrical current also stimulates the nervous system, possibly stimulating the brain to release endorphins and enkephalins, opiate-like substances that relieve pain.” When asked about the efficacy of TENS, Padmanabhan said, “TENS is effective in treating any kind of arthritis pain – in treating pain, period”.
Do not use TENS if you have an open wound, an infection, or a pacemaker.
Physical therapy is a pain relief strategy that works by using exercises to improve your strength, range of motion, and also reduce pain. Exercise helps by reducing the stiffness and joint pain, and increasing the muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility. Physical therapy works for all kinds of arthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and still’s disease.
Avoid high impact activities like jumping and running because they may be counterproductive and worsen the joint pain. Choose low impact activities like cycling, water aerobics, and swimming, instead.
One of the other alternative strategies that can be used to deal with the pain associated with Still’s disease is hydrotherapy. This strategy works by decreasing the pain and stiffness. It is also relatively easier to exercise in water because the water takes the weight off the affected joints. There are numerous arthritis patients who report finding some pain relief from the movement and heat in a whirlpool. If you are suffering from Still’s disease, you can choose to go the community centers or YMCAs that have water exercise classes developed especially for people with arthritis.
Remember, do not exercise through the pain!
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