Polyarthralgia is a medical condition which involves multiple joints pain that is more common in elderly. It is mainly associated with rheumatoid arthritis; however, it is not a disorder on its own. It may be an indication of numerous diseases, that’s the reason why it is very important express thorough investigation regarding the root problem. The pain in the joints will start from mild to a much vigorous one. It is described as a sharp, dull, stabbing pain in the joints resulting in disability in the future. It gets worse over time, starting from the age of 30 to 50 years old people. The physician should perform an anamnesis detailed and inspection so that you can find the cause and start with the treatment. In this way, we can prevent any adverse consequences. Polyarthralgia is when someone is suffering from pain in more than one joint, which is usually associated with arthritic pain. Diagnosis is difficult due to numerous symptoms and signs.
With age, it’s common to start encountering some joint pain from time to time, however this ache should be restricted to one joint at a time. Yet, when the pain is pass to more than five joint parts at the same time, the condition is known as polyarthralgia. If less than 5 joints are affected, the condition is called oligo arthralgia. Polyarthralgia requires to be distinguished from polymyalgia, whereby the latter will involve pain and a weakness of several muscular areas around the body. Polyarthralgia do not affect the muscular tissue completely, just the joint parts, although polymyalgia usually results in the development of polyarthralgia.
Signs and Symptoms of Polyarthralgia
the signs or symptoms of polyarthralgia are like those of other common kinds of arthritis, just in a larger scale and involving much more joints. These signs and symptoms include:
- Swelling: It is caused by the inflammation within the joint
- Joint pain: It is due to the inflammatory pushing on the nerve endings within the joint
- Stiffness: the harm to cartilage decreases motion in the joint, which makes it difficult to move.
- Excruciating pain: The intensity of pain is much worse than traditional arthritis.
- Cephalocaudal pattern of movements of the pain and discomfort when compared with movements of traditional arthritis from one joint to other
- Redness around joints
These signs and symptoms become most evident starting in the middle ages, around 30, until old age, in the 50s. Also, because polyarthralgia influences many joints, the signs and symptoms can be experienced in the knees, hip, hands, legs, shoulders and the upper limb.
Common Causes of Polyarthralgia
Most people consider arthritis as a single medical problem; however, it deals with more than 100 types of joint diseases and polyarthralgia is just one type of arthritis. Polyarthralgia is a kind of inflammatory arthritis that is brought on by damage to the joints because of their deterioration, and this can be due to over-use with age or painful injury. When either these happens, the cartilage within the joint gets damaged. Cartilage is the kind of tissue that is found at the end of a bone, allowing two bones to move over each other smoothly. Generally, cartilage is lost consistently through physical activity, but the body produces more to substitute the lost cartilage. Even with age, as this substitution system becomes slow, the immune system is still active, also it functions on the joints by discharging white blood cells which activate an inflammation to prevent any disease or infection within the joints, which keeps the individual healthy.
Age is commonly the main reason for polyarthralgia because, as stated earlier, cartilage gets weaker with age due to decreased regeneration. Other common causes include insufficient physical activity and obesity, the former creating the cartilage to weaken due to lower utilization and the former due to overuse. With increasing weight comes increasing pressure on the joint parts which allow movement which can accelerate the degeneration of cartilage. There are some reasons which trigger the situation, such as trauma due to, say, an accident or an injury directly to the joint, or smoking regular cigarettes which leads to poor vascular function. Lastly, many people are genetically susceptible to polyarthralgia. In these circumstances, the signs and symptoms of polyarthralgia begin from an early age.
Below is the list of causes of polyarthralgia:
- Injuries: Sports related injuries is one of the most significant causes of Polyarthralgia. Regardless of the age and sex, this illness could affect the individual causing intense pain and swelling in the affected area. This disorder is often observed in sportspersons, who have injured while playing their favorite sports, like football or cricket.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Interestingly, Rheumatoid arthritis is among the important reasons for Polyarthralgia triggering pain and inflammation of the joints in the affected area. It strikes both women and men, yet women between the age group of 40-50 years tend to be more susceptible to this disorder. In addition, people bearing the HLA-DR1 gene are prone to get this illness than people who do have this gene in their bodies.
- Viral infections: Viral infections can also result in Polyarthralgia arthritis. The most common viruses proven to cause this medical condition involve Hepatitis, Human immunodeficiency Virus, Chikungunya infection and alpha viral infections. In addition, there are certain bacterial infections too which will cause Polyarthralgia arthritis, that includes subacute bacterial endocarditis.
- Reaction to drugs: Unluckily, certain medications used for different remedies may also lead to Polyarthralgia arthritis. While the drugs useful to treat another disease do not suit an individual, it has a tendency to react with the body system to induce different complications. Rifabutin is among those drugs that cause Polyarthralgia arthritis. This medication is utilized to cure tuberculosis, but when this drug is taken in high doses, it may result in the painful situation of Polyarthralgia arthritis. Despite this, even though this drug is taken in small doses, however consumed with another drug called, clarithromycin, and then also the sufferer remains at a very high risk of developing Polyarthralgia arthritis in future.
- Gout: The disease of gout is one of the powerful causes of Polyarthralgia. This common inflammatory problem occurs in men and women. In this metabolic ailment, lots of uric acid gets accumulated in the blood, creating crystal deposition of the uric acid around various joints. This ultimately causes Polyarthralgia.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis, probably the most common forms of arthritis is also a significant cause of Polyarthralgia. This disorder has been known to influence more women, mostly during the menopause, who are usually in their 40s, when compared with men of the identical age group. This is because of the significant deficiency of calcium in women, if they are nearing or already have hit the menopause phase.
- Other diseases: Polyarthralgia may be caused because of many existing diseases, for example the Mixed Connective Tissues Disease (MCTD). The MCTD includes medical problems, like scleroderma and Sjogren’s syndrome, which contributes to Polyarthralgia.
Additionally, sarcoidosis is usually known to cause Polyarthralgia.
- Stress factures
- Joint dislocation
- Bone cancer
- Sprains or strains near joint
- Pinched nerves
Some other causes for polyarthralgia are high-impact exercises that pressure the joint, for example running and jumping, and overuse of joints. Overuse of joint parts is popular in people that have physically challenging jobs.
Diagnoses of Polyarthralgia and Polyarthralgia Blood Test
Most patients having a developing case of polyarthralgia in the beginning think they are suffering from arthritis pain. Oftentimes your medical professional is the first point of contact for the sufferer looking for a precise diagnosis. The family doctor will require a full personal and family health background, giving special focus on any family history of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, virus or bacterial infection or auto-immune situations. This is followed by a physical examination, with special attention on the areas where the stiffness, redness and pain is felt. Now, the health specialist will most likely order some tests. The most common tests helpful to diagnose this disorder include:
- CBC: Complete Blood Count (CBC) and blood chemistry test are basic test taken for testing the signs of blood infection, elevated white blood cells(WBC) or antibodies in the blood.
- ESR/Sed: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate checks for the markers of inflammation in the body
- C- reactive protein level test: this test is taken to check the levels of inflammation in the heart
- Anti-CCP (anticyclic citrullinated peptide) test: This test checks the anti-CCP antibody, which indicates rheumatoid arthritis.
- RF Latex (rheumatoid factor) test: This test is also used to make a positive diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Biopsies of joint tissue and fluid.To check out the existence of germs and bacteria, viral or fungal issue as well as other markers of possible under-lying causes.
- MRI and/or CT scan tests. These tests will help doctor look inside the body to get a better sense of what is going on with the affected joint systems.
Whether some of these tests are ordered depends on the symptoms list and seriousness. The objective for the diagnostic part is to rule out all circumstances with similar signs and symptoms presentation and detect the two the under-lying root causes as well as the existence of polyarthralgia itself.
Treatment of Polyarthralgia
The treatment methods for polyarthralgia are varied. It is due to the number of under-lying causes. Typically, the method to medication is to very first identify the under-lying causes and then treat that whilst also dealing with the immediate signs and symptoms of polyarthralgia itself. The objective is to resolve or ideal control the contributing factor as a pathway to reduction or termination of signs and symptoms. Depending on the patient’s medical background and other medical conditions, a combination strategy is often suggested (medicine plus therapy plus life skills for example stress prevention for better pain management).
Here are some commonly prescribed treatments for Polyarthralgia:
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications):These could be consumed in their prescription or over the counter forms. Although generally polyarthralgia does not cause notable swelling, it does cause irritation, which NSAIDs could effectively address.
- Pain medications: It can also be consumed as OTC medicines or in prescribed form based on the severity and regularity of the pain signs and symptoms. they are taken orally or topically, or occasionally as an injection. (check on amazon)
- Physical therapy:Enhancing ability to move, overall body strength and overall flexibility are usually key targets for physical therapy treatment method.
- Joint replacement surgery: In extreme cases or as an ultimate resort, joint replacement surgery is sometimes indicated. Yet, this is typically seen as an alternative only if all of others have not yielded satisfactory outcomes.
- Life skills:It could be debilitating in both body as well as mind to settle for a disorder such as polyarthralgia that influences multiple joint systems and has become persistent.
Is polyarthralgia curable?
Polyarthralgia can be cured if by following the treatments such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications), Pain medications, Physical therapy, Joint replacement surgery, or by improving life skills. One can recover from Polyarthralgia by the above-mentioned medications. (Source :- All Health Post)