August 27, 2013

Lupus and Joint Pain

More that 90% of people with lupus experience joint and/or muscle pain at some time during the course of their illness.  More than half of the people who develop lupus mention pain in their joints as their first symptom.

Symptoms of Lupus 

Inflammation  is the most common reason for muscle pain and aches.  When major inflammation exists (i.e. lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease), the aches, pains and weakness are signs of your body's inability to cope with whatever process has overwhelmed it, especially during periods of increased disease activity (flare).  Lupus arthritis causes pain, stiffness, tenderness and warmth in your joints.  The joints most often affected are the ones farthest from the middle of the body, such as fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and toes.  General stiffness upon waking in the morning, which gradually improves as the day goes on, is a key feature.  Sometimes joint pain may develop later in the day, and involve several joints, with similar joints on both sides of the body.  Compared to rheumatoid arthritis, lupus arthritis is less disabling and less likely to cause destruction of the joints.  Fewer than 10% of people with lupus arthritis will develop deformities of their hands and feet associated with weakening of cartilage and bone.  

Source:  Lupus Foundation of America    

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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