Palindromic Arthritis draws its name from the root word ‘Palindromic’ when interpreting its meaning stands for (‘to come and come again’) exactly how the pain for this particular symptom occurs. For instance one minute your aright and the next the pain has kicked in.

Palindromic rheumatism is also another name referred to Palindromic Arthritis.

Palindromic Arthritis/rheumatism is a form of inflammatory arthritis.

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People who have it get attacks of joint pain and inflammation; these flare-ups start in one joint but may spread to others before settling down completely, adding the joints appear normal between attacks.

Attacks of palindromic rheumatism/arthritis usually start in one or two joints, which quickly become painful, stiff and swollen, symptoms can include:

  • Hot and tender joints
  • The skin over the joint looking red
  • Inflamed, painful and swollen tendons and areas around the joint (the periarticular area)
  • Feeling generally unwell & fatigue
  • Mild fever

Nodules- meaning: small swelling or aggregation of cells in the body, especially an abnormal one.

Joints involved from the start can improve after a short period, but attacks can move from joint to joint and pain can worsen, even so when the attacks disappears joints and tendons return back to normality, so when these attacks occur they do not cause damage to the joint.

Experiencing attacks of Palindromic/arthritis/rheumatism come and go over time though the pattern of how often they occur and how long they last, to what joints are involved is different for everyone for example: some may experience several hours of pain whilst others several days.

People with palindromic rheumatism usually have no symptoms in between attacks.

This sets palindromic rheumatism apart from other forms of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, people with these conditions have joint problems most of the time in suppose to sudden burst like palindromic rheumatism and the level of the problem may vary to extremely severe discomfort.

Testing for the symptoms of Palindromic rheumatism/arthritis comes from taking a blood test and checking for Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and the C-reactive protein (CRP) can show raised levels of inflammation in your body during an attack and other blood tests can check for antibodies such as rheumatoid factor, anti-CCP antibodies and anti-nuclear antibodies.

Palindromic rheumatism/arthritis varies a great deal from person to person so it’s impossible to predict what to expect, though in the longer term’s Statistics show:

  • About 10–15% of people find their symptoms completely disappear
  • 30–50% have only occasional attacks.
  • 30–40% have greater problems.

People who fall into this final group of 30-40% most likely develop rheumatoid arthritis later on.

This is particularly likely in people whose blood tests show rheumatoid factor or anti-CCP, which are positive in rheumatoid arthritis. It’s very important to note, however, that not everyone with palindromic rheumatism who is positive for these antibodies will develop rheumatoid arthritis.

Drugs that can be used to treat this problem can vary from the following:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs block the inflammation that occurs in the lining of your joints and can be very effective in controlling pain and stiffness, even so your symptoms will improve when you take these drugs, but the effects aren’t long-lasting so you have to take the tablets regularly.

You’ll need to take them as soon as an attack starts and then continue until after it’s finished.

Steroid injections:

Your doctor might recommend local steroid injections if your joints are particularly painful or your ligaments and tendons have become inflamed.

Injections aren’t given regularly, but you may be given them if you have one or more very inflamed joints/tendons.

palindromic arthritis_2

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs help by tackling the causes of joint inflammation.

In palindromic rheumatism/arthritis they’re used to reduce how often you have attacks and how bad they are.

DMARDs aren’t usually used as a first-choice treatment in palindromic rheumatism. The decision to use them will depend on many factors, including how much effect NSAIDs have had, how often you have attacks and how bad they are, it may be some time before DMARDs start to have an effect on your joints, so you should take them regularly.

The most common DMARDs used to prevent attacks in palindromic rheumatism are hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine because they have fewer side effects than some other DMARDs, however, people with severe disease may need stronger DMARDs like methotrexate.

When taking DMARDs you’ll generally need to have regular blood monitoring to check for possible side effects, including problems with your liver, kidneys or blood count.

You can take NSAIDs along with DMARDs.

Other treatments to try when attacks come on are Ice or heat pads can also help ease pain and swelling, although you should take care to not apply them directly to your skin. Relaxation exercises and swimming or bathing in warm water can also help.

Pacing your activities will help conserve energy and reduce fatigue, once severe inflammation has settled down, you should get moving again.

Palindromic rheumatism/arthritis can place discomfort to an individual daily life such as work, especially if the individual’s work is of a physical nature and attacks occur frequently can restrict an individual’s capability to carry on with their daily duties, however you may be able to adapt your work, for example by working shorter hours or moving to a less physically demanding role: note this will only effect an individual if they get severe attacks and frequent, but for those that do not experience severe attacks this can be bearable and not a priority in taking action towards.

Not all may experience this, but its likely in cases of sever attacks the individual may not feel like having sex during attacks because of fatigue and pain, but in between them you should be able to have a normal sex life.

There’s no evidence that palindromic rheumatism/arthritis itself affects your chances of having a family, however taking medication, especially sulfasalazine or methotrexate, may have an important impact.

NSAIDs aren’t generally recommended during pregnancy and some recent studies suggest that the risk of miscarriage may be increased if you take NSAIDs around the time of conception.

If you’re thinking about starting a family, it’s recommended that you seek your GP’s advice.

Anyone who suffers with mild to severe Palindromic rheumatism/arthritis are strongly advised as an individual sufferer that you do not consume a great amount of weight as placing pressure on the joints an individual will experience discomfort and more severe pain when attack’s do occurs.

It is also advised for the individual to exercise and keep their joints moving and for some that don’t experience severe pain to continue with their daily activities as normal.

For the more severe suffers it is advised that when experiencing severe pain to rest and take things easy and also not to exclude exercise from their life’s either, but rather moderate it according to their pain and implement swimming, lightweights and lots of stretching.

However there are no scientific studies that suggest a certain diet should be placed in an individual sufferer of Palindromic rheumatism/arthritis, but to clearly eat healthy foods to contribute to not gaining extra weight as mention as this can agitate the joints placing unwanted pressure from the extra weight carried on the individual.

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