The two words go hand in hand, like two peas in a pod. Lupus makes room for all sorts of pain sensitivities. It allows for every part of your body to become susceptible to pain.
“Joint pain or arthritis is experienced by 95 percent of people with lupus at some time during the course of their disease. In fact, joint pain is usually the first symptom of lupus. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, the arthritis of lupus tends to be temporary. It is also less damaging to the joints. The joints most commonly involved are those of the fingers, wrists, and knees. Elbows, ankles, and shoulders are not affected as often. When a particular joint is affected on one side of the body, the same joint on the other side of the body is usually affected as well.”
But here are ways to help alleviate those tender joints…
Taking Care of Your Tender Joints
If you suffer from joint or muscle pain, the first goal is to keep pain at a tolerable level. You can do this in several ways:
- Apply heat or cold to the affected joints
- Support the affected joints with pillows, blankets, or splints
- Rest the affected joints as much as possible and keep them elevated to reduce swelling
Your second goal is to maintain joint function and increase muscle strength. You can do this by using the following techniques:
- Take warm showers or baths to lessen stiffness
- Lessen the weight on an acutely inflamed joint by sitting or lying down. Avoid strenuous activity and avoid any activity that causes increased pain, swelling, tenderness, or heat to the affected joint
- Gently move the affected joint yourself when the acute inflammation is over.