With February designated as American Heart Month, health sites and blogs will focus on issues involving heart disease, from statistics to exercise and nutrition tips for illness prevention. If you suffer arthritis or joint pain, you may not give too much thought to heart ailments, especially if a recent checkup indicates no problems in that respect. However, certain pains in your body may indicate heart issues, if not at present then in the future.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, people with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions may be at higher risk for heart attacks, stroke, and high blood pressure. Inflammation may cause a reshaping of blood vessel walls, which in turn allows greater plaque buildup and an increased chance of attacks and cardiovascular illnesses. The longer one ignores care for arthritis, lupus, gout, and related conditions, the greater the risk of damage to the heart.
It’s important to note that heart disease, like rheumatoid arthritis, can be hereditary. If your parents or grandparents suffered from coronary illnesses or died as a result of heart attack or stroke, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will meet the same fate, but simple change can help you for the better. Some factors you should consider include:
- Lifestyle – Good nutrition and exercise are key for helping to relieve join paint and decrease heart risks. Smokers, for example, experience a greater chance of heart disease than people who do not smoke.
- Medications – Meds taken to relieve chronic joint pain could have an adverse effect on your cardiovascular system. It’s important to consult with an orthopaedic physician before taking any kind of medicine for your condition.
If you have concerns about a possible connection between your joint pain and heart disease, the physicians at Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists can help you determine the best treatments to ensure your overall health.