Are you wearing red today? Every year on February 7, the American Heart Association encourages people to wear red as a way of spreading awareness of heart disease. Wear Red Day shares important statistics in particular about the rate of heart disease among women in the United States, and it’s also a good time to consider how heart conditions can affect other aspects of health, like arthritis.
Does having one condition cause the other?
While it’s possible to live with heart disease and some form of arthritis, not everybody with a heart condition deals with joint pain. However, the Arthritis Foundation reports that arthritis patients, notably those with an inflammatory condition like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, are at increased risk. Patients with gout are also more likely that those without joint pain to suffer a heart attack. (Source: Arthritis Foundation)
How common is the link between heart disease and joint pain?
Over half of patients with cardiovascular ailments have some type of joint pain. RA is especially risky as some studies suggest that inflammation related to RA can affect a heart’s valve. (Source: Science Daily)
Can a person get arthritis in the heart region?
Arthritis is a condition of the joints where the cartilege and tissues connecting bones in the hands, knees or arms become inflamed and cause those areas to swell and/or hurt. Some patients may experience a condition similar to a heart attack that is a byproduct of RA. Costochronditis is identified by the inflammation of the cartilege between your ribs and breastbone. While the pains may feel like a cardiac event, they are not coming from the heart.
How should one with a heart condition approach treatment for arthritis?
When seeking treatment for multiple conditions, it’s important all physicians in your treatment group are aware of your health status. At Bon Secours, we offer a full continuum of care for patients who need good help with all of their health issues. Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists offers different programs, from occupational therapies to minimally invasive procedures, designed to improve quality of life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can treat arthritic pains.