To better understand Lyme arthritis, you should know that it occurs when the Lyme disease bacteria starts to inflame the patient’s joints, it may develop into chronic arthritis, it can affect people of all age groups, its possible treatments include antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, and prevention and early treatment of Lyme disease is the solution.
Lyme disease can be contracted from the bite of an infected tick. It was first recognized when cases of rheumatoid arthritis in children increased in 1975. Research later showed that the illness was caused by ticks that were infected by the Borelia burgdorferi bacteria. Because Lyme disease symptoms may resemble symptoms of other more common diseases like the flu, some people may not seek treatment for it. In the late stage of Lyme disease, Lyme arthritis can occur. This condition is quite similar to common cases of inflammatory arthritis. Here are more facts that you should know about Lyme arthritis:
It occurs when the Lyme disease bacteria starts to inflame the patient’s joints
Some specialists state that Lyme disease has several stages. In the early stages, symptoms resemble those of the common flu, including fever, headaches, chills and body aches. As the disease goes untreated it will begin to infect other systems of the body. And in its late stage, the bacteria will start to inflame the patient’s joints, thus causing the condition known as Lyme arthritis. Lyme arthritis will usually affect the patient’s knee and shoulder joints. Other symptoms that manifest in the late stage of Lyme disease are severe headaches, anxiety and mood disorders.
It may develop into chronic arthritis
Some research has revealed that chronic arthritis may develop from an estimated 10% of untreated cases of Lyme disease. Chronic arthritis is described as a continuous inflammation of the patient’s joints that can last for a year or more. Its symptoms include redness, fluid buildup in the patient’s joints and swelling.
It can affect people of all age groups
Lyme disease and, consequently, Lyme arthritis can affect children and adults alike. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that the most common sufferers of Lyme disease are children between 5 and 9 years old and adults older than 30. Additionally, patients in 33% of the total number of reported cases experienced Lyme arthritis.
Its possible treatments include antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications
One of the possible treatments for Lyme arthritis is antibiotics. Specifically, intravenous ceftriaxone was determined to be most successful in providing relief from the condition with positive response rates reaching 94%. Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen are also administered to patients and can provide relief from pain and swelling reduction. However, these treatments are not as successful in some cases of Lyme arthritis. In those rare instances, the bacteria is believed to have become resistant to the antibiotic treatment.
Prevention and early treatment of Lyme disease is the solution
Because Lyme arthritis develops in the late stage of Lyme disease, the most obvious form of prevention is to prevent Lyme disease or treat it as soon as possible. It is very important to know the measures that can be taken to prevent Lyme disease, as well as the different symptoms of Lyme disease and what treatments are available.