The ailment arthritis is known since medieval times to mankind. The disease is present in two forms, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is generally a disease that develops with growing age while rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, more common from adolescent to mid thirties. Pain, stiffness, swelling and difficult movement are the main features of arthritis. The ailment usually affects major joints which include hip, knee, fingers, hands, elbow etc.
Arthritis in chest is not common, but when it occurs it is debilitating, simple coughing, laughing, or sneezing can be agonizing.In arthritis of chest the rib cage is affected. Arthritis in chest may be particularly confusing. This is because there are many other lung and heart diseases that may present with similar symptom of chest pain.
Aside from the prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines there’s a lot you can do at your home to get relief from arthritis chest pain.
What Causes Arthritis In The Chest?
Both men and women can suffer from arthritis pain in chest. Osteoarthritis of ribs occurs with aging, similar to other osteoarthritis of joints. Each rib is attached to the joint of breast bone in front and spine at the back.Osteoarthritis is also known as wear and tear arthritis. Each rib is covered with a cartilage, a type of tissue which protects the bone.
In this ailment the cartilage covering the rib is damaged and calcium deposits in these joints leading to bone spurs. The nerve that passes from these joints is compressed by the bony growth called bone spurs. Compression of nerves emanates pain which may sometimes mimic heart pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disorder which causes inflammation of rib joint if chest is affected. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown.Even though bacteria, viruses have been suspected to cause RA, it is not proved. It is also suspected that infections, environmental conditions may trigger the immune system to react to its own body tissue leading to inflammation of joints. Environmental factors also play a role in development of rheumatoid arthritis. Tobacco smoking, exposure to asbestos and silica, dental diseases etc is the risk factor.
Symptoms Of Arthritis In Chest
Arthritis in chest can produce pain in rib joints. Majority of times it appears similar to heart pain. Here are few important symptoms:
- Pain in chest while breathing.
- Shortness of breath.
- Patient has to hold his chest while breathing.
- Even mild cough, sneezing or laughing may produce pain in chest.
- Restricted chest movement due to associated pain.
- Early morning chest pain.
- Patient finds difficulty in doing his daily routine activity.
- Often mild fever is present.
- Fatigue is also present.
- Other body joints are also affected.
- Poor appetite.
- Exercising becomes difficult.
Home Remedies For Arthritis Pain Relief
Arthritis of chest is not as common as arthritis of other joints. The main aim of treatment is to reduce the suffering and make the patient able to perform his daily task.
- Applying hot compresses over the chest alleviates pain.
- A gentle massage over the chest helps to relieve pain and swelling in the arthritis joint. Take few drops of mustard oil in your palm and massage it over the painful area. Mustard oil has properties to relieve arthritic pain.
- Reduce stress as it is known to aggravate the symptoms of arthritis.
- Mild exercise, eating nutritious diet and eight hour sleep is proved beneficial in relieving pain and stiffness in arthritis of chest.
- Intake of carrot juice, celery juice, and cabbage juice is known to bring relief in debilitating pain and stiffness of chest caused as a result of arthritis.
- Supplements of glucosamine have been used to fight symptoms of osteoarthritis. Most of the glucosamine is found in outer shell of lobster, shrimps and other crustacean animals. If the outer shell is hard to eat, grind it into fine powder and add it to soups, pastas, stews etc.
- Studies have shown that one teaspoon of cod liver oil may help to alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis by providing substantial amount of vitamin D and A. Since vitamin A and D in excess is harmful, consult your doctor before consuming fish oil.