Other conditions

Behçet’s syndrome

A very rare condition affecting only about 2000 people in the UK. This disease causes mouth ulcers, genital ulcers and eye inflammation. The condition is usually treated by immuno-suppressant drugs that reduce the inflammation that causes these symptoms. Find out more via the Arthritis UK information page.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

This is a condition where one of the nerves supplying the hand is compressed as it passes through the wrist. This can cause aching, tingling and numbness in parts of the hand. It generally affects women more than men, and is more common in middle aged and older people. Treatments include wrist splints, steroid injection and surgery to reduce the nerve compression. Find out more via the Arthritis UK information page.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

This is a condition that causes persistent pain in a limb, usually following an injury of some kind. Anyone can be affected at any age, and it usually involves the hand and wrist, foot and ankle, knee, or sometimes the whole limb. Treatments include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and pain management using medications. Find out more via the Arthritis UK information page.

Osteomalacia

Osteomalacia means “soft bones” and is usually caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Symptoms include bone pain, muscle weakness and partial bone fractures. Treatment normally involves supplementing your vitamin D intake and taking painkillers if required. Find out more via the Arthritis UK information page.

Paget’s disease of the bone

Paget’s disease disrupts the on-going process of repair and renewal of bone. Bone cells increase in number and are more active. The new bone is abnormal in shape and weaker in structure. Over time, bone deformities can lead to joint damage. The most commonly affected bones are thighs, shins, pelvis, spine and skull. Treatment is usually with a group of drugs called bisphosphonates (also used in the treatment of osteoporosis). Painkillers and anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) may also be used, as well as physiotherapy. Find out more via the Arthritis UK information page.

Polymysositis and dermatomyositis

Polymysositis means inflammation of many muscles. If this is associated with a skin rash, then it is called dermatomyositis. The symptoms include muscle weakness and pain, generally feeling unwell, weight loss and night sweats. In dermatomyositis, you may also have a pink rash on the face, backs of hands and fingers, with associated puffiness of these areas. These conditions are normally treated with steroids, which work by reducing inflammation. In difficult cases, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may be used, such as methotrexate or azathioprine. Very severe cases may require immunoglobulin infusions. Find out more via the Arthritis UK information page.

Raynaud’s phenomenon

This condition causes reduced blood supply to the fingers and toes resulting in pain and discomfort and colour change. This can be brought on by the cold, or by a stressful situation. Drug treatments use a group of drugs that open up the blood vessels, such as nifedipine or amlodipine. Keeping hands and feet warm also helps, and people with Raynaud’s shouldn’t smoke cigarettes as this can reduce circulation further. Find out more via the Arthritis UK information page.

Last updated: October 3, 2017