The Connection Between Joint Pain and Lyme Arthritis

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What is the Connection Between Joint Pain and Lyme Arthritis?

People who suffer from joint pain can be at risk for a chronic, debilitating condition called Lyme arthritis. Lyme arthritis occurs when bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which is spread by ticks, causes an infection in the joint. It can cause severe pain, swelling, and stiffness in one or more joints. In some cases, it can lead to other medical problems such as heart and nervous system disorders.

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Symptoms of Lyme Arthritis

Symptoms of Lyme arthritis can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms include swelling, warmth, and redness in the affected joint, joint pain, and a low-grade fever. Additional symptoms may include headaches, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, and an overall feeling of poor health. In more advanced cases, the infection can affect more than one joint and cause severe joint pain, deformity, and disability.

Treating Lyme Arthritis

Lyme arthritis is treated with antibiotics, most commonly doxycycline. However, these medications may take several days to weeks to be effective. Patients may also require pain medications for symptom relief. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove infected joints or to replace them with artificial parts.

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Prevention of Lyme Arthritis

It is important to take preventive measures to reduce your risk of developing Lyme arthritis. To protect yourself and your family, take precautions when you are out in wooded or grassy areas, such as wearing long sleeves and pants and using insect repellent. You can also reduce your risk of infection by avoiding contact with ticks, regularly checking your skin, and removing ticks right away if you find one.

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By taking these precautions and recognizing the signs and symptoms of Lyme arthritis, you can keep yourself and your family safe and healthy. If you have ongoing joint pain or suspect that you may have Lyme arthritis, make sure to seek medical attention from your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to getting the best outcome.

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