Nobody is prepared for the full effects of arthritis, but they do know what to expect: progressive joint stiffness and pain. Most people are unaware of the impact arthritis has on the brain. The structure and function of the brain are directly affected by arthritis. You can slow or even prevent brain changes by taking proactive measures to relieve pain.
Our team of experts at Florida Medical Pain Management provides comprehensive management using advanced interventional and Regenerative Medicine therapy to effectively ease your arthritis pain. We explore the three ways that arthritis can affect your mental and emotional health.
Chronic pain can affect your brain
Chronic pain, whether it’s from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can have a profound effect on the brain, affecting its structure and functionality.
The gray matter in the brain (which is densely packed with cell bodies of nerves) decreases over time, and this affects nerve communication. Nerves become hypersensitive, and they start to perceive all stimuli as painful (such as pressure, temperature, or touch), even when they are not.
These brain regions are involved in many different functions. You may experience changes such as difficulty regulating your emotions (having anger outbursts), memory loss, and trouble making decisions.
These brain changes continue to worsen chronic pain as you age and can also lead to other health issues. It’s important to explore the options available for pain relief.
Brain fog disrupts productivity
When you have trouble putting your thoughts together, it is called brain fog. You might have trouble concentrating or have a difficult time thinking clearly. You may feel that your memory is slipping or that learning is more difficult.
Pain can cause changes in the brain that lead to brain fog. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory arthritis, your brain fog is more likely to be a problem.
Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation in your brain. Inflammatory substances can cause gray matter to shrink and nerve pathways to be affected.
Mental health disorders develop
The likelihood of depression and anxiety in people with arthritis is up to ten times higher than for adults without the disease. Living with chronic pain or joint inflammation increases the risk of mental disorders.
Depression and pain are inseparable. Depression can cause chronic pain, and chronic pain can also cause depression. This spiraling downward of pain is caused by depression, which is closely linked to body-wide inflammation.
Your body releases cortisol when you are anxious due to your pain or the limitations of your arthritic joint.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that has negative effects on your health, including your brain. High levels of cortisol physically alter your brain, affecting your thinking, memory, and concentration, and increasing your risk for dementia.
Get advanced treatment for arthritis as soon as possible
If you suffer from arthritis, you may be taking medication, undergoing physical therapy, and trying to keep your joints mobile. If you find that these conservative measures are not enough to relieve your pain, do not give up.
You are at risk of brain changes if you continue to live with pain. You owe it to yourself to explore our therapies.
We offer many treatments that most doctors don’t. Others, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, promote healing within the joint.
We can help improve your quality of life. Contact the nearest Florida Medical Pain Management office or book an appointment today.
A medical professional wrote this article at Florida Medical Pain Management. Florida Medical Pain Management is proud to offer comprehensive pain management services to a diverse group of patients. Patients at Florida Medical Pain Management can get help managing hip, knee, leg, and neck pain. The practice also offers comprehensive arthritis management, along with treatments for auto accidents, sports, and work injuries as well as PRP Treatment St Petersburg FL.