Inflammatory Arthritis

Can Arthritis Spread?

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If you have been recently diagnosed with arthritis, or have lived with it for some time, you may be unsure as to whether your arthritis may spread from one part of your body to another. 

Arthritis can develop and become worse, spreading from affected areas. However, arthritis is not contagious. 

What is migratory arthritis?

Migratory Arthritis is when arthritis pain spreads from one joint and begins to impact another.

Usually this type of arthritis affects those who live with Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis, although those with other conditions (such as Lupus) may also experience Migratory Arthritis. The way that arthritis spreads depends on the type of inflammation that is occurring.

For example, those who live with Rheumatoid Arthritis experience a breakdown in their joint tissues. This increases the chance/risk of experiencing Migratory Arthritis. The swelling and pain that is experienced at the outside of the joints is affected first and then this can spread and lead to further swelling in other areas of the body. 

What are the symptoms of Migratory Arthritis?

The first thing to look for is pain. If your pain has moved from one joint to another, this may be a sign of Migratory Arthritis. Symptoms of Migratory Arthritis may include redness around swollen joints, a high temperature/a fever, a rash, or changes in your weight. Make sure to check with your GP to get a proper diagnosis. 

How to stop Migratory Arthritis from getting worse

Although arthritis as a condition cannot be cured, there are many different ways to achieve relief from the symptoms it may cause you and/or decrease the chances of it continuing to spread.

  1. Treat the inflammation/pain prior to migration

Through medications, you may be able to reduce and treat the pain and inflammation that you are experiencing. The earlier you treat this pain, the less likely it is to migrate. If you are taking medication for your arthritis, you may find it useful to use a medication tracking tool  like the on in our My Arthritis app

2. Make some key lifestyle changes

There are a few different things that you can impact through lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on your health and arthritis. The first would be to maintain a healthy weight as sometimes being overweight can add pressure onto your joints that already are experiencing pain and inflammation. Hand-in-hand with this, is creating a regular exercise routine. Although it can be difficult to keep active, sticking to low-impact activities such as walking or swimming can be good options to keep your pain at bay. 

3. Speak with your GP

It is always a good idea to keep your doctor in the loop with how you are feeling and the symptoms that you are experiencing. There is no reason to deal with severe pain on your own and speaking with your doctor can help you find more solutions and strategies to try in your health journey.


More tools for managing your arthritis

We hope that this article helped you learn more about arthritis and its ability to spread and what that could mean for you. Please check out the My Arthritis app for courses on Lifestyle and Wellbeing that can help to improve how you feel on a daily basis. 

Download the arthritis management app

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