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6 posts tagged with "what-is"

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· 3 min read

Part of the "What is...?" series

We commonly associate whiplash injuries with car accidents or collisions, but whiplash can occur any time your head moves suddenly, such as a fall where the head is jolted backwards, or as an sporting injury in a contact sport like rugby.

Unlike more serious injuries, like a fracture, the pain of whiplash may not develop for a day or two after the initial injury. But the pain that develops from it can be debilitating, because it often causes severe stiffness, spasms, neck pain and headaches.

· 4 min read

Part of the "What is...?" series

Osteoporosis is often known as the "bone thinning" disease that strikes in old age - but is this an accurate description? And is it an inevitable problem in old age or are there steps for you to take right now that will make a difference?

Osteoporosis is not a painful condition, but it does make bone fracture more likely. If a bone fracture occurs in a major bone (like the hip) in an elderly or vulnerable patient then this can lead to complications. The most serious of these is blood clots, which can go on to cause heart attacks, strokes and pulmonary embolism.

· 4 min read

Part of the "What is...?" series

In a previous blog post, we talked about the two different types of arthritis - osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthropathies (a.k.a. rheumatic diseases). This post will concentrate on inflammatory arthropathies, the most common of which is rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RA is a type of autoimmune disease - the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints, thinking it is a foreign substance. This causes the joint to become red, hot, swollen and stiff. The symptoms are particularly worse if you've been sleeping or had a period of inactivity. You can also get "flare-ups" where the symptoms become particularly severe. It often runs in families, and is more common in women and in the over 50s. It can sometimes have effects in other areas of the body, such as the eyes, heart and lungs. It's also common to get other symptoms like fatigue and poor appetite. No-one knows why the immune system starts to behave this way, and the only known risk factor is smoking.

· 3 min read

Part of the "What is...?" series

Axial spondyloarthritis (AxSpA) is a long-term condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed.

The symptoms of AxSpA can vary but usually involve:

  • Back pain and stiffness that improves with exercise and isn't relieved by rest
  • Pain and swelling in other parts of the body, such as the hips, knees and ribs
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)

These symptoms tend to develop gradually, usually over several months or years, and may come and go over time.