Lupus Site - a guide for lupus patients and their families





Arthralgia is joint pain, arthritis is joint inflammation.  Joint pain is the commonest symptom in SLE.

True swelling of the joints (arthritis) is only seen in about 40% of lupus sufferers, with the commonest joints involved being the fingers, wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, & shoulders. The spine & hips aren't usually involved in lupus, if hip pain does occur, it is more likely to be due to a condition called aseptic necrosis (death of tissue without infection).

Lupus arthritis doesn't affect the spine or neck. Lupus arthritis joint pain comes & goes, & there is often pain & stiffness in the morning. Arthritis in lupus doesn't cause destruction to the joint, as rheumatoid arthritis does. In people with lupus arthritis, x-rays are usually normal.

It is normally treated with NSAIDs, & antimalarials (Plaquenil). It is important to rest joints when inflamed & during flares.




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