Can Allergies Affect Joint Pain?
If you suffer from allergies, you likely know the toll they can take on your sinuses. But what about the rest of your body? Can allergies affect joint pain? Believe it or not, allergies, whether seasonal or food-related, can affect joint pain. Allergy symptoms appear for a variety of reasons, but some symptoms — like joint pain — may occur because of the humidity and rapid temperature changes that accompany the spring season.
During allergy season, many individuals experience a spike in allergy symptoms, particularly when there is a high pollen count. Some individuals will have mild symptoms like a stuffy nose and sneezing.
Others, on the other hand, can experience pain in their neck, back and joints. Joint pain is widespread. A national survey showed one-third of adults claimed to have experienced joint pain within the previous 30 days.
A common allergy is called have allergic rhinitis, known as hay fever, making allergies a common chronic disease. A chronic disease is one that lasts over a long period or occurs frequently.
An allergy occurs when your immune system identifies a certain substance and overreacts to it. Substances that lead to an allergic reaction are known as “allergens.” When you have allergies, your immune system makes the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody, which response to allergens. The allergic reaction results in symptoms.
Think of it as a result of “mistaken identity.” The allergen gets into your body, and your immune system wrongly identifies it as a dangerous substance. It then responds by making antibodies that attack the allergen. These antibodies are of the IgE class.
Types of Allergies
Two main types of allergies are:
Food allergies: A food allergy occurs when your immune system mistakenly overreacts to a non-dangerous food protein (an allergen). Common food allergens in the U.S. are soy, egg, milk, fish, shellfish, wheat, peanut and tree nuts.
Seasonal allergies: These are your immune system’s response to pollen grains — plant sperm cells that float each spring in the air. By misinterpreting pollen as a health threat, your body starts triggering an inflammatory response, resulting in irritating symptoms like a runny nose and itchy eyes.
Symptoms of Allergies
The allergy you have will determine the symptoms you experience. Symptoms may include:
Swelling of your eyes, face and lips
Persistent cough or wheezing
Watery, red and itchy eyes
Tightness of your throat and swelling of your tongue
Vomiting and diarrhoea
Because these symptoms can also occur with numerous other medical conditions, don’t self-diagnose. It’s essential that you make an appointment with your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.
How Allergies Can Cause Joint Pain
Allergic reactions come in various forms, including some that can lead to joint pain. Here are some of the ways allergies bring about joint pain:
2. Serum Sickness
3. Insect Stings
4. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
However, there’s still the question about the link between seasonal allergies and joint pain. Here are some reasons:
Seasonal allergies often develop in the same way colds do, in that they’re characterized by itchy eyes, sore throats and running noses. But you may not recognize the difference between seasonal allergies and colds, since both manifest with joint pain. Therefore, you might directly link joint pain with seasonal allergies or colds until you take other symptoms into consideration.
When you have joint pain and a fever, it’s a sure sign of a cold. But when the joint pain develops along with a running nose, itching of the eyes and throat or sneezing, this indicates allergies.
Rarely do individuals link joint pain with allergies. However, when allergies bring on inflammation, the joint pain that follows is inevitable. The increased inflammation seasonal allergies bring on is due to your antibodies fighting the foreign allergens that cause the allergy. Your throat, nose and eyes experience inflammation as your immune system fights to ward off the allergens. Your body becomes exhausted from the pressure exerted on your immune system, and this could be what’s causing your joint pain.
3. Climate Changes
Joint pain can also develop because of changes in the climate from season to season — cold and damp climates, for example. Seasonal allergies, in this case, could indirectly cause joint pain. Seasonal allergies are generally heightened during winter.
Tips to Manage Allergies and Joint Pain
Here are some tips to help you manage allergies and the joint pain that often follows:
1. Rule Out Other Conditions
The first thing you should do is rule out any other underlying medical condition. If you believe your chronic joint pain is indeed allergy-related, speak with your doctor about treatment options that can alleviate your symptoms.
2. Eliminate Food Culprits
Eliminating substances and foods you’re allergic to is an effective way of reducing your allergy-related joint pain. Some symptoms of allergies don’t develop right away and could develop a day after you’ve eaten a certain food. Pinpointing the food that caused your joint pain can be difficult. For instance, if you have allergies to wheat, by the time your body absorbs the proteins, it could be hours before your joints become painful and inflamed.
Figuring out which foods you’re allergic to is the best treatment option and allergy-related joint pain preventive measure to take. Allergy tests and an elimination diet can help you figure out the foods you’re allergic to. A food elimination diet works by eliminating a certain food for several weeks and then re-introducing it to your body again to see if you react.
Allergy tests include blood and skin tests. A skin test uses small amounts of various food proteins the doctor injects under your top skin layer. After around 20 to 40 minutes, if you’re allergic to that food, you will likely develop a reaction. A blood test uses a sample of your blood to test for IgE antibodies.
3. Avoid Allergy Triggers
One essential thing you can do when you suffering from allergies is to figure out what the triggers are. While some individuals often blame a single trigger, it’s possible there could be more than one. It’s not uncommon for individuals suffering from spring allergies to experience symptoms all year round.
4. Physical Therapy
A physical therapist can work with you to strengthen the muscles around your joint to improve the range of motion and stabilize your joint. They may show you different exercises you can work on at home or ones you can do in their office. They’ll often use techniques like cold or heat therapy, ultrasound, manipulation and electrical nerve stimulation.
5. Home Care
You can alleviate joint pain over the short term with a few easy methods at home. One technique, PRICE, is especially effective. It goes like this:
Protect your joint with a wrap or brace.
Rest your joint and avoid any pain-causing activities.
Ice your joint for around 15 minutes a few times daily.
Compress your joint with an elastic wrap.
Elevate your joint to above heart level.
6. Ice and Heating Pad
Apply ice to your painful joints to help relieve inflammation and pain. If you experience muscle spasms around your joints, you can use a wrap or heating pad a few times a day. Your doctor might suggest that you tape or splint your joint to reduce pain or movement, but avoid keeping your joint too still for too long, as it could eventually become stiff and lose function.
7. Air Purifiers
You may find relief for airborne allergens through air purifiers, humidifiers, conditioners and filters. This helps filter the air you breathe so you’re not exposed to allergens as regularly.
If you have any questions or want information on managing your orthopaedic issues don’t hesitate to contact us.
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Near Steel Factory Bus Stop,
DoddaBanaswadi Main Road,
Bengaluru-560043 Phone: 080-4370 1281 Mobile: 9591618833