Joint Injury and Disease Information, Treatment and Pain Relief
 

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Treating and Managing Still's Disease

Your prognosis depends on prompt treatment with antibiotics and drainage of the infected joint. About 70% of patients recover without permanent joint damage. However, many people can develop osteoarthritis or deformed joints. Children with infected hip joints sometimes suffer damage to the growth plate.

Can it be cured or prevented?

Still’s disease is a disease with no known cause. As the cause of Still’s disease is unknown, there is no real way to prevent Still’s disease from occurring.

What about diet?

Treating Still's Disease starts with easy healthy eating.

A balanced diet is essential. Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods to get the proper nutrients. Good nutrition will help fight the effects of Still’s disease. Important nutrients include protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Eating all types of foods is good as the weekly intake is balanced and varied.

For children, your doctor or pediatrician may recommend emphasis on Vitamin D and calcium in your child’s diet. These can help to control bone loss associated with steroid injection treatment or inactivity.

Both Vitamin C and Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to help reduce inflammation.

Foods rich in Vitamin C include: citrus fruits (oranges, limes, grapefruit), cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include: flaxseed oil, and coldwater fish such as sardines, anchovies, salmon, mackerel, and herring.

Adopting a "good-health attitude" and healthy habits, such as eating a nutritious diet (low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt and high in fiber and complex carbohydrates - whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables), maintaining a healthy weight, and getting enough sleep will enable the sufferer to stay active and manage pain.

Can it be treated in adults?

Still's is a manageable disease.

There's no cure for adult Still's disease; however, treatment may offer symptom relief for adult Still's disease and help prevent complications. Treatment of the disease is targeted at specific areas of inflammation, which tend to be different for each patient.

Still’s disease in adults can be treated and managed with the following methods:

  • Rest. Rest is very important for the patient with Still’s disease. By planning activities and rest times to avoid physical or emotional stress, it is possible to reduce the risk of flares. To avoid overwork, it is helpful to intersperse rest days with workdays. Daily activities should also be carefully planned to allow enough time for rest in between.
  • Exercise. Exercise is an important activities in managing adult Still’s disease. Exercise helps keep joints moving and reduces pain. Activities such as swimming, walking and cross-country skiing don’t put added strain on your joints. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates are good activities to participate in too.
  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to do daily. Range of motion exercises reduce stiffness and help keep your joints moving. As well, a therapist can provide pain relief through movement and massage.
  • Cold therapy.
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    Cold compression wraps interrupt pain signals and reduce inflammation. Arthritis immobilizes your joints by inducing swelling in the surrounding tissue. The deep cold provided by cold compression wraps slows this process. Cold wraps numb the nerves to reduce the pain. In the early stage of your flare-up, controlling inflammation is extremely important, especially because inflammation also strains the surrounding tissue causing more pain and damage.
  • If you don't have a cold compression wrap for managing your arthritis pain, an important and safe treatment method is being ignored. Our MendMeShop store contains a wide selection of cold compression wraps.

    Combine heat therapy. Heat applied to an arthritic area can help relax aching muscles, and reduce pain and soreness. Applying a hot pack is a great way to help reduce pain and stiffness in the morning. Heat should not be applied to an already inflamed joint since this could make symptoms worse.

  • Ultrasound therapy.
    Joint pain can be relieved with ultrasound, naturally healing the body.
    Ultrasound therapy is a great option to decrease inflammation, pain, tension and soft tissue damage experienced with Still’s. You can administer your own therapy using a portable, home ultrasound device. The treatment is easy, painless, safe, and generally requires between 5 - 10 minutes. It is based on a form of deep tissue therapy, which is generated through high frequency sound waves (that we can not hear). These waves send vibrations deep into your body and raise the temperature of your soft tissue. The waves are delivered through a hand held transducer and medicinal conductive gel that are used together in a slow, circular motion on your skin over the affected area. You may experience a slight tingling or warm sensation during the process as a result of the gel; this enhances the therapeutic effects of ultrasound (phonophoresis). You deserve specialized, professional care. Get your own ultrasound kit from MendMeShop.
  • Relieve Still's Disease joint pain with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy/
    Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy. When your joint is inflamed, it needs the blood flow to promote recovery. Since you can't work your swollen joint without excruciating pain, you need to stimulate the blood flow another way. A very effective way of doing this is with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy. The Inferno Wraps energy penetrates the body. As it is absorbed it stimulates blood flow and warms the inner tissue. It is perfectly safe, natural, and very effective.
  • NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), such as Indocin, Naproxen, Feldene, and Clinoril. NSAIDs reduce pain when taken at a low dose, and relieve inflammation when taken at a higher dose. Taking more than one NSAID at a time increases the possibility of side effects, particularly liver damage or stomach problems such as heartburn, ulcers and bleeding.
  • Glucocorticoids. If you have fever spikes, severe joint symptoms, or complications with your internal organs, you might require glucocorticoids, such as prednisone. Glucocorticoids help subdue your body's immune response. While glucocorticoids are often a successful treatment for adult Still's disease, these drugs may lower your body's resistance to infections and increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Methotrexate. The medication methotrexate (Rheumatrex) has been used successfully in a small series of patients to treat ASD. It may also be used as a "steroid-sparing agent," meaning that if you take methotrexate, smaller doses of corticosteroids may be able to control your disease. Corticosteroids. Cortisone is a steroid that reduces inflammation and swelling. An injection can provide almost immediate relief for a tender, swollen, and inflamed joint. However, this treatment can only be used periodically because excess corticosteroids can weaken the cartilage and bone.
  • TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) blockers, such as Humira, Enbrel, and Remicade. These drugs block specific hormones which are involved in the inflammatory process. TNF drugs work quickly to ease inflammation and can be used in combination with other medications. TNF drugs work by suppressing your immune system which can make it slightly harder for you to fight off infections. Side effects include mild skin reactions at the injection site, headaches or dizziness, colds or sinus infections, and nausea or diarrhea.
  • Hydroxychloroquine. This is an antimalarial drug, sold under the trade name Plaquenilฎ, also used to reduce inflammation in the treatment of some forms of arthritis. With arthritis, the benefits will take several weeks to occur. Hydroxychloroquine is not safe for the treatment of juvenile arthritis.
  • DMARDs (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs), such as Leflunomide (sold under the brand name Aravaฎ) are often prescribed to relieve treatment of active moderate to severe Still’s disease to reduce signs and symptoms, inhibit structural damage, and to improve physical function. Arava is not approved for juvenile arthritis.
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Even with treatment, it's difficult to predict the course of adult Still's disease. Some people might only experience a single episode, while for others adult Still's disease may develop into a chronic condition. Generally, people with the disorder fall into each of the following groups:

  • Recovery. In some cases, the signs and symptoms disappear within one year and do not recur.
  • Occasional flare-ups. People with this form of the condition experience unpredictable eruptions of their signs and symptoms but feel normal between episodes.
  • Chronic arthritis. The chronic form of adult Still's disease may last for years and cause debilitating arthritis. Fortunately, up to 25 percent of the people with chronic adult Still's disease eventually improve.

Can children’s Still’s Disease be treated?

Please see our Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis pages for detailed information.

Flares that last a long time can interfere with growth, although the growth usually improves as the child's condition improves.

How do I cope with this disease?

The degree to which Still’s disease affects your daily activities depends in part on how well you cope with the disease. Talk to your health professional about coping strategies. In time you'll find what strategies work for you. In the meantime, try to:

  • Keep a positive attitude. With your doctor, make a plan for managing your arthritis. This will help you feel in charge of your disease. Studies show that people who take control of their treatment and actively manage their arthritis experience less pain and make fewer visits to the doctor.
  • Know your limits. Rest when you're tired. Still’s disease can make you prone to fatigue and muscle weakness. A rest or short nap that doesn't interfere with nighttime sleep may help.
  • Connect with others.
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    Keep your family aware of how you're feeling, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Connect with other people who have Still’s disease — through a support group in your community or online. Other people with the disease can offer unique support during these times.
  • Take time for yourself. It's easy to get busy and not take time for yourself. Find time for what you like, whether it's time to write in a journal, go for a walk, or listen to music. Use this time to relieve stress and reflect on your feelings.
  • Relax. Developing good relaxation and coping skills can give you a greater feeling of control over your arthritis and a more positive outlook. Try deep breathing exercises. Listen to music or relaxation tapes.

Although there's no cure for adult Still’s disease, with proper treatment, a strategy for joint protection and changes in lifestyle, you can live a long, productive life. While the course of Still’s disease varies from person to person, most people do well and continue to live normal but sometimes modified lives.

How can my child and our family cope with this disease?

The attitude and emotional response of your child and your family are extremely important. Some joints may be damaged because of inflammation, but an exercise program and the use of splints can help to prevent deformities. It may take time to notice the benefits of therapy. Persistence with the suggested treatment and a positive attitude from you and your child are the keys to success.

Please see our Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis pages for detailed information.



Do you have more questions?

If you have any questions regarding our therapeutic products and your treatment options, please contact a MendMeShop Advisor for assistance. You can be assured all your questions will be answered in a thorough and courteous manner by our trained staff.

Within Continental US and Canada call toll 1-866-237-9608

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