S.L.E. Lupus Foundation - Leading the Fight Against Lupus

October 2007

October is Lupus Awareness Month
Learn About Lupus, Get into the Loop!
For more than 35 years, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation has been providing help for people with lupus and their families, funding lupus research and fostering public awareness of this chronic illness.

What You Should Know About Lupus
Get into the Loop!

This Lupus Awareness Month, we encourage you to team up with the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and Lupus LA to spread public awareness of this often misdiagnosed and misunderstood disease.

Each Monday in October, we will send you an email featuring important information about lupus, focusing on a different topic each week.

Please forward these emails to your friends and family members to help them learn more about lupus.

WEEK 2: Easing Joint and Muscle Pain

For many people, joint pain and stiffness are the first symptoms of lupus, or a sign that a flare is coming on. Joints in the hands, wrists and feet get stiff and painful to move, sometimes so much so that it is hard to get up from a chair or button a shirt. The shoulders, knees and ankles also get stiff sometimes. A doctor called a "rheumatologist" specializes in treating these achy joints ("arthralgias") as well as swollen and painful joints.

Why do people with lupus get pain and stiffness in their joints? When lupus is active, there is inflammation (increased heat, swelling, and pain) throughout the body. As part of this inflammation, a thin lining in certain spaces around the joints grows and thickens. This change in size causes pain and swelling in the joints as well as tendons and special fluid-filled sacs that normally lessen rubbing between body parts. More »

Is this pain and stiffness the same as arthritis? No, since the bones and joints do not (usually) get damaged permanently, as they do with arthritis. More »

Are muscles affected? Two out of three people with lupus at some point complain of muscle aches. Often these aches are between the elbow and neck, or between the knee and the hip. While the aching can be intense, the muscle does not actually weaken, which is good. The muscle can also get inflamed (reddened, warm, swollen), although this is less common. More »

How should pain and stiffness be treated? Some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, may lessen pain and inflammation. Some people get relief by putting heating pads on painful areas or taking warm showers and baths to lessen stiffness. More »

What is the best way to handle a joint that is very stiff, tender, and inflamed? Try resting and lifting up the joint (pillows and blankets are good props) as much as possible. Avoid putting weight on it. Warm showers or baths can lessen stiffness. Stay away from activity that increases pain, tenderness, and swelling or makes your muscles "burn." More »

Is it important to keep joints and muscles healthy? Resting and protecting joints are very important, but exercise keeps the muscles, bones, and tendons that make up the joint as healthy and strong as possible. More »

Are there other kinds of joint problems in lupus? Although much less common, other joint problems are possible, such as damage to the hip joint (possibly leading to severe arthritis), tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and the development of small lumps in the joints of the hands. More »

Haga clic aquí para la información del lupus en español »


7:30 PM - 10:30 PM

Final Days to Buy Tickets!

Tickets are now on sale for the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation's third annual Young Professionals Party on Thursday, October 11th at PM Lounge in New York City. This exciting event unites people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who want to raise awareness and funds for the fight against lupus while making new friends and enjoying a fabulous night out. There are only a few days left to purchase advance tickets!

Order your tickets today »


Click here for the complete list of Lupus Awareness Month activities »

Join Us in the Fight Against Lupus!
S.L.E. Lupus Foundation logo

Take the opportunity this lupus awareness month to become a member of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and help to increase public awareness, provide education, and fund research leading to new treatments and a cure for lupus.

If you live in Southern California and would like to become a member of Lupus LA, email info@lupusla.org to receive a membership form by mail.


Contact Information

phone: 212.685.4118

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