Arthritis, Anxiety and Apnea Connections

Fully 1/3 of people with arthritis were found to have symptoms of  anxiety or depression in this study. Overall, 31% of participants with arthritis had anxiety, and 18% had depression. The authors explain that people living with arthritis may be worried about their livelihood or their ability to perform at their job might be stressful.

Here’s another possible explanation: Having obstructive sleep apnea is known to cause systemic inflammation, including inside the joints. A recent study published in Sleep Medicine showed that heavy snorers had double the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis later in life. Furthermore, poor sleep in general can also worsen rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve even had a handful of patients that stated that their severe rheumatoid arthritis resolved completely after starting CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea. 

Did your arthritis ever improve after starting treatment for obstructive sleep apnea?

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2 thoughts on “Arthritis, Anxiety and Apnea Connections

  1. This is an interesting, thought provoking article. I had several joint problems that resolved themselves after being treated for OSA. I had a stiff ankle from an old ankle sprain injury, a stiff, sore back from a back sprain and carpal tunnel wrist problems. These ongoing health problems perplexed me because I was in my early 30s and appeared relatively healthy. Oftentimes, I felt like I was an old lady! I’m glad I was finally diagnosed with OSA and properly treated.