Lupus tendinitis (lupus tendonitis), lupus tenosynovitis, and lupus enthesitis: What are they?
What is lupus tendinitis (also spelled lupus tendonitis)?
Lupus tendinitis (lupus tendonitis) and tenosynovitis are common in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The tendons are sinewy, inelastic fibrous tissue that connects the muscles to the bones. When muscles contract to move parts of the body, these strong tendons enable the muscles to move the much stronger bones. The movement of these tendons in unison with the body’s muscles and joints allows us to move. To demonstrate tendons to yourself, place your left fingers on the front bend of your right elbow. Then, bend your right elbow. The muscle just above this is your biceps. The hard, long structures just below the biceps that connect to the bone below the bend are the biceps tendons. If these were to become inflamed and painful, this would be “biceps tendonitis.”
Just as lupus can cause inflammation of the joints, it can also cause inflammation of the tendons (lupus tendonitis or lupus tendonitis). Tendonitis usually causes pain around and between the joints of the body. The joint pains seen in SLE are commonly due to lupus tendonitis (lupus tendonitis) rather than arthritis. One Japanese study in 2017 showed that 94% of their SLE patients with joint pains had tendon involvement (tendonitis and tenosynovitis), while 80% had joint (arthritis) involvement. Many patients had a combination of both.
The photo above shows the hands of Dr. Thomas' patients with severe damage to her tendons from lupus tendinitis and lupus tenosynovitis. We call this "Jaccoud's arthropathy." Jaccoud's arthropathy was first seen in people affected by rheumatic fever. Today, SLE is the most common cause.
Make sure to read my "Lupus Secrets" to learn to take care of and prevent problems such as lupus tendinitis.
Concise, practical video from the Sjogren's Foundation
In this short video you will find out:
- the causes of fatigue in autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren's. It also applies to systemic lupus erythematosus
- the different types of fatigue
- practical advice on how to approach and treat fatigue
- Download my free Fatigue Management and Sleep Hygiene Handouts here:
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A Johns Hopkins Lupus Clinic study suggests so...
Sunspots related to lupus activity? Are the Johns Hopkins doctors crazy?
- They are not crazy. I know George Stojan, MD and Dr. Michelle Petri, MD well. They are two of the smartest lupologists in the world.
- Previous research in Germany suggested health changes related to magnetic storms and sunspots (specifically while studying heart attacks by Halberg F, et al.)
- The Lupus Clinic at Johns Hopkins compared disease activity in their center from 1996 to 2020 and compared it to solar cycles, sunspots, and geometric disturbances.
- They found that increased sunspots (called solar maximum in the solar cycle) was followed by lower disease activity on average in their patients.
- Increased geomagnetic activity was also associated with lower disease activity.
- This is another study suggesting how important our environment is regarding lupus.
When will there be milder lupus activity as predicted by sunspots?
- Of course, this is all hypothetical, and this research needs to be reproduced.
- If it is correct, our most recent time of fewer sunspots was DEC 2019 (the least solar activity in 100 years)
- NASA predicts that solar maximum will occur in July 2025 with 115 sunspots (179 is the average)
- The previous solar maximum was in APR 2014 with 114 sunspots. Since Dr. Stojan's research included that sun cycle, this upcoming cycle should be similar.
- Therefore, SLE patients may look forward to the Fall and Winter, Northern Hemisphere (this was a Northern Hemisphere study) of 2025 as a period of having milder lupus attacks.
Note... this is all very interesting, but I would not put my money on it until further research is done
Stojan G, Giammarino F, Petri M. Systemic lupus Erythematosus and geomagnetic disturbances: a time series analysis. Environ Health. 2021 Mar 16;20(1):28. doi: 10.1186/s12940-021-00692-4. PMID: 33722240; PMCID: PMC7962208.
Halberg F, Cornélissen G, Otsuka K, Watanabe Y, Katinas GS, Burioka N, Delyukov A, Gorgo Y, Zhao Z, Weydahl A, Sothern RB, Siegelova J, Fiser B, Dusek J, Syutkina EV, Perfetto F, Tarquini R, Singh RB, Rhees B, Lofstrom D, Lofstrom P, Johnson PW, Schwartzkopff O, the International BIOCOS Study Group. Cross-spectrally coherent ~10.5- and 21-year biological and physical cycles, magnetic storms and myocardial infarctions*. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2000;21(3):233-258. PMID: 11455355.
NASA: What Will Solar Cycle 25 Look Like?
The Science of how Stress affects the Immune System
Note that Dr. Thomas' posts are for informational purposes only, and are not meant to be specific medical advice for individuals. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions regarding your own medical situation.
DONALD THOMAS, MD