There are some potential connections between pericarditis and arthritis
, but this largely depends on the type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis in the general population, is the result of mechanical destruction of the joints gradually over time (i.e., "wear and tear"). Rheumatoid arthritis, or arthritis secondary to diseases such as lupus are autoimmune in nature, meaning that the body's own immune system causes inflammation and destruction of the joints.
In this latter case, in autoimmune disease, sometimes the lining of organs can become inflamed as well, leading to a condition of pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart). Pericarditis manifests as chest pain that is often positional in nature (worse with lying flat). In the case of pericarditis associated with autoimmune syndromes, suppression of the immune system and inflammatory response usually helps resolve the symptoms.
In the case of osteoarthritis, there is no clear predisposition to developing pericarditis and the two conditions are not generally thought of as being linked together. If you are worried about either arthritis or pericarditis, you should talk to your primary care physician
. He or she can conduct a thorough medical history and physical exam and should be able to answer all of your questions and concerns.