From the April 2014 Issue

How Antidepressants Can Ease Your Aches

If you have chronic pain, don’t be alarmed if your doctor prescribes an antidepressant medication. It has nothing to do with your state of mind and everything to do with easing pain and improving function.

Current Issue

Gaining Knee Strength and Flexibility for the Spring

Did you know the largest joint in your body is the knee? And when the knee becomes creaky and painful from osteoarthritis (OA), it can seem like you’ve lost the spring in your step.

Healthcare Reform and Arthritis

It has been more than three years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—commonly referred to as Obamacare—was signed into law, but questions concerning how it will affect those with chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are as prevalent today as when healthcare reform began.

How Diabetes Affects Your Joints

Diabetes can harm nearly every area of the human body, from the heart and kidneys to the nerves and eyes. Perhaps what’s often overlooked are the effects of diabetes on joint health. For instance, a 2012 study found that the prevalence of arthritis was 44 percent higher among adults with diabetes compared to their non-diabetic counterparts.

How Diabetes Affects Your Joints

Diabetes can harm nearly every area of the human body, from the heart and kidneys to the nerves and eyes. Perhaps what’s often overlooked are the effects of diabetes on joint health. For instance, a 2012 study found that the prevalence of arthritis was 44 percent higher among adults with diabetes compared to their non-diabetic counterparts.

In The News: April 2014

The most common cause of all joint aches and pains is being linked to heart health as well. In a study published in Arthritis Care & Research (Dec. 2013), researchers suggest that patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip or knee—some 10 to 12 percent of the world’s population—are at heightened risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In a large, longitudinal study of more than 40,000 patients, men older than 65 with OA had a 15 percent increased risk for hospitalization for CVD. Additionally, those women in the study older than 65 had a 17 percent increase of CVD risk, and those younger than 65 had a 26 percent increase. While this study was not designed to explain the link between OA and CVD, chronic inflammation, muscle weakness, reduced mobility, and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are common in individuals with OA and are associated with risk factors for CVD.

Mind Over Matter: How Your Brain Controls Your Response to Pain

What if you had the power to “turn down” the pain arthritis causes? While the route to gaining this control may seem accessible only through medication or medical intervention, the truth is your mind offers the most persuasive path to overcoming pain. Just as the entourage in the “Wizard of Oz” discovered that what they most sought after was within them the entire time, so too are the tools to overcoming chronic pain, according to Judith Scheman, PhD, Program Director of the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program and Director of Psychology in the Neurological Center for Pain at Cleveland Clinic.

Ask The Doctors: April 2014

Q: I’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and am about to start treatment with methotrexate. Can I still drink alcohol when taking the medication? A: Methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall™) is one of the most effective and commonly used medications for the treatment of several forms of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. Known as a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD), methotrexate not only decreases the pain and swelling of arthritis, but it can also decrease damage to joints and...

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