December 2016

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Subscribers Only — While they can be very effective, biologics have some drawbacks. Most of them must be taken by injection or intravenous infusion, and there are potential side effects, some of which can be serious. “In most cases, the benefits will outweigh the risks,” says Dr. Bunyard. But it may take some trial and error to find the right drug or combination of drugs that leads to remission or low disease activity without any unacceptable side effects.If you are on a regimen of drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and are still experiencing pain or dysfunction, it may be time to make a change. But Dr. Bunyard notes that increased pain and dysfunction may also stem from a different cause.   More...

Vitamin K; Plantar Fasciitis

Subscribers Only — Vitamin K is an essential nutrient for the body, playing a role in both blood clotting and healthy bones. It comes in two forms. Vitamin K1 (also called phylloquinone) is found in green leafy vegetables. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of foot pain, especially near the heel. It is named after the structure that’s affected.   More...

Arthritis Advisor 2016 Topic Index

Six New Year’s Resolutions for Pain Relief (Jan, 1) Understanding Fibromyalgia’s Chronic Influence (Jan, 4) Laughter: The Best Medicine (Jan, 6) Consistent PT Combats Knee OA Pain—Physically and Financially (Feb, 2) Acupuncture’s Benefits (Feb, 8) X-rays Unreliable for Hip OA Diagnosis (Mar, 2) Hand Arthritis (Mar, 8)   More...

Road to Remission

Subscribers Only — Of the more than 100 types of arthritis, two account for the majority of cases—osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While both conditions produce joint pain, the causes differ. And only rheumatoid arthritis has disease-modifying treatment. While there is still no cure, many people can achieve a state of remission or at least low disease activity. Remission from a chronic disease essentially means the absence of signs and symptoms. For rheumatoid arthritis, there are specific criteria for defining the states of remission, low-disease activity, moderate disease activity and high disease activity.   More...

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep with Arthritis Pain

The most important strategy for getting good quality sleep is to develop good sleep habits. Many people know this and may believe they follow them. “When I talk to patients about their lifestyle, I find that for most people sleep habits are not as good as they think,” says Dr. Dews. She advises going over the following checklist and making sure you are actually doing them.   More...

Relief for Neck Pain

Subscribers Only — If arthritic changes in your upper spine are giving you a pain in the neck, Cleveland Clinic physical therapist Jim Edwards DPT, PT has some advice. Degeneration of the cushioning disks between vertebrae in the spine is common with age. Some people have no noticeable symptoms, but for others arthritis causes pain, stiffness and muscle weakness.   More...

In the News: December 2016

Subscribers Only — The supplements glucosamine and chondroitin have been put to the test in several studies for their ability to relieve pain and possibly preserve cartilage in people with osteoarthritis. Knee pain is a common complaint in people over age 40. To diagnose the cause, physicians may use imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and weight-bearing X-rays. A program of physical therapy is standard after joint replacement surgery to facilitate the return to normal physical function. Biologic drugs are standard treatment for many people with rheumatoid arthritis. Because these drugs are derived from living cells, it has not been possible to create traditional generic versions of them, even after the patents have run out.   More...

Troubleshooting Shoulder Pain

If shoulder pain makes it difficult to carry out everyday tasks, like reaching for something above your head or putting on a belt, or you feel continuous weakness in your shoulder, you should get it checked out. There are several possible causes of shoulder pain, weakness and stiffness. Before discussing them further, it’s helpful to understand how the shoulder works.   More...