February 2015

Physical Therapy: An Easy Defense Against Pain

Subscribers Only — A diagnosis of arthritis may make it seem like your world has literally stopped. With a future full of pain, swelling and limited motion, stopping activity may seem like the only option. Yet, the complete opposite is actually the answer to living a healthy life. Research continually points to the benefits of adding exercise as part of a comprehensive plan for arthritis treatment, and a recent study proves it. Reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (Nov. 2014), the two-year study of 206 adults with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) shows that adding either manual or physical therapy (PT) can significantly relieve pain and improve stiffness. Participants received seven weekly therapy sessions and were then instructed to continue prescribed exercises alone, along with three other visits during the study.   More...

‘Revolutionary Drugs’ May Ease Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

If you have inflammatory arthritis, easing your pain may seem out of reach. Yet, for those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a group of drugs called biologic response modifiers, or “biologics,” is making pain relief a powerful reality. Traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), like methotrexate, can help RA patients, but not everyone goes into remission or achieves lesser disease activity from this approach alone, says Cleveland Clinic rheumatologist Linda Mileti, MD. “Biologics have filled what was previously an unmet need for those patients who don’t respond to DMARDs,” she says. “For so many, biologics have revolutionized their lives, to the point where they don’t even feel like they have arthritis.”   More...

Guaranteeing Your Right to Pain Relief

Subscribers Only — Healthcare is expensive, and if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) the price of getting the best medication for your condition may keep relief beyond reach. A prime example is the cost of biologic drugs. While an effective treatment for many with RA, biologic therapies are often categorized as “specialty tier” drugs in many pharmacy benefit plans, requiring patients pay a percentage of the actual cost of the drugs.   More...

Some Moves for Better Bone Health

Subscribers Only — Place a pillow under your abdomen and a rolled towel under your forehead. Squeeze your shoulder blades together; then raise the front part of your chest and upper back. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position, and tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilize your pelvis. Work up to 10 repetitions once a day.   More...

Take Steps to Boost Bone Health

Subscribers Only — Just like your heart and muscles, your bones respond to exercise by growing stronger. Specifically, your bones benefit from walking, jogging, or any other activity that forces you to move against gravity. For proof, just look to the stars. While a typical elderly adult loses about 1 to 2 percent of his or her bone density per year, astronauts on extended missions have lost, on average, that same amount each month they’re in space, according to NASA.   More...

In The News: February 2015

New research supports previous studies that suggest glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have no impact on relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA). While the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate was shown in the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) to aid moderate-to-severe knee OA pain, GAIT showed those with mild knee OA pain showed little to no benefit from taking the supplement (Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Aug. 2010). The current study, published in Arthritis and Rheumatology (Nov. 2014), reviewed data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) from 2004 to 2006, looking at those with established knee OA or who were at high risk for developing the condition. The use of glucosamine and chondroitin was self-reported, and subjects were asked at baseline and annually if they had used either supplement for joint pain or arthritis. Those who reported using glucosamine/chondroitin at three annual assessments had a minimal increase in improvement compared with those who didn’t use the supplements. Improvement in stiffness and function was also minimal. The findings support the latest guidelines, which recommend against using glucosamine and chondroitin for OA treatment, the researchers said.   More...

Injections for Knee Pain

Subscribers Only — Just as grease lubricates the moving parts of a machine, so too does a treatment known as viscosupplementation help with the natural lubrication of your knee. These injections of hyaluronic acid also may ease pain and fight the other damaging effects of knee osteoarthritis (OA).   More...