Bones & Joints

Joint Foolery: Pains That Mimic Arthritis

There are a number of conditions that can cause pain near your joints. They may feel similar to arthritis, yet they can be something entirely different. Some of these problems are serious (avascular necrosis, stress fractures, certain forms of cancer), others less so (bursitis, tendonitis). In either case, its best to let your doctor know about any changes in your joint pain, so these mimics of arthritis can be diagnosed early and treatment begun. …
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Puttin On The Squeeze

You may never look like Charles Atlas or Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you can use the concepts behind their exercise routines to improve muscle strength-which is essential to feeling better, experiencing less pain and increasing joint strength and flexibility. Isometric, or squeezing, exercises are the basis of Atlas' Dynamic-Tension program, in which exercises involve tightening a muscle for five to ten seconds, without moving any other body parts, to tone, or condition, muscle fiber. …
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Living With An Ailing Thumb

If you're a golfer, fly fisherman, play tennis or racquetball, or regularly engage in activities in which you frequently operate equipment, machinery or tools that involve pinching or grasping motions, you eventually may develop painful arthritis of the thumb base. This is the joint that enables the thumb to swivel, pivot, and pinch so that youre able to grasp things with your hand. …
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Osteoporosis: Men Can Get It Too

Osteoporosis (porous bone) is a disease in which the density and quality of your bones diminishes, rendering them fragile and more likely to break. Though it is most commonly associated with women-who are four times more likely than men to develop the disease-it is a major threat for an estimated 44 million American men and women. In the U.S. today, more than 10 million individuals have osteoporosis and nearly 34 million more are estimated to…
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New Weapons For Joint Defense

The news coming out of a recent American Medical Association press briefing on inflammatory diseases was not just encouraging-it was extraordinary. During the past decade, journalists were told by Dr. Steve Abramson of the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City, there has been a molecular revolution that has moved therapies from bench to bedside with amazing speed. We have entered an unprecedented period in which every year there is something to be hopeful…
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Cartilage: A Cushion For Your Bones

Cartilage is amazing stuff. This slick, rubbery material cushions and protects the ends of bones, allowing them to roll, rotate and glide smoothly against and over each other. Cartilage is 85 percent water. It has no blood supply or nerves, yet it absorbs enormous forces as we walk, run, bend, or flex. Cartilage also has a memory; it can change form when under stress, then spring back to its original shape. …
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Good Moves, Bad Moves

When it comes to building strong bones, or easing sore joints, not all exercises are created equal. Put another way, what may be a killer exercise, figuratively speaking, for sufferers of osteoporosis may also be a killer move, in a very real sense, for people with osteoarthritis. If you suffer from arthritis, exercises that increase your range of motion, flexibility and strength are best. On the other hand, there are also certain positions and movements of…
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Get Back To Gardening

Gardening is one of the top leisure activities for millions of Americans. Unfortun-ately, arthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability for millions of Americans. If you find yourself in both camps-you enjoy puttering around the yard but it takes a toll on sore or creaky joints-theres a lot you can do to make your botanical days brighter. …
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Mediterranean Diet: A Tasty Way To Ease Arthritis Pain

The evidence is in.The Medi-terranean diet is not only healthy for your heart. It also lessens the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. But it can take up to three months for the diet to take effect. Not a diet in the strictest sense, but a loose term that describes the eating habits of people in the Mediterranean region, the easy-to-follow plan consists largely of fruits, beans, vegetables, olive oil, canola oil and fish, the latter containing omega-3…
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Fairway Flexes Loosen Stiff Joints

Golf is a great game-and great exercise. If its something you enjoy, youre no doubt itching about this time of year to get back on the tee. But the golf swing involves a very unnatural motion that requires an enormous amount of rotation of the lower back. If you suffer from arthritis, the problems are compounded. The antidote: flexibility exercises, which increase the amount and quality of motion your joints allow. The greater your shoulder…
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Ask Dr. Marks: 06/03

What is reactive arthritis? What causes it? The symptoms? How is it treated? The term reactive arthritis usually pertains to a group of inflammatory diseases that are triggered by an infectious agent. The most important disease in this group is Reiter's syndrome. The triggering agents are usually Salmonella or Shigella organisms. The organism does not infect the joint but triggers an immune response which causes inflammation of the joint. The syndrome can involve any joint but…
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New Tools Ease Shoulder Repair

Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. Whenever possible, surgeons prefer to repair such torn tendons arthroscopically, using small incisions and even smaller instruments, so that they can reduce initial trauma and speed recovery. But, for a variety of reasons-the tear may be too big, the tendon too fragile, or the procedure too technically demanding-only about 10 percent of rotator cuff repairs are done arthroscopically. (The large majority are…
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