Exercise & Prevention

Exercises for Knee Pain

Getting a diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis doesnt mean you have to give up the activities you enjoy. But it will require some effort to establish a routine of doing the types of exercises that will help to ease pain and stiffness.

Don’t Fear Osteoporosis Drugs

Bone constantly renews itself. Older bone is broken down and removed (resorbed) and new bone forms. As we age, bone density decreases because more bone is broken down than is newly formed. The bisphosphonate drugs slow down bone resorption. Taking these medications can lower risk of spine fractures by about 50 percent and hip fractures by about 40 percent.

In The News: December 2018

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that most likely is caused by an interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Researchers sought to determine a possible role of diet, in particular the mostly plant-based Mediterranean diet, which is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers analyzed data on health and diet for 1,721 people with rheumatoid arthritis and 3,667 people without the disease. Results were published in Arthritis Research & Therapy (September 2018). They found that 24 percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis and 28 percent of those without it highly adhered to the Mediterranean diet. High adherence reduced the chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis by 21 percent compared to low adherence, but only in men who had positive blood tests for rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide, which are antibodies in most people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections

Orthobiologics include substances from one's own body, such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell products derived from bone marrow or body fat, and donor products, such as amniotic fluid. Research on most orthobiologics is still in the early stages. The one that has been around the longest is PRP injections, which have become widely available.

Ask The Doctors: December 2018

New drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized treatment for certain cancers, including melanoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. They are showing promise for other cancers as well. Examples of these drugs are pembrolizumab (Keytruda), atezolizumab (Tecentriq), ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo). These powerful drugs fight cancer by boosting the bodys own immune system. Cancer cells send out signals that block the ability of immune system cells to recognize and kill them. The new drugs inhibit these blocking signals, thus unleashing a stronger immune system response.

Repairing a Fractured Hip

If you fall and can't get up (just like in the TV commercial), call 911 immediately. Michael Bloomfield, MD, advises everyone who is at risk for falling to always keep their cell phone with them or wear a medical alert device (such as Life Alert). If you fall and don't get help for a prolonged period of time, the consequences can be serious. You may become dehydrated, and muscles can break down, releasing chemicals that can cause kidney damage. SolStock | Getty Images

Download The Full December 2018 Issue PDF

Achy, stiff joints from osteoarthritis get more common as we age. Your genes also contribute to the likelihood that cartilage in joints will wear down. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, which covers the ends of bones, deteriorates, causing inflammation and structural changes in the joint. This can result in varying degrees of pain and reduced function. Weight-bearing joints, such as the knees and hips, are especially vulnerable.

Simplify Healthy Eating

Achy, stiff joints from osteoarthritis get more common as we age. Your genes also contribute to the likelihood that cartilage in joints will wear down. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, which covers the ends of bones, deteriorates, causing inflammation and structural changes in the joint. This can result in varying degrees of pain and reduced function. Weight-bearing joints, such as the knees and hips, are especially vulnerable.

Download The Full November 2018 Issue PDF

Have you ever been diagnosed with tendinitis whether in the elbow, shoulder, knee, hip or heel and a corticosteroid shot didn't work? The itis in tendinitis refers to inflammation, and corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medications. It seems logical they should work.

In The News: November 2018

Pain is the main reason people with osteoarthritis seek medical care. A study published in Arthritis Care & Research (August 2018) found that insomnia and depression were also significant reasons for going to a doctor. Painful arthritis can lead to sleep problems and depression, and having these conditions can worsen pain. The researchers analyzed health records of close to 3,000 participants in a health plan who had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Close to half of them reported pain that was moderate to severe. About 34 percent of all participants had insomnia in addition to moderate to severe pain, and 29 percent had depression along with pain. Pain was the main driver for seeking medical attention. But the combined effects of pain plus insomnia and pain plus depression increased the likelihood of seeing a healthcare professional, and this increased with the severity of these conditions.

Life After Joint Replacement

After your joint replacement surgery, you might go home on the same day or stay in the hospital for up to four days. Some people go to a rehabilitation center for a short time. Wherever you are, don't expect to lie in bed for long. A physical therapist will meet with you on the same day as your surgery, or on the next day, to get you up and moving. The therapist will teach you how to walk with the aid of a walker, cane or crutches. You will also learn how to go up and down stairs.

Ask The Doctors: November 2018

The spine is a complex structure, the core of which is a stack of small bones (vertebrae). Cushioning disks separate each vertebral body, and the bones are connected to each other at small joints (facet joints) between bony protrusions at the back of each vertebra. The spinal cord runs through the center of the spine. Nerves exit this spinal canal through openings at most levels of the spine. Layers of muscles, ligaments and tendons surround the spine.