Exercise & Prevention

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.

Taming Text Neck

Your neck muscles are meant to support the weight of your 10-to 12-pound head in an upright position. As your head drops forward the load on those muscles increases. If you tilt your head down just 15 degrees, it can nearly triple the force on your neck to about 27pounds. Bend it 30 degrees and this increases to 40 pounds of force.

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Dining in a group causes most people to eat more calories than they would when eating alone. If you're planning to make a New Year's resolution about your diet, "don't wait for January; start now," advises Kirkpatrick. Here are more of her tips for this time of year:

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.

What Is Nerve Pain?

This will likely be one of the first questions your doctor asks if you complain of chronic pain. Unless there is an obvious reason for pain, your doctor needs a lot of information to identify the underlying cause. This includes the location, type, intensity and frequency of pain. The doctor is partly trying to determine whether the pain is nociceptive or neuropathic (also called nerve pain), or possibly both.

Physical Therapy for Back Pain

The muscles deep in the abdomen, which help stabilize the spine, can become weak or dont fire properly. People with back pain often have a difficult time engaging the correct muscles, says Houser. When deep spinal muscles weaken, other surrounding muscles become overly tight as they try to stabilize the spine, but thats not their role, and pain and tightness will often develop.

Ask The Doctors: October 2018

For a chronic pain condition, such as osteoarthritis, heat seems to work best. However, some people find that cold also helps to dull the pain. So the answer is, try them both and use whichever works best for you. Exercise is an important part of treatment for osteoarthritis. Heat and cold can also be used to make exercising a little easier. Try using heat before exercise to loosen up muscles and cold afterwards to minimize any achiness.

Topical NSAIDs: A Safer Option

Diclofenac gel (Voltaren Gel) can be used to treat pain from osteoarthritis in the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and feet. It may be applied four times daily. The liquid formulation (Pennsaid), which can be used for osteoarthritis of the knee, is applied twice daily. The patch (Flector Patch) is placed over the painful joint. It should be changed every 12 hours. Without insurance, the patch can be expensive, at over $100 for 10patches.

Guide to Acupuncture

An ancient form of Chinese medicine, acupuncture can be viewed from both an Eastern and a Western perspective, as discussed in the June 2018 issue of Arthritis Advisor. According to Chinese medicine, our bodies have pathways (called meridians), through which energy (Qi, pronounced chee) flows. When there is an imbalance, we need to either reinforce flow or promote flow that is blocked, says Starkey.