Exercise & Prevention

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. …

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…

Ask Dr. Marks: 09/03

Ive heard a lot about pain patches recently. Are they effective, addictive, expensive? Pain patches are very effective at delivering narcotic pain relievers. The patches are placed on an area of clean skin and produce a narcotic concentration gradient that transports the narcotic through the skin into the blood stream. The narcotic, usually Fentanyl, is released over a period of three days instead of the few hours of pain relief achieved by pills. …

Wristy Business: Carpal Tunnel Turmoil

If your fingers suddenly turn numb and tingly, you could be feeling more than a hand thats fallen asleep. You could be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, in which pressure on a nerve in your wrist causes numbness and muscle weakness. The carpal tunnel is by nature an anatomically crowded location-a narrow channel on the underside of the wrist with bones on three sides and a ligament on the other. Nine tendons and a single nerve, called…

Chronic Shoulder Pain?

No other joint in your body can go through as wide and varied a range of motion as your shoulder. From throwing a ball to swinging a racquet to scratching your back, this ball-and-socket joint lets you do it all. Yet, it is this exceptional flexibility that can make the shoulder unstable and subject to a variety of problems, …

In the News: 08/03

Stem Cell Technology Now Available For Bone Repair Cellect, a kit that allows surgeons to harvest stem cells from a patients bone marrow and grow new bone for grafting, has been introduced by Cleveland Clinic orthopaedic surgeon Dr. George Muschler. Its the first stem cell technology to be commercially developed and the first technology to be introduced for bone repair. The process, in which bone fibers and chips are used to control the rate of new…

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. …

Dress Without Fuss

Another day, another dilemma-how to get dressed when youre racked with arthritis pain, particularly in the morning when joints Although your own creativity can be a big help in fashioning self-help devices for eating, housekeeping, or for just getting around (the American College of Rheumatologys self-help guide, Sharing Innovations, describes ideas from people who suffer from arthritis, www.rheumatology.org), dressing aids are another matter-you pretty much have to rely on already proven products to get you…

Surgery: Its Not Your Only Option

Although surgery is often the best option when your arthritis pain becomes too much and doesnt respond to other treatments, theres a lot you can do to postpone the need for surgery. If your arthritis is caught early enough, a variety of experts can often put together a therapeutic plan to help you manage your pain, slow your disease and delay what may only seem inevitable. …

Chronic Neck Pain?

Your neck moves more than 600 times an hour, awake or asleep. In fact, no other part of the musculoskeletal system is in such constant motion. Small wonder neck pain-caused by abnormalities in the muscles, ligaments and nerves, as well as in the bones and joints of the spine-plagues so many people. Add degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to the mix and you have a recipe for chronic neck pain. …

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. …

When OA Strikes Hands And Feet

While osteoarthritis often affects knees and hips, OA can also occur in the hands and feet-particularly among women. Typical risk factors include repetitive stress, overuse and poor circulation. While OA in women has a tendency to develop after menopause, a study of 1,053 women under age 45 found evidence of osteoarthritis in their hands and knees by age 40. Almost 70 percent of people over 70 have X-ray evidence of OA, but only half of…