Prevention

Walk Your Dog Safely

Dogs are wonderful companions. One of the many benefits of having a dog is the necessity to go out for walks. Research shows that dog walkers are more likely than other people to get the recommended amount of physical activity. A walking routine is a great way to keep fit and also ease arthritis pain. […]

Steroid Shots for Knees and Hips

"If we're seeing a patient early on, when they have mild-to-moderate changes inside the knee joint, they have a much better chance of the injection lasting a long time," Golnick says. The effects of the injection can last for three months or more in someone with mild-to-moderate arthritis, but those with more severe arthritis could have a return of symptoms within a fewweeks.

Ask The Doctors: February 2019

When it's cold outside, wearing warm socks, gloves and a hat should keep your feet, hands, and ears sufficiently warm. Some people have a condition called Raynaud's syndrome. This generally benign condition causes blood vessels in the fingers and toes to be overly constricted, making them feel very cold. The nose, lips and ears can also be affected. Raynaud's also causes temporary color changes. An affected finger may turn white or bluish and feel numb. It may turn red as it rewarms and throb or tingle.

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.

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.

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:

How to Prevent Falling

In addition to aging, other factors can put you at higher risk for falling. Having fallen in the past raises the chances that you might fall again, especially if the fall resulted in an injury. Feeling unsteady when you walk or needing to hang onto something, such as furniture or the walls, makes you more likely to fall. People come to rely on that support, which can change the way they walk, says Bebb. They may lean forward or have a change of posture that can increase fall risk.

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.

Ask The Doctors: September 2018

Hip arthritis is usually experienced as pain in the groin. It can also cause pain on the front of the thigh or even pain around the knee. Having achy joints can be frustrating. It may seem logical that resting the joint will help. But, in fact, the opposite is true. Joints are meant to move, and they need movement to be healthy. The mobile joints in the body are lined with a membrane that secretes synovial fluid, which provides nutrition and lubrication. Some form of compression (from walking or other physical activity) is needed to circulate the nourishing synovial fluid across the joint.

New Shingles Vaccine

According to the CDC, Shingrix may be used in people with weakened immune systems. At this point, no studies have examined Shingrix in patients with autoimmune disease, cautions Dr. Calabrese. Shingrix includes a compound called an adjuvant that helps the vaccine create a stronger immune response. The adjuvant revs up the immune system, so there is a concern for exacerbating autoimmune diseases, explains Dr. Calabrese. Rheumatologists are awaiting further data on Shingrix in this patient population.