Medications

Stem Cell Therapy: Hope for Arthritis or Just Hype?

Hundreds of stem cell clinics have popped up across the country, many of them hoping to cash in on the enthusiasm surrounding this treatment. The field, particularly in the past five years, has been overrun with a large number of people who have co-opted the word stem and have been using it as a marketing tool to offer therapies to patients that are as yet unproven, says Dr. Muschler. That practice is a misuse of the term stem cell and amounts to selling false hope.
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In The News: August 2018

Low back pain is a common problem and a leading cause of disability. A variety of treatments are used to address it. Recent guidelines from the American College of Physicians recommend nondrug treatment first, including heat, massage, acupuncture and spinal manipulation by a chiropractor or other healthcare provider. Findings from a study published in JAMA Network Open (May 2018) back up the effectiveness of spinal manipulation. The study included 750 active-duty service members aged 18 to 50 with low back pain. Half of them received usual medical care, including medications, physical therapy and referral to a pain clinic. The other half also received up to 12 visits with a chiropractor for spinal manipulation and other therapies. After six weeks, the group receiving usual care plus chiropractic care had greater improvements in lowering pain intensity and disability than those getting usual care alone.
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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.
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Ask The Doctors: June 2018

Ive had polymyalgia rheumatica for 10 years. I take low doses of prednisone. When I stop it, the symptoms return. Is there anything new to treat this disease? I had an attack of severe pain and swelling in my ankle and knee. Fluid was drawn and tested for gout. But no crystals were found. I was diagnosed with pseudogout. What is pseudogout?
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Anesthesia: Less Is More

When you have a joint replaced, your anesthesiologists job is to keep you comfortable and safe during your surgery and as pain-free as possible after the procedure. In the past, that often meant going under general anesthesia and getting strong narcotics to dull the pain. Not anymore. Today, when it comes to anesthesia, less is more.
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How to Discard Medications

Look in your medicine cabinet. Are there bottles of pills in there you no longer take? If so, its time to get rid of them, especially if there are opioid pain medications or other controlled substances among them.
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Making the Most of Medications

If you have a condition that affects your bones or joints, you may be taking medications. It could be a pain medication that you take for a short period of time, or it may be drugs for rheumatoid arthritis or another type of arthritis or osteoporosis that you take for a long time or even a lifetime.
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Ask The Doctors: April 2018

How can I strengthen my core muscles? Any machines at the gym I should use? Ive had one cortisone shot in my arthritic knee. Its hurting again. How many of these can I safely get?
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In The News: April 2018

After declining every year from 2002 to 2012, the rate of hip fractures among women age 65 and older in the United States leveled off at rates higher than were expected, leading to a rise in the overall number of hip fractures. The findings, reported in the journal Osteoporosis International (December 2017), were based on an analysis of Medicare claims data from 2002 to 2015. The researchers found that the rate of hip fractures began to plateau in 2013.
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Understanding Opioid Addiction

With all the attention being paid to the problem of opioid abuse, you might hesitate to take these medications for any reason, fearing you might become addicted. While drug abuse is a serious problem, not everyone who takes opioids becomes addicted.
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Response to the Opioid Crisis

America is in the grips of an opioid addiction crisis. Theres no denying that this is a real problem with devastating consequences. In 2016, 63,000 people died from drug overdoses, a 21 percent rise over 2015. About two-thirds of those deaths involved opioids.
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Understanding NSAIDs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly-used medications. Even though they are easily obtained without a prescription in the forms of ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve) and aspirin, their pain-controlling benefits come with some risks.
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