Medications

RA Combination Therapy: Worth The Aggravation

Ah, for the good old days-the early 1950s, lets say-when treating the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was a simple matter. Back then, a patient was typically advised to take 10 or 15 aspirins a day and get plenty of bed rest. Easy as that. Unfortunately, this undemanding regimen rarely succeeded in relieving chronic RA symptoms. …

Minding Your Meds

How closely are you following your arthritis treatment regimen? Are you taking your medications exactly as prescribed? If not, how do you expect to manage the aches, pains, swelling, and other symptoms that torment you day and night? If you want to get better and stay better, says Michael P. Wascovich, R.Ph., youve got to do what the people in the white coats-the doctors and pharmacists-tell you to do. Its as simple as that. Treating most…

Arthritis And Your Eyes

While you might think of arthritis only in relation to your joints, inflammation associated with arthritis and related diseases can also affect your eyes. Other eye complications may be caused by medications used to treat arthritic conditions. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) RA, an autoimmune disease resulting in painful inflammation of the joints, can also cause scleritis, an inflammation of the sclera, or coating of the eye. Scleritis starts at the outer layers of the sclera and moves…

Ask Dr. Marks: 04/04

I will soon be in need of a total hip replacement. How do I find the best surgeon-and the best hospital? The choice of a surgeon and hospital is critical to the success of any surgery. In spite of this, the choice is often made in a haphazard way. Patients frequently depend upon recommendations of friends or considerations of convenience when making a decision. …

Non-Surgery Options For Knee OA

There are a multitude of things you can do to manage your knee arthritis and, hopefully, reduce the likelihood that youll need joint replacement down the road. Most of these steps are fairly well known-from losing weight, to regular stretching and exercise, to finding the right medications to manage your pain. But what is not […]

Ask Dr. Marks: 07/04

Im 74 and still play competitive tennis. Several years ago I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hip. While Im not experiencing a great deal of pain, my mobility is less each year. Is there any type of hip replacement that would allow me to continue playing tennis? I generally discourage my patients from playing competitive singles tennis after a total hip replacement, although they may continue to play doubles. The general population of patients with…

Fellow Travelers: Depression And Arthritis

More than a century ago, the American philosopher William James described depression as a muling, puling, mumbling mood…an attitude of unhappiness that fastens and perpetuates the trouble which occasioned it. For countless arthritis patients, the trouble that occasions their depression is the constant, seemingly unendurable joint and muscle pain characteristic of the disorder. …

Goodbye Gout

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night with your big toe throbbing fiercely-as if someone had poked it with a hot iron. Chances are you have gout. Acute gout attacks are unmistakable, says Dr. Brian Mandell, education program director of rheumatology and immunologic disease at The Cleveland Clinic. They are excruciating episodes usually involving a joint in the lower extremities and are characterized by redness, swelling, extreme pain, and skin sensitivity. …

Online Rx: Proceed With Caution

Buying arthritis drugs over the Internet may save you money. It may also be hazardous to your health.

Ask Dr. Marks: 06/04

Which is better for relieving lower back pain-a heating pad or a cold pack? It depends on whether the pain is acute or chronic and your individual preference. There are, however, some general recommendations that you should consider. If the pain is acute, such as that experienced after lifting a heavy object, ice may be more beneficial than heat. Ice reduces the amount of inflammation that the injured muscles suffer, and it can relieve muscle spasms.…

Arthritis Drugs: The Dark Side

A drugs side effects are predictable, common-and worrisome. Heres how you can get the most from your medications with the least amount of risk.