People with osteoarthritis in the knee who add hip-strengthening exercises to their exercise regimen can walk more easily and may have less pain, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (February 2019). The researchers pooled results from eight studies (with a total of 340 participants) that investigated the effect of adding hip exercises to exercises done to strengthen the muscles on the front of the thigh (the quadriceps). They found that combining the two types of exercises was significantly more effective than quadricep exercises alone for improving walking. The most effective types of hip exercises involved using weights or resistance bands. Adding hip exercises also resulted in greater improvements in pain, but this result was not significantly strong. Physical therapists can provide instruction on simple exercises to strengthen hips and knees.
A few years ago, Cleveland Clinic rheumatologist Casandra Calabrese, DO, began seeing patients who were being treated for cancer and had developed the type of joint pain and swelling seen in rheumatoid arthritis. She isn't alone. Rheumatologists around the world are treating such patients. What is going on?
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.
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:
Standing is better than sitting because we have the benefits of motion, says Cleveland Clinic physical therapist Adam Kimberly, DPT. Your muscles are working when you stand. But you shouldnt stand all day either. Static positioning of any kind for long periods of time is not good. Variety is the key, he says.
Like all drugs, bisphosphonates have possible side effects. These may include gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea and gas. Only a small percentage of people who take the drugs will have side effects. When they happen, its best to talk to your doctor rather than stop the medicine. Often, there is an alternative.
Bunions, which are very common, can be annoying, painful and affect your ability to do activities. Just because you have a bunion doesnt mean you should rush to get surgery. Dont ignore it either. Left untreated, a bunion can lead to other foot deformities. There are different types of kidney stones. Most are made of calcium, so it might seem like consuming a lot of calcium would lead to kidney stones. Its not that simple.
Cleveland Clinic, along with other healthcare institutions, has put new practices and policies into place to deal with the opioid epidemic. We spoke with Lisa Yerian, MD, Medical Director of Continuous Improvement at Cleveland Clinic, and Cleveland Clinic psychiatrist Mohsen Vazirian, MD, about the problem and the response. In this and future issues of Arthritis Advisor we will continue the discussion.
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.
Are you eating enough fish? Youve probably heard the recommendation to eat fish at least two to three times a week to get omega-3 fatty acids. Not only are omega-3 fatty acids good for you, they are essential. And there are other sources besides fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential because the body needs them to function properly but cant make them. They must come from food. Omega-3 fatty acids have a role in brain function, growth and development, inflammation and heart health.
Osteoarthritis may seem like something we have to put up with as we age. It may not be possible to completely stop the underlying cause of osteoarthritis, but that does not mean theres nothing you can do. Both calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health. The body needs calcium for other functions as well, including those involving muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and the release of hormones and enzymes.
I just had my first gout attack. Do I need to take chronic medication to prevent the next attack? I would like to avoid the next one. It was painful. When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis my doctor gave me methotrexate and a 10-mg dose of prednisone. Since then the prednisone was reduced to 5 mg. Should I be worried about any effect on my bones?