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You Can Keep Skiing

Skiing may be largely a younger persons sport, but up to 18% of skiers are over age 55. And the number of older ski-ers is growing. If you are a mature skier, but aches and pains of arthritis are getting in the way, you dont have to abandon the slopes. And if you have had hip or knee replacement surgery, you should be able to return to skiing, but with some cautions.

Curcumin for Arthritis Pain

If you have osteoarthritis and you are looking for an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief, consider curcumin.

In the News: February 2020

Middle- and older-age women who engage in even a moderate amount of physical activity can lower their chances of suffering a hip fracture, according to the findings of a study published in JAMA Network Open (October 2019). The study included over 77,000 women ages 50 to 79 when the study began in the 1990s. The women reported the amount of time they spent being physically active and the amount of time being sedentary.

When Your Shoulder Is Out of Joint

If you fall onto your shoulder or your arm gets yanked too hard, you can dislocate a shoulder. Its usually painful, and you may notice that your arm is out of place. How a shoulder dislocation is treated and how urgently you need to seek treatment will depend on what happens when the ball pops out of the socket.

In The News: January 2020

Statins are commonly-used drugs to lower cholesterol. Some studies have found that these drugs may also have a positive effect on bones. According to a recent study, the effect may depend on the dose. The study, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (September 2019), examined the relationship between statins and the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. Researchers analyzed health data on 353,502 people who took statins, 11,701 of whom were diagnosed with osteoporosis. They were compared with over 7 million people who did not take statins. Overall, those who took statins were more likely than nonusers to have osteoporosis. However, the effect depended on the dose. Those who took a low statin dose of 10 milligrams (mg) a day actually had up to a 60% reduced risk of osteoporosis. Taking 40 mg or more of simvastatin or 20 mg or more of atorvastatin or rosuvastatin increased risk.

Strengthen Your Core First

Core exercises are the starting point of overall fitness because you need to hold those muscles engaged while you strengthen other muscles, such as the biceps in the arms or the quadriceps in the legs. Smith suggests setting short-term goals (for about a month) and then more long-term goals. Once you have achieved short-term goals, such as getting around more easily, add other types of weight-training or resistance exercises to build muscleelsewhere.

Medication Management of Arthritis

For most older adults, Dr. Hashmi recommends starting with acetaminophen (Tylenol). "It is weaker than an NSAID, but you can compensate for that by taking a higher dose," he says. A potential side effect is liver damage, but you can safely take up to 3 grams a day. Tylenol typically comes in pills of 325 or 500 milligrams (mg). "You can take up to two 500-mg pills three times a day without fear it will affect the liver," he says.

Your Aging Spine

Your spine is a column made of a stack of small bones (vertebrae) with the spinal cord running through it. Each vertebra has a cylindrical part (inside is the spinal cord and nerve roots), on the back of which is a bony ring with spiky projections (called the spinous process). The cylinders are stacked on top of one another and separated with shock-absorbing cushions (disks).

Relieve Stress, Ease Pain

Its easy to get stressed out from everyday pressures of work, family and other responsibilities. Now that the holidays are here, you may be feeling even more stress and anxiety. For those with arthritis or another chronic condition, the result may be increased pain.

In The News: December 2019

Blood Sugar Often Not Tested Before Joint Replacement SurgeryMany people with osteoarthritis also have type 2 diabetes. Having high blood sugar levels, which is characteristic of diabetes, can increase risk for complications from surgery. Addressing risk factors and lowering blood sugar levels can reduce complications. However, testing blood sugar levels before joint replacement surgery for hip or knee osteoarthritis is not done often enough, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open (September 2019).

Preserving Hips

When you think about hip pain, osteoarthritis in older adults may be what comes to mind. Osteoarthritis is a common cause of hip pain. But the hip joint is susceptible to many other conditions as well, and they can affect people of all ages.