October 2018

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Subscribers Only — Agrowing population of older adults may be partly responsible for an increase in elbow replacement surgeries for fractures of the bone near the elbow. Older adults are more likely than younger people to break a bone from a fall, including the lower end of the upper arm bone (called the distal humerus).   More...

Adult Scoliosis: Are You Behind the Curve?

Damage to the disks can cause symptoms like back pain, numbness and shooting pain down your legs (if the collapsed disks press on nerves that supply feeling to your legs). But generally, “you won’t have any symptoms and you’ll have no idea you’ve got scoliosis unless you have an X-ray for another condition,” says Dr. Orr.   More...

Ask The Doctors: October 2018

For a chronic pain condition, such as osteoarthritis, heat seems to work best. However, some people find that cold also helps to dull the pain. So the answer is, try them both and use whichever works best for you. Exercise is an important part of treatment for osteoarthritis. Heat and cold can also be used to make exercising a little easier. Try using heat before exercise to loosen up muscles and cold afterwards to minimize any achiness.   More...

Physical Therapy for Back Pain

The muscles deep in the abdomen, which help stabilize the spine, can become weak or don’t fire properly. “People with back pain often have a difficult time engaging the correct muscles,” says Houser. “When deep spinal muscles weaken, other surrounding muscles become overly tight as they try to stabilize the spine, but that’s not their role, and pain and tightness will often develop.”   More...

What Is Nerve Pain?

Subscribers Only — This will likely be one of the first questions your doctor asks if you complain of chronic pain. Unless there is an obvious reason for pain, your doctor needs a lot of information to identify the underlying cause. This includes the location, type, intensity and frequency of pain. The doctor is partly trying to determine whether the pain is nociceptive or neuropathic (also called nerve pain), or possibly both.   More...

Topical NSAIDs: A Safer Option

Subscribers Only — Diclofenac gel (Voltaren Gel®) can be used to treat pain from osteoarthritis in the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and feet. It may be applied four times daily. The liquid formulation (Pennsaid®), which can be used for osteoarthritis of the knee, is applied twice daily. The patch (Flector Patch®) is placed over the painful joint. It should be changed every 12 hours. Without insurance, the patch can be expensive, at over $100 for 10patches.   More...

In The News: October 2018

About half of all people with rheumatoid arthritis use natural supplements, such as fish oil, glucosamine, chondroitin and vinegar. A study published in Arthritis Care & Research (July 2018) found that most don’t tell their doctors. The researchers analyzed results from 23 studies and found that 47 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis used natural supplements that were not vitamins or minerals. They were usually taken along with prescribed medication for rheumatoid arthritis. Forty-seven percent of people found the supplements to be effective, and 13 percent reported adverse side effects. Only 30 percent of them informed their physicians they were taking supplements. It’s important to discuss everything you take with your doctor. Even something that is “natural” may have side effects or harmful interactions with drugs.   More...

Replacing Damaged Elbows

Agrowing population of older adults may be partly responsible for an increase in elbow replacement surgeries for fractures of the bone near the elbow. Older adults are more likely than younger people to break a bone from a fall, including the lower end of the upper arm bone (called the distal humerus).   More...