February 2019

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Subscribers Only — For some people, an injection of a corticosteroid (commonly called a steroid), which is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication, can help relieve pain and other symptoms. But it's not right for everyone. Even when a steroid shot is appropriate, it is just one part of a comprehensive treatment plan. In addition, your physician must determine the right type of injection to give.   More...

Ask The Doctors: February 2019

When it's cold outside, wearing warm socks, gloves and a hat should keep your feet, hands, and ears sufficiently warm. Some people have a condition called Raynaud's syndrome. This generally benign condition causes blood vessels in the fingers and toes to be overly constricted, making them feel very cold. The nose, lips and ears can also be affected. Raynaud's also causes temporary color changes. An affected finger may turn white or bluish and feel numb. It may turn red as it rewarms and throb or tingle.   More...

RA: Not Just Joints

Subscribers Only — People with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk for the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis take corticosteroid drugs. These medications effectively reduce inflammation, but they also can trigger bone loss. However, even people with rheumatoid arthritis who don't take these drugs can have decreased bone density that may lead to osteoporosis.   More...

The Right Way to Shovel Snow

"For some people, shoveling snow is the first strenuous physical activity they've done in a while," he says. "Preventive measures should be taken." Everyone should be getting regular physical activity, even when it's cold outside. This will keep your body in shape when it's time to do vigorous activities. It will also help to make sure your heart is up to the task.   More...

Osteoarthritis in Hands

Subscribers Only — The 27 bones in your hand and wrist meet at many small joints, allowing for an incredible range of motion and precise movements. A few of these joints are particularly susceptible to osteoarthritis.   More...

The Language of Fats

Subscribers Only — Dark chocolate, which has been shown to have potential health benefits, contains cocoa butter-with a high proportion of some of the most highly saturated fatty acids. A recent study found that people who consumed full-fat dairy foods (which contain more saturated fatty acids) had no difference in mortality when compared to individuals who drank low-fat dairy. So, should we go back to drinking whole milk? We don't know enough to say for sure.   More...

In The News: February 2019

For people with knee osteoarthritis, does high-intensity walking help or hurt? A group of researchers who examined this question presented their findings at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (October 2018). With osteoarthritis, the cushioning cartilage that covers the ends of bones in joints wears down, which can cause pain and stiffness. Exercise, including walking, is recommended. Past research has been mixed on whether walking too briskly can cause further injury. The current study included over 1,800 people with knee osteoarthritis. They wore accelerometers (which measure step cadence to determine walking intensity) four or more days a week for five years. Participants who replaced five minutes per day of non-walking time with five minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity walking reduced their chances of having total knee replacement by 16 percent. Light intensity walking had no such effect.   More...

Steroid Injections for Back Pain

The spine consists of a column of bones (vertebrae), each of which has a cylindrical body with bony projections at the back. The cylindrical bodies are separated by shock absorbing cushions (disks). The bony projections connect each vertebra to the one above and below at small joints called facet joints. Just below the column of vertebrae, there's a triangular bone called the sacrum, which connects to the pelvic bones. This three- to four-inch long connection is called the sacroiliac joint.   More...