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HOW SHEDDING SOME POUNDS HELPS ARTHRITIS

HOW SHEDDING SOME POUNDS HELPS ARTHRITIS

You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: One of the best things you can do for arthritis is to lose excess weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control, two out of three adults with arthritis are overweight or obese. Research shows that while diet and exercise combined are most effective for dropping pounds, dieting alone helps more than exercise alone. No one’s saying it’s easy, but evidence shows it pays off. Here’s how it can help.  Reduces pressure on joints. In a study of overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA), researchers found that each pound lost eased four pounds of pressure on the knees.  Preserves cartilage. A 2017 study found that losing weight can preserve knee cartilage in overweight people who have or are at risk of knee ...more
Opioid Policy Chief: “You can’t solve the opioid crisis without solving the pain crisis.”

Opioid Policy Chief: “You can’t solve the opioid crisis without solving the pain crisis.”

If you have arthritis, chances are your doctor gave you a prescription for an opioid pain medication at some point. Opioids are effective at relieving pain, including post-surgical pain, and for some people who live with chronic pain from arthritis or other conditions, they are one part of managing that condition. But these potent pain medications have a very challenging underside. The overuse and abuse of opioids claim an estimated 115 American lives every day, 40 percent of them involving prescription medications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It has become a national epidemic, and insurers, pharmacies, ...more
Patient Perspectives in Clinical Trials

Patient Perspectives in Clinical Trials

“We need you to make sure the arthritis patient voice is heard at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)!” affirmed Suz Schrandt, the Arthritis Foundation’s director of patient engagement, in a patients’ call to action. Making sure the patient voice is heard is a top priority for the Arthritis Foundation – and we are not alone. Our partners at the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), in collaboration with the FDA, will be hosting a public workshop, “Enhancing the Incorporation of Patient Perspectives in Clinical Trials,” on March 18, 2019, in Silver Spring, Maryland. The purpose of the public workshop is to ...more
Movie Maker Deborah Snyder Knows What Real Super Power Is

Movie Maker Deborah Snyder Knows What Real Super Power Is

To fans of Wonder Woman, Aquaman and other superhero movies that she produced, Deborah Snyder might seem a little larger than life herself. Perceptive, energetic and determined, she has a career beyond most people’s dreams, a lovely home near Los Angeles and a supportive family and husband, Zack Snyder, who’s also her business partner. But every superhero has a villain, and Deborah’s is adult-onset Still’s disease, a rare form of autoimmune arthritis. It left her with hip damage that made even walking difficult for years. Seeing her relaxing with one leg tucked under her – something she never could have done a ...more
6 Fitness Myths Busted

6 Fitness Myths Busted

Buying into some commonly held fitness beliefs may keep you from making the most of your workouts – or even lead to injury. Experts debunk six persistent myths.  Myth #1 - You can target fat loss in certain areas.  To shrink a specific area, you must lose overall body weight, says physical therapist Kellen Scantlebury, owner of Fit Club NY. To burn more, do exercise that uses multiple muscle groups, such as walking.  Myth #2 - Your workouts should last at least a half-hour. Get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. You can do 30 minutes, five days a week or get the same benefits by breaking it into three 10-minute sets on each workout day.   Myth #3 - Stretch before exercise. No evidence shows it reduces your risk of injury. In fact, ...more
High Uric Acid Impacts OA

High Uric Acid Impacts OA

Diagnosing osteoarthritis (OA) through a medical history, physical exam and x-ray is fairly straightforward, but predicting the progression – or how much osteoarthritis will worsen in any one person – is much harder.   Researchers may have found one indicator that can help them do just this. High levels of uric acid are most often associated with gout, another form of arthritis. However, research published in Arthritis & Rheumatology in 2017 found that people with OA who have high uric acid levels and are not diagnosed with gout could experience a faster progression of their OA.   Understanding Uric Acid Uric acid is a substance that forms normally when the body breaks down purines, which are found in human cells and ...more
Beat the Winter Blues With These Simple Strategies 

Beat the Winter Blues With These Simple Strategies 

 If short days have you feeling blue, getting more sunshine and exercise can help, says Mark Rapaport, MD, chairman of the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. These strategies also might help.  Look ahead. Plan and focus on something positive in your future, Dr. Rapaport suggests, like a vacation or a night out with friends.  Get crafty. Knitting yourself a scarf could do more than protect you from the cold. A study of 3,545 knitters worldwide found a link between knitting and happiness. The greatest impact was among those who knitted in a group.  Say ...more
The Opioid Paradox

The Opioid Paradox

Misuse of opioid pain relievers has led to a nationwide epidemic of abuse and overdoses. But for many people with chronic pain from arthritis and other conditions, these drugs play an important role in their treatment. Maybe you know someone who takes an opioidmedication, or maybe you, yourself, do. Should you stop? How hard is it, and what does the process feel like? And how would you ease your pain without opioids? In the March-April issue of Arthritis Today, we talk to five people who have faced the challenges of tapering or stopping opioids. Read about their experiences and what they learned.   Related ...more
Arthritis Warrior Crosses the Finish Line After Years of Obstacles

Arthritis Warrior Crosses the Finish Line After Years of Obstacles

Nothing holds Daniel Ortman back. Not the arthritis that has challenged him for two decades. Not the major brain surgery he endured nine years ago. Nor any of the other obstacles he and his family have faced along the way. In 2018, Dan vowed to cross the finish line of his Ellicott City, Maryland, Jingle Bell Run for the very first time. And he made it! “It was surreal,” reflects Daniel. “I was starting to tire out after the first mile. But I said, ‘I’m going to keep going and get to the other side.’ And when I got to the ...more
Weight Loss Helps Gout

Weight Loss Helps Gout

If you have gout, you know all about high uric acid levels. Uric acid (UA) forms when the body breaks down purines, which are found in human cells and many foods. You may be working with your doctor, taking medication and avoiding certain foods to keep UA levels in the normal range, but could you be overlooking an important factor – your weight?   The Connection Between Gout and Weight Maintaining a healthy body weight may not always be top of mind as a way to lower high uric acid levels. But, research shows that shedding extra pounds can help you do just that, and possibly reduce the risk of a gout attack.  That’s because fat slows down your kidneys’ ability to remove uric acid from your system. And, if you have too much fat around your abdomen (visceral fat) – then your risk of developing gout may be even greater. Visceral fat is linked ...more