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Doctors and Patients Say ‘No’ to Arthroscopy for Arthritis

Doctors and Patients Say ‘No’ to Arthroscopy for Arthritis

About 1 million knee arthroscopies are performed each year in the United States, at a cost of more than $3 billion. Now, in new guidelines, an international panel of experts has strongly recommended against the surgery for nearly everyone with “degenerative knee disease.” Degenerative knee disease is another way to refer to knee osteoarthritis (OA), and includes degenerative meniscus tears, trouble with knee movement and sudden onset of pain and swelling. The guidelines were published in the journal BMJ in May. OA is the most common type of arthritis. Of the 31 million people in the U.S. with OA, an estimated ...more
Nine Major Wins in 6 Months!

Nine Major Wins in 6 Months!

Our Advocates have been busy. Very busy. And the results are fantastic! Due in part to tireless work by our volunteer Advocates, 9 states passed legislation within the first six months of 2017 to address issues with biosimilar medications. Biosimilars are a new class of medications that are similar in effect but not identical to biologic medications. With their introduction to the marketplace, patients have more treatment options that could be less expensive. However, there has been no clear path for regulating and monitoring substitution of biologic drugs with biosimilar drugs. These new laws require pharmacists, when substituting biologics with biosimilars, to ...more
Voices: Are You a Self-Care Slacker?

Voices: Are You a Self-Care Slacker?

Q. Are you a slacker when it comes to self-care? Taking care of yourself is so important, but who hasn’t dealt with the self-care burnout that comes with having a chronic condition? For the first in a new series featuring some of the leading social media voices on life with arthritis, we asked these bloggers about their struggles with self-care. Mariah Leach http://www.fromthispointforward.com/ Making self-care a priority can often be a real challenge – especially if you are also a mom! Children are dependent on their parents, so it’s really easy to feel like their needs are more important. But, in my experience, when I ...more
Researchers on the Path to a Cure - Spotlight on Salah Ahmed

Researchers on the Path to a Cure - Spotlight on Salah Ahmed

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Dr. Salah Ahmed’s research project may be just your cup of (green) tea! Dr. Ahmed’s 2014 Innovative Research Grant project, “Mechanism of Mcl-1 regulation in RA by EGCG”, looked at the effects of an anti-inflammatory molecule found in green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG) on a protein (Mcl-1) found in RA joints. In joints with RA, specialized cells called synovial fibroblasts (FLS) get activated, grow, and proliferate, requiring increasing space within the joint. The FLS produce proteins that cause inflammation and destroy the bones and cartilage within a joint. Normally, cells are programmed to die after ...more
Clark Middleton: Role of His Life

Clark Middleton: Role of His Life

Actor Clark Middleton has spent a lifetime defying limits and arthritis. Art imitates life imitates art. Actor Clark Middleton, of NBC’s The Blacklist and Hulu’s The Path, is keenly aware of the parallels between his on-camera and off-camera lives. “Acting is dealing with obstacles and problems, and I think I’ve learned how to be creative that way,” says Clark, 60. The New York City-based character actor, known for eccentric supporting roles in films from Birdman to Kill Bill: Vol. II (in a role Quentin Tarantino wrote specifically for him), earned his resilience and acting chops by living with juvenile arthritis since age ...more
Weather and Arthritis Pain

Weather and Arthritis Pain

Yes, the cold and humidity can make your joints ache. Can you feel a storm coming in your knees? So can lots of people with arthritis. Some doctors think that these stories of weather causing joint pain are old wives’ tales, but science is backing up the phenomenon. Are You Weather Sensitive? Some people are more sensitive to weather than others. So you may feel more stiff and achy in the cold more than your neighbor. That doesn’t either of you is wrong, it just means that we don’t perceive things the same. A 2014 study of people with osteoarthritis (OA) published in BMC ...more
Arthritis Drugs Help Physical Symptoms More Than Disease-Related Depression

Arthritis Drugs Help Physical Symptoms More Than Disease-Related Depression

Major depression is not uncommon in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – different studies have pegged the number at between 17 percent and 40 percent – but the drugs used to treat RA do little to alleviate depression, according to a systematic review presented at the 2017 British Society for Rheumatology annual conference in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Researchers at Kings College London were interested in the effect of arthritis treatments on depression, because mood problems not only cause emotional suffering but also lead to worse physical health outcomes for people with RA. For their study, lead author Faith Matcham, PhD, and her ...more
Highlights from the 10th Annual National Gathering Conference

Highlights from the 10th Annual National Gathering Conference

What a wonderful weekend! The 10th annual National Gathering Conference was held last weekend June 9-11 in Kansas City and what a weekend it was! This year’s conference was particularly special – we celebrated 10 amazing years of this wonderful Gathering which was reflected in the conference theme “10 Years & Growing,” and throughout the conference. The Gathering was created for adults living with arthritis and rheumatic diseases to gather together and learn from healthcare and patient experts how to live their best life. We all know living with arthritis is difficult, but at the Gathering we learn together how to ...more
Anti-inflammatory Fruits and Veggies -- Fresh, Canned or Frozen?

Anti-inflammatory Fruits and Veggies -- Fresh, Canned or Frozen?

There's nothing quite like eating a handful of freshly picked blueberries on a warm summer day, each bite bursting with flavor and inflammation-fighting polyphenols, bone-building minerals and must-have vitamins. Surprisingly, you can get nearly the same nutrition from a bag of frozen blueberries. Despite what you might have assumed, fresh produce may not be more nutritious than frozen produce. Even canned fruits and veggies are a good source of many of the inflammation-fighting nutrients found in the produce section of your grocery store. Fruits and vegetables are rich in important vitamins and minerals and a good source of dietary fiber, which increases ...more
Hand OA Risk Higher for Women, Caucasians, Overweight People

Hand OA Risk Higher for Women, Caucasians, Overweight People

About 40 percent of adults in the United States are likely to develop osteoarthritis (OA) in at least one hand by age 85, and some people are more at risk than others, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their findings were published recently in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. Hand OA gets less publicity than knee or hip arthritis, but it can be just as debilitating. Painful, stiff, sometimes-bent fingers can make it hard to eat, dress or type. Although it’s commonly associated with old age, hand OA often starts in midlife, affecting a person’s ability ...more