osteoarthritis shoe choice foot pain

Can Your Shoe Choice Help – or Hurt – Your Arthritis?

It is clear that physical activity is one of the best ways to combat osteoarthritis pain—but how important are your shoes, and which should you be wearing?

In addition to traditional treatment methods for OA, which include medication, physical therapy and even surgery, doctors now know that footwear can play an important role in knee OA.

Marian T. Hannan, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., has conducted research about foot mechanics and pain in the knee. “It is impressive to think that [footwear] makes a difference,” says Hannan. “Whether it’s their foot or brain or the whole package, it appears to work. As a proof of concept it is very appealing.”

There are a wide variety of shoe options available to consider, including stability sneakers, flat walking shoes, minimalist/barefoot sneakers, and rocker-soled sneakers, and an increasing amount of research that can help you decide which is right for you.

Continue reading Can Your Shoe Choice Help – or Hurt – Your Arthritis?

knee osteoarthritis african american

More African-Americans Could Benefit from Knee Replacement Surgery

Studies have shown that racial minorities in the United States undergo fewer total knee replacements (TKR) for knee osteoarthritis (OA) than whites do, but the reasons for this are unclear. A new study sheds light on why fewer black Americans tend to have the surgery – and at what cost. It found that African-Americans are offered the option of TKR in fewer cases than whites are, they accept the option less frequently, and when they do undergo the procedure, they have higher rates of complications. Because of these factors, they lose a large number of what’s called “quality-adjusted life years” or QALYs.

Continue reading More African-Americans Could Benefit from Knee Replacement Surgery

exercise and weight loss for osteoarthritis

Nondrug Pain Relief Underused for OA

People with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) use oral pain medications more often than nondrug pain treatments, such as physical therapy, knee joint injections and topical creams, according to an analysis of three clinical trials. That’s in spite of guidelines that recommend trying nondrug treatments before medications.

The analysis, which appeared recently in Arthritis Care & Research, looked at trials conducted by researchers at Duke University, the Durham Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, all in North Carolina. A total of nearly 1,200 patients ages 61 to 65 participated in the three studies. All participants had knee or hip OA, and most were overweight and treated by a primary care doctor. None got the minimum 150 minutes of physical activity a week recommended for good health.

Continue reading Nondrug Pain Relief Underused for OA

back and neck pain osteoarthritis

When A Back or Neck Ache Means You Have OA

Maybe you overdid it cleaning the house or sprucing up your garden this weekend. Or you’re using a hot or cold pack on your lower back more often over the past few months. Does the pain come and go or seem to be getting worse? Then, it might be time ask your doctor if you have osteoarthritis (OA) in your spine (that runs from the neck to the lower back).

As you age, the cartilage lining the joints of your spine wears down, allowing the bones to rub together, causing back pain and stiffness. Other causes of spinal OA include injury, infection, obesity, or repeated stress (due to some work or sport activities). You’re also more likely to develop back pain related to osteoarthritis if a close relative had it. OA can form in any part of your spine and is sometimes called spondylosis.

But how do you know the difference between run of the mill back pain and osteoarthritis?

Continue reading When A Back or Neck Ache Means You Have OA

knee osteoarthritis pain

Knee OA More Common Now Than at Any Time in the Last 6,000 Years

A team of researchers from the United States and Finland has found that rates of knee osteoarthritis (OA) are higher now than in the past – probably not for the reasons you think.

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers report that knee OA is more than twice as common today, in the post-industrial era, as it was at any time before, going back to prehistoric days. People in the 21st century are also more likely to have arthritis in both knees than were people in the past.

Continue reading Knee OA More Common Now Than at Any Time in the Last 6,000 Years

chondroitin oa supplement

A New Study Finds Pharmaceutical Chondroitin Helps Knee OA Pain and Function

Chondroitin sulfate improves osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain and functional limitations in walking and daily activities as effectively as the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib (Celebrex), according to a new study published recently in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. But U.S. readers should know, there’s a catch: the researchers tested a version of chondroitin sulfate that is not available in this country.

Continue reading A New Study Finds Pharmaceutical Chondroitin Helps Knee OA Pain and Function

woman-pain

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.
Continue reading Hand OA Risk Higher for Women, Caucasians, Overweight People

Osteoarthritis Treatment Options

Study Confirms That Losing Weight May Save Your Knees

Losing excess weight may help preserve knee cartilage in people who have or are at risk of knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), whose findings were recently published online in the journal Radiology. Knee cartilage is the rubbery, slick cap that covers the ends of the upper (femur) and lower (tibia) leg bones that make up the knee joint.

Their study also found that shedding extra pounds protected the menisci, the crescent-shaped cartilage pads that cushion the knee joint. Lead author Alexandra Gersing, MD, a postdoctoral scholar at UCSF School of Medicine, says this is especially important because a torn or damaged meniscus can speed up the degeneration of the knee joint overall.
Continue reading Study Confirms That Losing Weight May Save Your Knees