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
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
One of the benefits of modern medicine is the large selection of pain relievers available. The challenge is finding the right one at the right dose to reduce your osteoarthritis (OA) pain. With so many available, which is the most effective?
Continue reading Which OA Pain Reliever Works Best?
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
Experts have long recommended tai chi as a low-impact workout that’s gentle on the joints. Research published in 2016 in Annals of Internal Medicine revealed additional benefits: It may be as effective as physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Continue reading Tai Chi for Knee Osteoarthritis
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
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
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
A diet high in fat, especially saturated fat, may speed up the progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA), whereas eating greater amounts unsaturated fat might slow it down, according to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Their study, published recently in Arthritis Care & Research, is one of the first to look at the effect of diet on the rate of OA progression. The researchers say they undertook the study because diet plays a role in the development of many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, and they suspected it might also be involved in osteoarthritis.
Continue reading A Diet of Bad Fats May Hasten Knee OA Progression
Just 45 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous exercise may help improve or maintain a high level of function for people with osteoarthritis (OA), according to study published online recently in Arthritis Care & Research.
Continue reading Even a Little Exercise Helps Arthritis Pain and Function