Tag Archives: arthritis treatment

Obama Care, Just what we all needed, right?

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I live in Massachusetts, USA. I am disabled and on a very limited income but I have been fortunate that with Mitt Romney signing in our comprehensive health care insurance system, I was able to obtain a quality plan for a very modest payment. This plan has paid for all of my past surgeries, tests, doctors, pharmacies during the last 6 years. This included my c2-c5 fusion at a prestigious hospital done by a top surgeon with little wait time. My co-pays have been as high as $5.00 for brand name drugs and doctor visits. A plan as good as any major health provider!
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Gender Difference In Severity Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Women appear to suffer more from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than men. This is revealed in research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.

Tuulikki Sokka from the Jyvaskyla Central Hospital, Finland, along with other members of the Quantitative Standard Monitoring of Patients with RA (QUEST-RA) program, explored possible associations between gender and disease activity measures, treatments, and clinical characteristics in more than 6,000 RA patients from 70 sites in 25 countries. She said, “The possible influence of gender and gender-related variables on the symptoms, severity, and prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis has been of considerable interest for some time. Generally, women report more severe symptoms, greater disability, and often have higher work disability rates than men.”


The demographic characteristics of the group the authors studied were typical of an RA cohort; 79% were female, more than 90% were Caucasians and the mean age was 57 years. The patients were evaluated by a doctor and completed a self-report about their own condition. Women had higher scores (indicating poorer status) than men in all of the key measures, the gender gap being widest in the self-reported measures. According to Sokka, “Obvious differences between genders exist in the prevalence, age at onset, and level of production of harmful arthritis autoantibodies. Furthermore, women report more symptoms and poor scores on most questionnaires, including scores for pain, depression, and other health-related items”.

However, the authors do speculate that most of gender differences may originate from the measures of disease activity rather than from the RA disease activity itself. Sokka said, “Women have less strength than men, which has as much of a major effect in the functional status of patients with RA as it does in the healthy population. In fact, the gender differences in musculoskeletal performance remain even among the fittest individuals – female and male athletes still compete separately. Given that woman is the “weaker vessel” concerning musculoskeletal size and strength and her baseline values are lower than men’s, the same burden of a musculoskeletal disease may appear to be more harmful to a woman than to a man.”

Appetite Hormone May Play a Role in the Development of Osteoarthritis

New research suggests that the appetite-regulating hormone leptin may play a role in the long-recognized connection between obesity and osteoarthritis (OA). The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown and loss of cartilage and the formation of bony overgrowths in the joints.

Scientists have long known that obesity is the number one preventable risk factor for osteoarthritis, but only in recent years have they ramped up research to understand how obesity and OA are connected.

Traditionally, the connection was assumed to be related to wear and tear. More weight meant a greater load for the joints to bear. But the wear-and-tear theory did not explain why joints in the hand, which do not bear weight, are also affected by OA. To better understand the systemic role obesity might play, Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., director of orthopaedic research in the Department of Surgery at Duke University, and his colleagues studied obese mice.

In their new study, supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, the group studied mice genetically engineered to lack either leptin or leptin receptors on the cells.

Leptin acts in the brain to control appetite, but to do so it must bind to receptors on cells. Removing either the molecule or the receptor has virtually the same effect — no functioning leptin. And for the mice studied, the result of no functioning leptin was a body weight approximately four times that of normal mice — which would seem like the ideal model for studying obesity-related OA. But, the mice didn’t develop OA at all. In fact, their joint cartilage was just as healthy, if not more so, than that of normal mice.

Researchers say if they can better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in OA, they may be better able to interfere with them and perhaps prevent the disease or stop its progression.

The Arthritis Foundation also provided funding for this study.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS Web site at http://www.niams.nih.gov

A Negative Verdict for Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements

In 2006, the National Institutes of Health’s Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) showed that these popular arthritis supplements don’t help. But many patients held out hope that an ongoing second GAIT would uncover some benefit.

Now results are in for the second part of this landmark trial, and the final analysis suggests more of the same: Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements do not effectively treat osteoarthritis.

Cartilage cushions and protects joints. As osteoarthritis progresses, this cushion wears away, causing joint pain and disability. Glucosamine/chondroitin supplements (they are sold both as a combination pill and separately) contain compounds found in cartilage and are touted to help repair and slow joint deterioration. But it’s unknown how the body processes these compounds or if they ever make it to the cartilage.

The first GAIT analysis included 1,600 participants and measured how well glucosamine/chondroitin supplements reduced pain compared with a placebo and the proven pain reliever celecoxib (Celebrex). After six months researchers reported that, overall, these supplements were no more effective than placebo at relieving pain. As was expected, people taking celecoxib reported the greatest improvement.

Among a small group of participants with moderate to severe knee pain, those taking the combination supplement reported greater pain relief than people taking placebo, but this group was too small for researchers to say for sure that the combo works. Moreover, within this small group, placebo users reported as much pain relief as those taking celecoxib, which casts further doubt on the purported benefits of supplements.

Researchers hoped that the second GAIT analysis, which used x-rays to measure the physical effects of these supplements on knee joints, would clarify matters. Knee images from 357 people with osteoarthritis were analyzed to see if daily glucosamine/chondroitin supplements prevented a loss of joint space — the distance between the ends of bones in the joint. (Bones get closer together as cartilage wears away.) There were no meaningful differences among people taking glucosamine/chondroitin, celecoxib, or placebo.

Glucosamine and chondroitin together did worse than when each was taken alone, but again, these differences were insignificant and no better than placebo. As in the first trial, a small subgroup of patients showed a trend toward improvement. This time, however, the trend was seen in patients with less severe osteoarthritis pain who were taking glucosamine alone — not a combination supplement.

Many people will probably continue to take these supplements despite the new data — osteoarthritis hurts, relief is hard to find, and the small group of participants who benefited is still a nagging issue. About 1,500 mg a day of glucosamine alone is the most promising dosage.

But be aware that well-designed trials done independent of supplement manufacturers have not been able to prove these supplements work, despite their enormous popularity. Moreover, pills can cost more than $30 a month; this is a lot of money to spend on what might be a placebo effect.

Approved Osteoarthritis Medicine – What You Don’t Know About Prescription Drugs Will Shock You!

by Vijay K Raisinghani

Although approved osteoarthritis medicines might provide relief from pain and other symptoms, but they also pose significant health hazards by way of adverse side effects. In many cases, they also can cause a lot of life threatening diseases. Find out the expert facts and natural treatments for osteoarthritis in this article.

To cite an example, Vioxx is a Cox-2 inhibitor drug and an approved osteoarthritis medicine manufactured by Merck. It had to be recalled from the market because it caused a lot of adverse side effects such as strokes, heart attacks and blood clots in the patient’s suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, till today there are thousands of pending cases and law suits against it.

Similarly, Bextra is a drug similar to Vioxx. It was also taken off the market due to similar reasons. It had been found to cause Stevens Johnson syndrome, which is a type of skin disorder.

Similarly, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) which are approved osteoarthritis medicines also carry warning label stating that “users may face an increased risk of cardiovascular side effects and gastrointestinal bleeding”.

Corticosteroids also come under “approved osteoarthritis medicines”. They provide effective short-term relief from inflammation and pain. But they are known to cause various serious side effects such as fatigue, depression, drug dependence, abdominal pain, blurred vision, increased blood sugar levels in diabetics, etc.

Narcotic pain relievers such as oxycodone, vicodin, etc. are also approved osteoarthritis medicine. You would be shocked to know that the manufacturers of oxycodone had to pay millions of dollars as damages. It was because their sales representatives had allegedly advised the doctors that the drug was less addictive in comparison to other narcotics, whereas in reality it was one of the most addictive drugs.

Narcotic pain relievers only provide temporary pain relief as they block the pain receptors of nerve cells. In fact, they don’t reduce inflammation at all. They can cause a lot of side effects such as constipation, dry mouth, drowsiness and difficulty in urinating. They also pose the risk of causing liver damage if their use is accompanied with alcohol.

Due to the risk of such side effects, more and more people are shifting towards the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Although they are not approved osteoarthritis medicine, they are frequently recommended by medical experts. They include nutritional supplements, increased physical activity and dietary changes.

Omega-3 fatty acids play a very important role in alleviating osteoarthritis symptoms. They reduce inflammation and tenderness in joints, enhance joint mobility and decrease morning stiffness in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Fish oil supplements are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Although they cannot be classified as osteoarthritis medication due to FTC regulations, they are widely used as long term treatment of osteoarthritis as well as due to their amazing benefits on overall health including the heart, brain, skin, digestive system, and joints.

Omega-3 fatty acids are natural blood thinners. Therefore, in case you are taking blood thinner medications such as aspirin, you should consult your doctor before you use fish oil supplements or omega-3 supplements as a treatment for osteoarthritis. This is so that you can avoid taking too many blood thinners as that could lead to serious side effects.

Green lipped mussel found in New Zealand is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It contains outstanding anti-inflammatory properties and helps to reduce pain and joint stiffness, increase grip strength and improves joint mobility in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

The research on the best natural alternatives for treating osteoarthritis is going on. Newly approved osteoarthritis medicine might come up in the future. In the meantime, fish oil supplementation with a combination of green lipped mussel is one of the best natural alternatives for omega-3 supplementation and long-term treatment of osteoarthritis.

Vijay K Raisinghani is a Natural Healthcare Expert and a passionate advocate of Omega 3 Fish oils for a healthy mind and body. His website http://www.your-omega3-fish-oil-guide.com provides a wealth of information on what works and what doesn’t work in Omega 3 fish oils to achieve a young, vibrant and robust health.

Article Source: Approved Osteoarthritis Medicine – What You Don’t Know About Prescription Drugs Will Shock You!

Tai chi improves pain in arthritis sufferers

The results of a new analysis have provided good evidence to suggest that tai chi is beneficial for arthritis

The results of a new analysis have provided good evidence to suggest that Tai Chi is beneficial for arthritis. Specifically, it was shown to decrease pain with trends towards improving overall physical health, level of tension and satisfaction with health status.

Musculoskeletal pain, such as that experienced by people with arthritis, places a severe burden on the patient and community and is recognized as an international health priority. Exercise therapy including such as strengthening, stretching and aerobic programs, have been shown to be effective for arthritic pain. Tai Chi, is a form of exercise that is regularly practiced in China to improve overall health and well-being. It is usually preformed in a group but is also practiced individually at one’s leisure, which differs from traditional exercise therapy approaches used in the clinic.

Recently, a new study examined the effectiveness of Tai Chi in decreasing pain and disability and improving physical function and quality of life in people with chronic musculoskeletal pain. The study is published in the June issue of Arthritis Care & Research (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/77005015/home). Led by Amanda Hall of The George Institute in Sydney, Australia, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. They analyzed seven eligible randomized controlled trials that used Tai Chi as the main intervention for patients with musculoskeletal pain. The results demonstrate that Tai Chi improves pain and disability in patients suffering arthritis.

The authors state, “The fact that Tai Chi is inexpensive, convenient, and enjoyable and conveys other psychological and social benefits supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions such as arthritis.”

“It is of importance to note that the results reported in this systematic review are indicative of the effect of Tai Chi versus minimal intervention (usual health care or health education) or wait list control,” the authors note. Establishing the specific effects of Tai Chi would require a placebo-controlled trial, which has not yet been undertaken.

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Article: “The Effectiveness of Tai Chi for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Conditions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Amanda Hall, Chris Maher, Jane Latimer, Manuela Ferreira, Arthritis Care & Research, June 2009.

Celebrex: Providing Relief from Pain and Inflammation

by Article Expert

About Celebrex

Celebrex is a non-steroidal anti inflammatory medicine, which fight against inflammation, pain, swelling and it also reduces the amount of substance that causes them. Celebrex is generally prescribed to patients suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Continue reading

How Liquid Glucosamine Can Help To Relieve Arthritis Pain

by Gen Wright

Many people suffer from arthritis as they grow older. In general, most people tend to have stiffer joints due to many different reasons. The primary reason is that the overall health of a person declines as one starts to age. Muscles and bones start to degenerate as time passes, and the body doesn’t work as well anymore. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find a host of bone related problems such as arthritis, osteoarthritis , or cartilage degeneration. Continue reading

Arthritis Treatment

by Ashlie Hartwell

Arthritis is defined as joint inflammation and is also used to describe dozens of other rheumatic diseases. The term ‘Arthritis’ covers osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, gout and fibromyalgia, to name but a few. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis and usually affects older people as it is a degenerative condition. However it can affect younger people, particularly if a joint has been injured or is deformed. Continue reading

Natural Arthritis Cures

by Matt Traverso

Do you have pain in your joints or are you suffering from joint stiffness, swelling and redness? If, the answer is “Yes” then go see a doctor. Such symptoms indicate that you are suffering from ‘Arthritis’. Usually, people face this problem after the age of fifty or fifty five but nowadays even amongst youngsters, it has been diagnosed.
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