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Arthritis Archive

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You don’t say? Can your joints wear out?

Published August 1, 2022

Joints do not wear out from overuse. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, occurs when the smooth cartilage that lines the joint deteriorates. This might occur because of an injury, age, family history, obesity, or a disease that causes joint inflammation.

What’s that shoulder sound?

Published August 1, 2022

There’s no one sound unique to a particular shoulder problem. That makes it hard to know what various shoulder noises are telling you. Possibilities include arthritis; bone breaks; rotator cuff tears; gas bubbles, loose parts, or bone spurs in the shoulder joint; neck problems; and bursitis. It’s advisable to investigate shoulder noises if they happen, along with shoulder pain, weakness, or limited movement, or if the sound followed a shoulder injury. It’s also smart (though not urgent) to ask a doctor about shoulder sounds that aren’t accompanied by other symptoms.

Can a vegan diet treat rheumatoid arthritis?

Published July 13, 2022

A recent study suggested a vegan diet is an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, and its lead author also said that people should try changing their eating patterns before turning to medication. But there is no evidence that changes in diet can prevent joint damage that occurs in rheumatoid arthritis.

Injections for knee osteoarthritis might not cause damage

Published July 1, 2022

People with knee osteoarthritis often gain temporary pain relief from joint injections. However, there is uncertainty about long-term risks of steroid injections. A 2022 study suggests that the risk may be minimal if these injections are done infrequently.

Get a helping hand for pain

Published May 1, 2022

Osteoarthritis in the hand is a painful condition that is more common in women than in men. While this condition can be debilitating, a number of strategies can be used to manage it, including using various topical, oral, and injected pain medications; splinting the joint; making lifestyle changes; and working with a hand therapist. Surgery may be an option when other measures have failed to control symptoms.

The most common exercise among people with arthritis

Published February 1, 2022
U.S. adults who report being physically active say their most frequent forms of exercise are walking, gardening, and weight lifting, according to a study published online Oct. 8, 2021, by the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Casing the joints

Published November 1, 2021
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis among older adults. Often called the "wear and tear" disease, osteoarthritis doesn’t occur because of overusing or stressing one’s joints. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, people can lower their risk or better manage the condition by losing excess weight, strengthening the muscles surrounding joints, and using over-the-counter pain medication as needed.

Take on chronic pain where it lives

Published July 1, 2021
Chronic pain conditions are common in older adults. Managing pain at home can be as important as working with a doctor. There are numerous options for at-home pain management, including online workout programs, cognitive behavioral therapy programs, online support groups, and apps. Recognizing that you can take steps to decrease chronic pain is crucial to success.

Chronic inflammation and your joints

Published July 1, 2021
The immune system sometimes launches a chronic inflammatory response in certain joints. That leads to pain, stiffness, and joint damage known as inflammatory arthritis. It’s usually unknown what triggers the conditions. Types of inflammatory arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and psoriatic arthritis. Treatments include medications, such as biologic or nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and lifestyle habits, such as exercising, avoiding processed foods, reducing stress, not smoking, and getting enough sleep. Wearing a splint or brace on affected joints and seeking physical therapy may also help ease pain.

Study finds these shoes are better at keeping knee pain in check

Updated May 1, 2021

News briefs

When you have knee pain, you just want it to go away so you can walk without having to limp or wince with every step. And a small, randomized trial published online Jan. 12, 2021, by Annals of Internal Medicine found that one type of shoe might be best for the job. Researchers took 164 people ages 50 or older with moderate or severe knee arthritis and randomly assigned half of the group to wear stable, supportive shoes with thick soles that didn't bend much. The other half was assigned flat shoes with thin, flexible soles, which are believed by some to provide a benefit by allowing more natural movement of the leg and foot. Both groups wore their assigned shoes for six hours per day and took part in activities such as walking during that time. After six months, 58% of people in the stable, supportive shoe group reported a reduction in knee pain while walking, compared with 40% of people reporting pain reduction after wearing the flat, flexible shoes. In both groups, the pain reduction probably was a benefit of regular walking. The people wearing flexible shoes were also twice as likely to develop ankle or foot pain, compared with those wearing sturdy shoes. So if you have knee pain, keep walking — in sturdy shoes.

Image: © chictype/Getty Images

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