Year: 2011

What to consider when thinking about joint replacement surgery

For years, Susan had used a combination of medication, exercise, and occasional steroid injections to reduce her pain from osteoarthritis of the hip and increase her mobility. But over time she found that she was having increased stiffness and difficulty walking. She began to wonder if it was time for surgery. When she talked with… Read more »

Setting goals to improve your quality of life

A good treatment program for arthritis doesn’t just provide pain relief, it also sets goals to improve the day-to-day life of the person in pain. Here’s why it’s important to set functional and attainable goals, and how to go about setting these goals. Let’s start with definitions: Functional goals help people to get better at handling… Read more »

How to make computer use more comfortable

With so much time spent before a screen these days, feeling comfortable at the keyboard is essential. This is especially true for people with arthritis, who may experience increased pain, achiness, stiffness, and/or fatigue due to computer use. In a study analyzing the connection between arthritis and computer-related strain, 77 percent of respondents with arthritis… Read more »

What you should know about acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is a medication that is commonly recommended for people with pain, and is available over-the-counter (OTC). It is sometimes combined with other medications, such as opioids, and a prescription is needed. Acetaminophen is generally regarded as safe and effective with relatively few side effects. In fact, depending on your symptoms and medical history, your… Read more »

Important things to know about nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are familiar to most of us and are often very effective for people with pain resulting from arthritis. Not only do they help to reduce pain, they can help to decrease swelling and inflammation as well. Depending on your symptoms, medical history, and other factors, an NSAID may be your health… Read more »

What is the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?

Although people often think of arthritis as a single condition, it isn’t one disease. In fact, there are more than 100 kinds of arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common, affecting 27 million Americans. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is second, affecting 1.3 million. Both conditions damage the joints, causing pain and stiffness. OA and RA can… Read more »

Introduction to rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common type of arthritis, found in over 1.3 million people in the United States. Often debilitating, it’s a painful, chronic disease that damages the joints. The condition usually affects people ages 20 to 60, with women five times more likely than men to have it. RA typically is thought to… Read more »

When a family member misuses prescription drugs

Prescription drug misuse: A problem for the whole family Nancy takes prescription pain medication for chronic pain.  She and her husband frequently have their children and grandchildren stay at their vacation house. After a weekend visit Nancy’s husband tells her that one of their teenage grandchildren may be abusing drugs.  What thoughts go through her… Read more »

Total joint replacement surgery: The state of the art

For people with arthritis, total joint replacement is usually considered a last resort. Generally, health care providers recommend it when other treatments no longer work and/or pain has worsened to the point where it severely impacts quality of life. One of the single most important things to consider is that joint replacement is a decision that… Read more »

Introduction to osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. It has been estimated that more than 27 million Americans have the condition, which primarily affects people who are 60 years of age or older. OA is called “wear-and-tear” arthritis. It typically comes with aging and results from joints being used over time. With OA of the knee,… Read more »