Knowledge Base

Medications for rheumatoid arthritis: What you need to know

What is rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints; this can lead to pain in the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, hips, knees, feet, and/or ankles. Other common symptoms include body stiffness and fatigue. RA usually occurs in joints on both sides of the body at… Read more »

Making decisions about rheumatoid arthritis medications

Coping with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can feel overwhelming at times. Choosing the right RA medication can sometimes be a challenge, too; that’s because medications that work well for some people may not work at all for others. You’re not on your own, though – you and your health care provider will work together to choose… 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 »

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 »

The truth about arthritis myths

Arthritis is a common disease, with 46 million Americans affected. But there are many misconceptions about it. This may be because researchers don’t yet know what causes some forms of the condition and a constant flow of new research has changed how we treat it. Then there’s the Internet, which, while helpful, can spread information that’s… Read more »

Frequently asked questions about alcohol and pain medications

People with chronic pain should learn the facts about alcohol and how it can interact with pain medication, even if they only drink occasionally. Here are some things that are important to know: Combining alcohol with some pain medications can cause serious and unexpected health problems, and sometimes can even lead to death.  They both have the… Read more »

How to evaluate health-related research

Did you ever hear about the possibility that some childhood vaccines might cause autism? This claim was based on a study that was published in The Lancet – a reliable British medical journal – in 1998. Unfortunately, it took until 2010 before The Lancet finally removed the study from the medical literature, saying that the author’s results were based… Read more »

The facts about weight loss myths

For many people, losing weight helps them manage their chronic pain.  Losing weight can help ease the burden on muscles and bones, and can be especially helpful for people with back pain or pain from osteoarthritis.  Unfortunately, there are many weight-loss myths that can make it hard to try to lose weight.  Here are some… Read more »