Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center's Dr. Nancy Olsen is comparing the effects of two Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on the occurrence of cardiovascular illnesses, including heart attacks, strokes and death related to cardiovascular disease. Volunteers are needed for this research study.
July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness month, and a great opportunity to learn about a disease that you may not have much exposure to, or perhaps a chance to learn more about a condition that affects a friend or family member.
It is believed that as many as 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis -- characterized by a breakdown of cartilage, specifically at the ends of the bones. This is the cartilage that normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement and a cushioned surfaced. As the normal cartilage layer wears, the bones gets closer together, in some cases actually rubbing, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Osteoarthritis most commonly occurs in the hips, knees, and hands, but other joints, particularly the shoulders and ankles, also can be affected. Most osteoarthritis comes from the general "wear and tear" associated with the aging process. However, other types may have injury or obesity as predisposing factors.
The specialty teams of Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute will offer a free community day of lectures focused on bone, joint, and spine health. The event will be held Saturday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University Conference Center.
Many people do not realize that arthritis affects children of all ages. Juvenile Arthritis causes pain, stiffness and inflammation of one or more joints in children 16 years of age or less. Nearly 300,000 children in the United States are affected by some type of Juvenile Arthritis. To educate the public more about rheumatic illnesses in children, July has been declared National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month.
A recent review of 12 randomized, controlled studies concluded that both aerobic exercise and strength training are beneficial, particularly for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Higher intensity activities seem to offer the greatest benefit. The reviewers recommended individually tailored exercise programs and suggested that patients with damage to large joints should avoid activities involving twisting or sudden joint impact.
If you're finding yourself increasingly hobbled by stiff and painful joints, don't try self treatment for too long. While over-the-counter pain remedies may give you relief for awhile, there are risks involved in taking any medication for an extended time without medical supervision.
X-rays taken of men and women as young as age 40 often show signs of osteoarthritis of the neck. This is mainly due to age-related wear and tear, and the person may have no symptoms or only minor neck pain and stiffness that develops later.