Stopping the Hurt: Chiropractic Care Offers Alternative for Arthritis Sufferers

As America grows increasingly gray, the seniors who make up this part of the U.S. demographic are anxious to find alternative forms of health care to help them through their golden years. This is especially true for those with arthritis, and it turns out that chiropractic care may be the magic bullet some have been looking for.

To date, the traditional approach to alleviating arthritis aches and pains involves over-the-counter and prescription medications that can have severe adverse effects. But a recent article in the respected journal Medscape Rheumatology, titled “CAM for Arthritis: Is There a Role?”—”CAM” being short for “complementary and alternative medicine”—confirmed the steady growth in chiropractors’ popularity among the nation’s nearly 50 million arthritis sufferers. “There’s little question in my mind that chiropractic works especially for acute musculoskeletal pain,” wrote Dr. Nathan Wei, MD.

Learning the History Behind Your Strings

(NewsUSA) – Pain relievers commonly taken by athletes for sports-related injuries and by arthritis sufferers can lead to ulcers, other gastrointestinal problems, and kidney and liver damage. These drugs, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are available over-the-counter and by prescription.In recent years, several professional athletes have reportedly been apprehensive about the potentially harmful long-term effects of anti-inflammatory medications and some have even refused to take them.But others, such as former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Gary Plummer, are choosing topical pain relievers to cope with their pain. Topical analgesics are creams, lotions or sprays that are applied to your skin to help relieve muscle and joint pain, including minor arthritis pain. Their active ingredients can be capsaicin, salicylates or counter-irritants.Capsaicin blocks the "pain message" from reaching the brain. Salicylates inhibit the hormonelike substances that contribute to pain and inflammation by seeping through the skin. Counter-irritants "fool" the pain by creating a feeling of cold or heat over sore muscles, thus masking the pain.Plummer, who has had 17 surgeries throughout his NFL career and one hip replacement since his retirement, uses a menthol-based pain relieving ointment when aches and pains hinder his everyday activities."I have arthritis in my wrists, in one of my ankles and six of my fingers," Plummer said. "So I just put Joint-Ritis on there."With the help of this topical pain reliever, he said he is now able to do more everyday activities without worrying about pain."It’s liberating to be able to do things that you basically had taken for granted," Plummer said.Now he is able to walk longer distances and even coach."I’m out there working with kids for almost six hours, five days a week," he said. "I’m able to demonstrate hitting positions. Put Joint-Ritis on and I’m good to go coach my boys and practice. That’s always been important to me … to spend time with my kids."Plummer said he often recommends this method to other people, including his wife whose hands often ache after hours of gardening.Joint-Ritis is available in stores where you buy your health care products. For more information, log on to

Baby Boomers: Don’t Let Osteoarthritis Slow You Down

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Baby Boomers: Don’t Let Osteoarthritis Slow You Down

Five words   or less(NewsUSA) – Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 27 million Americans and is the most common type of arthritis. Women over the age of 50 have a greater risk of …

Boomers: Don’t Take Old Age Laying Down

Many aging baby boomers expect to exercise well into their seventies, and most plan to live independently for as long as possible. Luckily, companies are designing products that help boomers retain their active lifestyles.

To help consumers find products that are easy to use at any age, the Arthritis Foundation developed its Ease of Use program, which employs testers with moderate-to-severe arthritis to evaluate products. The Arthritis Foundation provides the following tips for boomers unwilling to let age interfere with their favorite activities:

Boomers Refuse to Take Old Age Laying Down

<b>Boomers Refuse to Take Old Age Laying Down</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Many baby boomers expect to exercise well into their seventies, and most plan to live independently for as long as possible. Luckily, companies are designing products that help boomers retain their active lifestyles.

To help consumers find products that are easy to use at any age, the Arthritis Foundation developed its Ease of Use program, which employs testers with moderate-to-severe arthritis to evaluate products. The Arthritis Foundation provides the following tips for boomers unwilling to let age interfere with their favorite activities:

* Choose exercise equipment that reduces strain on joints. Baby boomers love their exercise, so it can be frustrating when knees, hips and backs protest after running or cycling. But there’s no reason that boomers can’t make adjustments that allow them to continue their favorite activities.

For example, gym rats can find indoor exercise equipment specifically designed to avoid straining hips, knees and shoulders. The NuStep 4000 Recumbent Cross Trainer received the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation for its comfortable seat and ability to provide an effective upper- and lower-body workout without stressing joints.

* Make bathroom cleaning more accessible. Cleaning the bathroom can often be an arduous task. Bending and scrubbing can add unwanted pressure to joints and muscles. Products like Scrubbing Bubbles, an SC Johnson cleaning product, has incorporated innovative ways to ease unnecessary work from the necessary evil of cleaning the bathroom. Scrubbing Bubbles’ Automatic Shower Cleaner is a breakthrough cleaning system that automatically sprays cleaner to eliminate the buildup of tough soap scum and mold and mildew stains. The cleaning formula combines with the water on your shower walls to begin working immediately.

* Eliminate bending and kneeling. As you age, climbing on chairs to reach tall shelves or stooping to fish through low cabinets becomes less feasible. Designing your home to put your possessions in reach can help you stay independent as you age.

When purchasing cabinets or other storage spaces, look for features like adjustable shelving, pullouts and extensions. For example, The Diamond Logix 36 Inch SuperCabinet with Rollouts and Pullouts has three roll-out trays, dual storage and two wire pull-out baskets, so you don’t have to reach, kneel or bend to access items.

For more information, visit

How to Be a Prepared Patient

<b>How to Be a Prepared Patient</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Aches and pains aren’t always readily attributable to a particular disease, and receiving a medical diagnosis often takes more than one doctor’s visit. Doctor-patient teamwork can help facilitate an efficient and proper diagnosis. Becoming an advocate for your own health and knowing the right questions to ask your doctor can help.

How can you take a more active role in helping your doctor understand your health condition? One simple solution provided by the Arthritis Foundation is to “Take P.A.R.T.

P – Prepare a list of questions, concerns and symptoms to discuss. Keep a detailed journal of your symptoms, including the times they occurred and associated environmental factors. For example, was a particular pain triggered by a certain food or activity?

A – Ask questions during your appointment. It’s a good idea to bring a list of questions with you, as well as a friend or family member to ask questions you may not have identified.

R – Repeat what your doctor recommends so you can be sure you understand. Ask for written instructions.

T – Take action. Inform your doctor of your lifestyle and habits, as well as any concerns and preferences, so a treatment plan can be customized to your specific needs.

“Patients who track their symptoms are better prepared to communicate effectively with their doctors,” said Dr. John Klippel, CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. “Accurate information helps both parties work together to determine the best possible treatment options.”

Fostering open communication with one’s doctor is particularly important for patients with hard-to-diagnose diseases like the autoimmune disorder rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as symptoms can be attributed to other medical conditions. Furthermore, there is no single diagnostic test for RA.

There are programs that help patients and doctors work together to manage health conditions by communicating openly. The Arthritis Foundation’s Let’s Talk RA program, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, offers national meetings, educational podcasts and a communication kit that includes step-by-step discussion tips, as well as a symptom tracker that RA patients can use with their rheumatologists -; all at no cost.

The Let’s Talk RA communication kit can be ordered at no charge through the Arthritis Foundation’s Web site, or by calling 1-800-283-7800.

Hip and Knee Pain: When is it Time to Consider Surgery?

<b>Hip and Knee Pain: When is it Time to Consider Surgery?</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Chronic joint aches and pains caused by arthritis can interfere with everyday life, limiting mobility and function.

In early stages of arthritis, pain relief can be obtained from acetaminophen and anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen or, for some, injections into the joint (intra-articular injections). However, when arthritis progresses, the cartilage between the bones disappears, and the joint is “bone on bone.” At this stage, these conservative measures may not be enough.

“As the progression of arthritis cannot be stopped, patients should consider joint replacement surgery when the pain in an arthritic joint is severe and disabling,” says Alejandro González Della Valle, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

The criteria used for recommending joint replacement surgery include disabling pain associated with limp, loss of function and mobility. The best candidates for surgery are people who have seen deterioration in their quality of life or impairment in their activities of daily living due to arthritic pain. Activities such as going for a walk or performing some non-impact recreational sports should not be difficult for people without major health problems.

Before arthritic pain is severe enough to consider surgery, some simple measures can be implemented to diminish pain and promote joint health.

* Respect the pain you feel. Perform activities only to the point of discomfort.

* Plan ahead and be realistic about what you can do.

* Learn how to pick things up properly. Bend from the knees when lifting and carrying weights more than 30-40 pounds.

* Reduce repetitive impact on joints, and distribute weight among them to protect joints.

* When walking more than four or five miles, wear well-padded shoes with rubber soles.

* Think about your weight. The impact on your joints will be less detrimental if you are not carrying extra weight.

“No one is too young or too old for joint replacement,” says Douglas E. Padgett, M.D., chief of the Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service at Hospital for Special Surgery. “Every condition can be addressed, even when compounded by other medical conditions.”

The Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service at Hospital for Special Surgery is the world leader in hip, knee and surgical arthritis patient treatment, education, innovation and research. For more information, visit

FDA Approves Low-Level Laser for Osteoarthritis

<b>FDA Approves Low-Level Laser for Osteoarthritis</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease in which joint cartilage wears away over time, proves a common problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one-third of American adults suffer from chronic arthritis.

The pain of osteoarthritis not only affects Americans’ joints, but also their wallets. Thirty-three percent of American workers report that arthritis interferes with their ability to perform their job. In 2007, treating arthritis cost $128 billion — $81 billion in direct expenses, like medical costs, and another $47 billion in lost wages and other indirect costs.

Osteoarthritis typically affects older adults, but it does not affect every senior citizen. It can strike any animal with a bony skeleton, causing pain and disability.

“No one needs to describe that the pain comes and goes, prevents sleep, makes walking difficult, causes you to drop or spill things, and renders you unable to sign your name or write,” writes Dr. Larry Lytle in his book, “Universal Healer: Book I Osteoarthritis.” “In short, it is the most common form of disability.”

Osteoarthritis cannot currently be cured, but effective treatments can improve the quality of life of millions of people. To many people, it comes as exciting news that the FDA has recently approved a low-level laser treatment, the QLaser, for treating osteoarthritis in the hands.

The Q1000 is a Class I laser device that has been classified by the FDA as a non-significant risk device as related to eye injuries, yet helps the body release endorphins (natural painkillers) reduce inflammation, increase circulation, help heal damaged cell membranes and boost cells’ energy levels, resulting in less pain and more healing. Keeping a personal laser, like the QLaser, at home can help patients address their osteoarthritis without turning to costly medical treatments.

For more information about the QLaser and to receive a free copy of Dr. Lytle’s book, “Universal Healer: Book I Osteoarthritis,” go to the Web site and enter the promotional code 5260 in the dropdown menu. To receive an information packet, call 1-800-597-9231 and use promotional code 5260. Dr. Lytle is available for interviews. To arrange an interview, please e-mail

New Options for Boomers With Foot and Ankle Arthritis

<b>New Options for Boomers With Foot and Ankle Arthritis</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As they approach retirement, many members of the “Me Generation” aren’t ready to slow down, even if their bodies are. Foot and ankle surgeons say baby boomers are more likely than previous generations to seek care when arthritis develops in their toes, feet and ankles.

“Unlike their parents, baby boomers do not accept foot pain as a natural part of aging,” says John Giurini, DPM, a Boston foot and ankle surgeon and president of the 6,000-member American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). “When conservative treatments fail, they want to know what other options exist.”

After they’re diagnosed, many boomers hold high expectations for treatment. They may look forward to playing sports or to running again. While there is no fountain of youth for a degenerative condition like arthritis, there are more medical options available than ever before.

The big toe joint is the most common part of the foot to develop osteoarthritis, according to For boomers with early-stage arthritis in this joint, modern surgical procedures may provide more pain relief and increased joint movement.

Boomers with advanced and severe arthritis may need to have the joint fused or replaced. Now, stronger screws and hardware are helping fusions last longer, while slashing recovery times. A new generation of big toe joint replacements also shows promise.

Ankles are another prime spot for arthritis. Innovative surgical techniques allow foot and ankle surgeons to transplant small plugs of cartilage from one part of the ankle to another in some patients, slowing joint deterioration.

Ankle replacements, however, are not as durable as hip and knee replacements. The ankle is a more challenging joint to replace. It’s smaller and moves in multiple

directions. But better and promising ankle implants are hitting the market.

For more information on osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle, visit the ACFAS consumer Web site,