Early Detection For Arthritis

Share Button

This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

legslotionDr. John D. Tomasin, MD, a Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) Orthopedic Surgeon discusses living with arthritis, exploring the latest research on the care of arthritis and explains when total-joint-replacement is necessary.

Research, led by the University of Warwick in the UK published recently in the journal Scientific Reports reveals that the first blood test for detection of early-stage osteoarthritis could soon be developed. Researchers who say that the biomarker they identified in the study makes it possible to detect the painful joint condition before bone and joint damage becomes obvious.Dr. John Tomasin, NCMA Orthopedic Surgeon, points out that this development will help to bring treatment for arthritis to patients when it could actually have the greatest impact; in the early stages of the disease.

Researchers suggest that this discovery raises the potential of a blood test that can help diagnose the most common forms of arthritis, RA and OA — as much as several years before the onset of physical symptoms. “With this sort of advanced warning orthopedic physicians would be able to manage and treat symptoms well before the disease reaches its more painful state and starts to become degenerative,” Tomasin says.

The sooner the diagnosis, the better — as most types of arthritis can be managed fairly well, and the pain and disability minimized when caught in the early stages. While it may be some time before advance detection is available by way of a blood test, treating arthritis as symptoms arise and knowing when to make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist will help to give patients a better outlook on living with arthritis.

Common Forms of Arthritis

It may surprise some people to learn that arthritis is the nation’s most common cause of disability affecting an estimated 52.5 million adults in the U.S; that figure translates to about 1 of 5 adults currently living with some form of arthritis. According to the Center for Disease Control, as the U.S. population continues to age, the number of adults with arthritis is expected to increase to a whopping 67 million by 2030.

Arthritis is most commonly diagnosed in adults 65 years or older but people of all ages – including children, can be affected. It tends to affect women more than men (26 to 19 percent respectively) of all racial and ethnic groups. Arthritis is thought to be caused by inflammation of the tissue lining the joints. More than 100 different category of rheumatic diseases and conditions exist under the umbrella of an arthritis diagnosis; the most common being osteoarthritis which usually develops are part of the aging process, and most often affects the fingers, knees and hips. Other forms of arthritis that occur includes:

* rheumatoid arthritis

* lupus

* gout, pseudo gout

Arthritis is also more commonly diagnosed among adults who have issues of obesity, and is less likely to appear in those who maintain a healthy weight. There is no known cure for arthritis, but there are many treatments that can help slow down the condition and provide some relief. Symptoms universally include pain, aching, stiffness and swelling in or around the joints. Certain forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, have been known to affect organs and cause pervasive symptoms throughout the body.

How Is Arthritis Treated?

Arthritis treatments are aimed at providing pain relief by controlling inflammation and increasing joint mobility. “Early, aggressive treatment is particularly important for rheumatoid arthritis in order to help prevent further damage and disability down the road,” explains Dr. Tomasin. Common treatment options may include medication, an exercise regime specific to the condition, application of heat or cold compresses and use of joint protection. When these methods fail to provide relief surgery may be considered.

When it’s time for Total Join Replacement

Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure where aspects of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with prosthesis. This type of prosthesis is constructed from plastic, ceramic or metal and is designed to perfectly replicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons the vast majority of patients report a significant decrease in pain following total joint replacement surgery; up to 90 percent of all patients. “Most patients quickly return to normal daily activities and are usually able to continue to stay active for years to come,” says Dr. Tomasin. “In many cases, following total joint replacement surgery we see our patients resume activities they enjoyed prior to being diagnosed with arthritis.”

A variety of conditions can cause joint pain and disability that lead patients to consider joint replacement surgery including damage to the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones called ‘articular cartilage’ usually due to arthritis, a fracture, trauma or some other condition.

It is reported that about 1 million total joint replacements were performed in the United States as if 2011. The most common type of joint replacement is hip and knee but replacement surgery can also be successfully performed on the ankle, wrist, elbow and shoulder.

About Dr. Tomasin

Dr. John D. Tomasin attended medical school at the University of California, Davis-School of Medicine, and completed his residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Tomasin completed his Sports Medicine Fellowship at Hughston Sports Medicine Clinic in Columbus, GA, as well as an AO Fellowship in Munich, West Germany. Dr. Tomasin has been published in numerous professional medical journals, including Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Journal of Orthopedic Trauma, and The Physician and Sports Medicine. Dr. Tomasin has been the team physician for numerous high school athletic programs, including Healdsburg High School and Cardinal Newman High School. He is also been the acting medical consultant for the Northern California Rugby Football Union, and the team physician for the Santa Rosa Rugby Club. Dr. Tomasin is committed to the health of the Sonoma County community, and he has been in practice in Healdsburg since 1988. To learn more visit our website or call 707-4330-0126 for an appointment.

Resources:

First blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be available – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150320091317.htm

Arthritis: The Nation’s Most Common Cause of Disability – http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/arthritis.htm

Arthritis Basics – http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/arthritis-basics?page=3#1

Arthritis Foundation – http://www.arthritistoday.org/

Living With Arthritis: Health Information Basics for You and Your Family – http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Arthritis/default.asp

Occupational Therapy Offers Relief For Hand Pain From Arthritis

Share Button

This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

newsOccupational Therapist Roxanne Perry with Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training with tips on how OT can help manage osteoarthritis hand pain and prevent further joint damage.

Opening a jar, buttoning a shirt or brushing your teeth are everyday activities that feel far from routine for those with arthritis in their hands, a highly common condition causing pain and disability for millions of Americans. But occupational therapy, or OT, focusing on the hands can ease pain and increase range of motion for these patients, whether used on its own or after surgery, according to Roxanne Perry, a licensed occupational therapist and certified hand therapist at Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training.

With 27 bones in each of our hands (including the carpals which are the small wrist bones and are often involved when a patient has arthritic pain) perhaps it’s not surprising that osteoarthritis is the most common cause of hand arthritis – a word that literally means “inflamed joint.” Osteoarthritis itself is the most common type of arthritis in the United States, affecting about 12% of American adults and occurring when the smooth cartilage covering joints gets worn away because of age or overuse – causing pain, stiffness, swelling and sometimes knobby finger joints.

Hand therapy is a specialized practice area among occupational therapists, who treat these patients to preserve or increase their hand mobility so they’re able to perform everyday tasks more easily and comfortably.

“As a non-surgical option or a way to boost your recovery from hand surgery, occupational therapy is tailored to fit each person’s individual situation and needs, both at home and at work,” says Perry, who has more than 20 years of clinical experience treating injuries of the upper extremity. “The ultimate goal is to restore and optimize the way your hands function as well as to improve your independence and overall quality of life.”

Preventing further joint damage

For those with hand osteoarthritis for which surgery isn’t recommended, OT serves a preventative role, Perry explains. Patients are taught ways to prevent further joint damage, which can include:

Splinting: Immobilizing affected joints, particularly at night, helps them rest when you do and cuts down on joint inflammation, pain and swelling, Perry says. Splints used during sleep are made of a thermoplastic material that stretch and mold closely to the shape of the hand, while neoprene splints may be prescribed during the day to allow movement while also providing support. An occupational therapist will ensure splints are fabricated and fitted to each patient’s needs.

Home exercise program: In addition to working with hand osteoarthritis patients during office visits, occupational therapists also teach them range-of-motion exercises and gentle strengthening techniques they can perform at home. These therapeutic movements may include finger touches, curls, stretches and bends. A typical OT schedule involves office visits twice each week for 4 to 6 weeks and is generally covered by insurance with a prescription.

Information on pain management: Occupational therapists can offer education about over-the-counter and other types of anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain. Other pain management techniques may include soaking the hands in warm water or dipping them in warm paraffin wax. Additionally an OT can provide information on joint protection and adaptive equipment that can help increase patient’s independence.

“Avoiding further joint damage is a big part of effective treatment for hand arthritis,” Perry notes. “It’s not something you’d want to attempt without the guidance and expertise of an occupational therapist.”

If surgery needed, restoring strength and function

Surgery for osteoarthritis of the hand may be suggested when a patient either suffers from too much pain – a highly individual decision – or too little function. Surgical techniques can include; basal joint arthroplasty, also known as a joint replacement of the thumb, osteotomy, in which part of the bone of a joint is removed to realign the joint, and fusion of the joints, a procedure use when arthritis is particularly bad.

But even in this scenario, OT can play a crucial role in restoring a patient’s quality of life. If surgery is indicated, OT helps patients to manage post-operative pain; reduce swelling; promote wound care and healing; and restore range of motion, strength, and function.

“While a conservative, non-surgical approach is generally successful for managing hand osteoarthritis, sometimes surgery is the best course,” Perry says. “But either way, an occupational therapist can improve patients’ hand function and pain levels, reducing the stress on involved joints. OT shouldn’t be a last resort – it should be the first thought for people who develop hand arthritis.”

– Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training has provided personalized, integrative, and skilled one-on-one physical therapy services to residents of Westchester/lower Fairfield counties since 2001. http://www.armonkptst.com/ – Roxanne Perry, OTR, CHT, is a licensed occupational therapist and certified hand therapist at Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training.

Relieving The Pain Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Foot

Share Button

By Dr. Parul K. Patel

seniorjoggerRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease affecting more than 1.5 million people in the United States. While the disease can affect any joints in the body, small joints in the feet and hands are often the first affected. About 90% of people with RA eventually develop symptoms in the ankle and the foot at some point, according to a study in The Open Rheumatology Journal.

Rheumatoid arthritis leads to an oversensitivity in the lining that lubricates joints and helps them move. This leads to inflammation that causes damage to the joint as well as ligaments and surrounding tissues. As the ligaments weaken, it may lead to joint deformities in the foot as well as bone softening and collapse. RA usually affects both feet and the same joints in each foot. Areas of the foot affected by RA include:

• The hindfoot or heel. As RA develops, you may have trouble walking on uneven surfaces and experience pain beneath the fibula outside the foot. Eventually, the alignment of your foot can shift and lead to flatfoot as well as more pain on the outside ankle and the tendon inside the ankle.

• The midfoot or top of the foot. RA weakens the ligaments supporting the midfoot, potentially causing the arch to collapse. As you lose the arch of your foot, your foot may collapse and the front of your foot may begin to turn outward. Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to cartilage damage that causes pain.

• The forefoot or the ball and toes of the foot.
People with RA often develop deformities in the toes and forefront of the foot such as claw toes, bunions, and pain under the ball of the foot. Bunions can become so serious that the big toe actually crosses over the second toe. The small toes may dislocate and deform into clawtoes that make it painful to wear shoes.

Treating RA Foot Pain

While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are treatment options that can reduce the pain and discomfort of foot symptoms. RA foot care generally begins with wearing correct footwear. This means avoiding narrow-toed shoes and heals and choosing shoes with a low heel and high ceiling. Orthotics can also reduce foot pain, support the arch, and potentially prevent many common foot deformities.

Steroid injections into affected joints can also relieve pain by reducing inflammation of the joint lining. A foot specialist can recommend the best course of action to treat your pain and may recommend a special exercise regimen that avoids excessive pressure on the foot.

Surgery is often required to alleviate RA pain and correct foot deformities like bunions and hammer toes. Depending on the problem, surgery may involve correcting the position of joints and bones, fusing or resetting joints, or removing boney growths.

If you are dealing with RA symptoms in your feet, it’s important to see a foot specialist before the problems worsen and lead to serious deformities or an inability to walk.

– Dr. Parul K. Patel, DPM of Infinity Foot & Ankle is a podiatric specialist who offers comprehensive podiatric care in the Greater Dallas area. Dr. Patel treats a wide variety of foot conditions including rheumatoid arthritis with a combination of preventative, medical, and surgical care.

New Drug Found To Cure Rheumatoid Arthritis

Share Button

Thank you to PRWeb for supplying this article. What are your thoughts on these findings and reports, please share in the comments section below…..

newsBeverly Hills rheumatologist Dr. Susan Baker comments on a new drug trial that could revolutionize treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis for patients.

The findings from a promising drug study for treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis in mice is set for human trials this year. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers, lead by Teresa Hemmerle of the federal technology institute ETH Zurich in Switzerland, discovered a compound that cleared the affected mice of their symptoms.

Using one of the body’s own immune cells, interleukin 4 (IL-4), and fusing it with an antibody found in certain disease specific inflamed tissue and tumors, the researchers found that the combination of the two elements used together completely eradicated the arthritis induced swelling and inflammation in the toes and paws of the affected mice within days.

“The implications for human uses of this study are very exciting,” said Dr. Susan A. Baker, a rheumatologist in Beverly Hills. “The treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis up to this point has mainly focused on managing pain and slowing long term joint damage and deterioration for as long as possible. The potential for a drug with curative effects would be a watershed moment in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that causes painful swelling and inflammation in the joints and can lead to long term joint damage and deterioration currently does not have a cure. While the trajectory between human trials and the availability of a cure can be long and complicated, the researchers are very hopeful that their findings will lead to a viable treatment option for humans down the line.

“Any research or new information that can enhance our treatment options for patients is always a welcome addition,” added Dr. Baker.

The researchers found that when used separately, the components worked to slow the progression of the RA symptoms in the mice, but it was the combination of the two that produced the breakthrough results.

Board certified in both internal medicine and rheumatology, Dr. Baker has been practicing medicine in Beverly Hills since 2003. In addition to her primary practice, she holds teaching position at Cedars Sinai Hospital. and is a clinical instructor of medicine for UCLA, David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Baker has been recieved numerous awards including the “Patient’s Choice Award” and the “Most Compassionate Doctor” award.

To contact Susan A. Baker MD, Rheumatology & Internal Medicine please visit http://susanbakermd.com/, or call (310) 274–7770.