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Musculoskeletal Tips

Arthritis

Better Body Mechanics for Arthritics
Chairs: Try to always sit in the highest chair in the room, and look for chairs with arm rests to make it easier to get up.
When getting up from a chair, slide forward to the edge, lean forward, then push down with your palms on the arms or seat of the chair.

Stairs: When climbing stairs, walk up one step at a time, leading up with the good leg and down with the bad leg.


Celebrex Celebration
Thanks, in part, to eye-catching ads depicting arthritis patients zipping around on kiddie scooters and performing tai chi, sales of Celebrex, a new type of painkiller, have gone through the roof. But the Food and Drug Administration has told the drug's maker, Searle, to tone down the promises, claiming they give prospective buyers the impression that Celebrex is some kind of super drug. (In fact, it may work no better than already available anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, despite the fact that, at $2 a pill, Celebrex is about five times more expensive). So what makes Celebrex special? It's far less likely to cause bleeding ulcers and other stomach ills -- the one thing the ads never mention.


Glucosamine and Arthritis
Glucosamine is an excellent supplement for arthritis sufferers. It is said to ease joint pain and may even repair the damaged joint.


New Arthritis Drug Licofelone Showing Promise
A new type of anti-inflammatory painkiller is showing promise in experiments on people with arthritis in their knees. The drug, licofelone, works just as well for arthritis as traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, but is gentler on the stomach.


Smoking and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Smokers are at a much higher risk to develop rheumatoid arthritis, another reason to quit or, better yet, never start smoking.


Yoga to Reduce Pain
Yoga, with its tension-relieving attributes, often eases some of the pain of arthritis.


Back Pain

Analgesic and Back Pain
The best pain relievers to use for back pain are NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen sodium) that have the dual actions of an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.


Back Pain Relief
Proper posture is essential to the prevention of back ailments and can ease the pain of those already suffering with back problems. Straighten those shoulders, hold in your stomach and keep your head erect!


Heating Pads and Back Pain
Back pain is often treated with moist heat via a heating pad. Keep the temperature of the heating pad set to low, DO NOT cover the pad with a blanket and DO NOT sleep with the heating pad on.


Pilates and Back Health
The Pilates exercise regimen works deeply in your abdominals, lower back, thighs, and buttocks to help your posture and make a healthier back.


Proper Lifting Techniques
Many back problems can be prevented by using proper body mechanics when lifting. Do not bend over at the waist to pick up a package off the floor. Stoop down with the object close to you, keep your back straight and lift using your buttocks and leg muscles.


Osteoporosis

Alcohol Consumption and Osteoporosis
Consuming more than two alcoholic beverages a day may decrease bone formation and reduce the bone’s ability to absorb calcium.


Exercise and Osteoporosis
Weight-bearing exercises help build strong, dense bones and guard against bone loss. Exercises that can help prevent osteoporosis include walking, jogging, running, stair climbing, rope jumping, skiing, aerobic dancing, and impact-producing sports such as tennis or volleyball.


HRT and Osteoporosis
Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal should talk to their physician about other ways to help prevent osteoporosis, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or other prescription medications.


No Bones About It: A New Drug for Osteoporosis
For women who suffer with osteoporosis, the news is good: A new medication promises to revolutionize treatment for the bone-thinning disease, particularly in women with the most severe problems. The drug, a synthetic version of human parathyroid hormone called PTH, works by helping the body build new bone -- even after dramatic loss has occurred.
Unlike other treatments for osteoporosis, which can help stop bone loss, parathyroid hormone actually helps the body build new bone, so that a woman has a chance to put back what her skeleton has lost over time to osteoporosis.


Prevent Osteoporosis with Dietary Calcium
Milk, cheese, yogurt, citrus fruits, and shellfish are good sources of calcium. Vegetables that are rich in calcium include broccoli, spinach, kale, and collard greens.


Preventing Osteoporosis
Post-menopausal women, and men with low testosterone, are most at risk for osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become brittle and weak.

Preventive tips for over-50-year-olds:

Include 1,500 milligrams of dietary calcium and 800 international units of vitamin D in your daily diet.
Do weight-bearing exercises -- like walking, jogging, dancing or aerobics -- at least three times a week.
Add resistance training to your workout routine: lift free weights, use weight-training machines, play racquet or impact sports.
Practice proper lifting techniques -- bend from your knees, not your back.
Have an annual physical exam and ask your doctor to order a bone density test.


Smoking and Osteoporosis
Smoking interferes with the absorption of calcium and increases your chances of developing osteoporosis.


Vitamin D and Osteoporosis
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and deposit it into bones. Vitamin D may be obtained from vitamin-D fortified milk and foods such as liver, fish, and egg yolks.


Vitamin D and Our Bones
Vitamin D plus calcium supplements have been shown to decrease the risks of bone loss and fracture in the elderly when consumed at recommended levels.


Why Men are Less Prone to Osteoporosis
Why is it only women who have to worry about osteoporosis as they get older? One reason may be that male menopause, sometimes called andopause or andropause, comes later and is a lot slower than menopause in women. But it may also be a matter of estrogen production. After menopause, women still produce estrogen -- in breast tissue, where it doesn't do much good. But men also produce estrogen -- in bones, where it helps prevent osteoporosis.


Sprains and Strains

Ace Wrap Tip
Never wrap and Ace bandage too tightly. It can cause swelling below the injured area and impede circulation.


Alleviate Swelling of Sprain
The most effective way to reduce swelling (edema) of an injury is to elevate the affected area. Pillows or other means may be used.


No Bandage with Pain Relief Rubs
If you use a pain relief rub such as Icy Hot, do not apply a bandage/Ace wrap over the affected area. A serious burn could result.


Proper Application of an Ice Pack
If you have a strain or sprain, proper application of an ice pack is part of the treatment. You should always keep a layer of fabric, such as a washcloth, between your skin and the ice pack to prevent frostbite. Ice the affected area for 15 - 20 minutes, then remove the ice pack for 15 - 20 minutes and alternate for the first 24 - 48 hours after the injury has occurred.


Stretching to Relieve Spasms
Gradually stretch out the muscle to relieve spasms and cramps. Stretching can also alleviate present muscle soreness and prevent future soreness.


Vinegar Effective Pain Relief
A brisk rubdown with apple cider vinegar can help relieve general muscle pain and stiffness.


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