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Joint it osteoarthritis?

Peanuts linked to same health benefits as more pricey nuts; Exercise can ease rheumatoid arthritis pain.
March 5, 2015
Harvard Medical School

Joint it osteoarthritis?

Your knee aches from time to time. Or maybe your fingers don't seem as nimble as they used to be. Is it osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis develops when cartilage, the flexible tissue lining the joints, deteriorates. As a result, the space between bones gradually narrows and the bone surfaces change shape. Over time, this leads to joint damage and pain.

Product Page - Living Well with Osteoarthritis
This report focuses primarily on osteoarthritis — the most common type of arthritis — which affects 27 million Americans. Many people believe it’s a crippling and inevitable part of growing old. But things are changing. Treatments are better, and plenty of people age well without much arthritis. If you have osteoarthritis, you can take steps to protect your joints, reduce discomfort, and improve mobility — all of which are detailed in this report. If you don't have osteoarthritis, the report offers strategies for preventing it.

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The symptoms of osteoarthritis usually develop over many years. The first sign is often joint pain after strenuous activity or overusing a joint. Joints may be stiff in the morning, but loosen up after a few minutes of movement. Or the joint may be mildly tender, and movement may cause a crackling or grating sensation. Some people have continual joint pain that interferes with sleep.

People with osteoarthritis often have it in more than one joint. It is most common in the knee, hip, lower back, neck, and certain finger joints.

  • Knees. When osteoarthritis affects the knee, the result is pain, swelling, and stiffness of that joint. What starts out as some discomfort after a period of disuse can progress to difficulty walking, climbing, bathing, and getting in and out of bed.

  • Hands. Osteoarthritis of the hand often starts with stiffness and soreness of the fingers and in the base of the thumb, particularly in the morning. You may find that it becomes harder to pinch, and your joints crackle when moved. People with hand osteoarthritis may have difficulty doing routine movements, like opening a jar, turning a key, or typing.

  • Hips and spine. When osteoarthritis affects the hip, pain may be felt in the groin, down the inside thigh, or even as far away as the knee. Osteoarthritis of the cervical spine (in the neck) can cause pain in the shoulders and arms. When it affects the lower spine, pain can spread to the buttocks or legs.

For more on keeping your joints healthy and ways to ease the pain caused by osteoarthritis, buy Living Well with Osteoarthritis, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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News and Views from the Harvard Health Blog

Peanuts linked to same heart, longevity benefits as more pricey nuts

A new study published this week shows that eating peanuts offers the same protection against heart disease as eating pricey tree nuts like almonds and walnuts. The study also found that the health benefits of nuts appear to hold up across racial and income differences, which often have a strong influence on health.

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Exercise can ease rheumatoid arthritis pain

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can cause pain and stiffness that makes moving the last thing you want to do.

But staying active is important. Not only is it beneficial for your general health — it's also a way to strengthen your joints, improve your range of motion, and give you the opportunity to take part in the activities you enjoy.

Product Page - Rheumatoid Arthritis
This Special Health Report gives you the information you need to work with your physician to design a treatment plan. You’ll learn how rheumatoid arthritis affects joints and how it is diagnosed and treated, as well as the variety of symptoms that may occur. You'll find information on established medical therapies as well as complementary treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, and dietary supplements.  A special section provides advice about how to care for yourself through adaptations in your personal and work life, useful gadgets, and smoking cessation.

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For people with RA, it's best to take a cautious and strategic approach when starting an exercise program. An individualized program — ideally developed with the help of a physical therapist — can help you protect vulnerable joints while strengthening surrounding muscles. A well-rounded exercise program should include each of these elements:

Aerobic conditioning. Exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing rate has many benefits, including lowering your chances of developing conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. It's especially important for people with rheumatoid arthritis because they are more prone to developing heart disease than people without RA. When choosing aerobic activities, people with rheumatoid arthritis should consider low-impact exercises such as swimming, bicycle riding, and walking.

Resistance training. Weak muscles, whether due to inactivity or to the side effects of medications like steroids, can diminish your stamina and leave joints less stable. Isometric exercises — exercises that involve muscle contractions with no movement, such as clasping your hands and pressing your arms together — can be a great way to start resistance training. When pain is under control, free weights or weight machines are good options for building muscle and increasing strength.

Stretching and flexibility exercises. Joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis don't move with the same ease or to the same degree (also called range of motion) as healthy joints. That makes activities that lengthen and strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints, such as stretching exercises, tai chi, and yoga, especially important for people with RA.

Balance exercises. Having rheumatoid arthritis can cause problems with gait and balance, leaving you more vulnerable to stumbles and falls. A physical therapist can recommend individualized balance-training exercises. These may include practicing standing on one leg or exercises to strengthen core muscles.

To learn more about how to take control of rheumatoid arthritis by protecting your joints, reducing pain, and improving mobility, buy Rheumatoid Arthritis, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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Featured in this issue

Product Page - Living Well with Osteoarthritis Read More

Living Well with Osteoarthritis

Featured content:

When joints cause pain
What is osteoarthritis?
Diagnosing osteoarthritis
Treating osteoarthritis without surgery
Surgical treatment of osteoarthritis
•  ... and more!

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Product Page - Rheumatoid Arthritis Read More

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Featured content:

What is rheumatoid arthritis?
The biology of rheumatoid arthritis
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis
Medications for rheumatoid arthritis
Non-drug treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
•  ... and more!

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Harvard Medical School offers special reports on over 50 health topics.
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Guidelines In Selecting Good ACLS Classes

By Beryl Dalton

Individuals are encountering accidents wherever they are or whatever day or time it could be. The persons experiencing these accidents could be sustaining cuts, bruises, and even mild injuries. The events are also threatening human lives.

In this case, an individual, especially a medical professional, needs to be aware of how he could be administering basic life support strategies to a victim. He needs to be enrolling in ACLS classes in Houston in gaining such knowledge. Since many schools are offering this educational service in Houston, TX, he could be making use of these tips in looking for a good one in this field.

The individual could be asking for recommendations from his friends, relatives, or family members. These people might be engaging in the same profession. Since individuals are typically recommending one with a favorable reputation in the field, these people will certainly be recommending good names to him. It will be better if they could also be recommending one that has been operating for a long duration since they are also typically possessing numerous experiences that could be helping them in rendering this service better.

He should also be considering the location of the establishment. Most persons are usually choosing one that is situated near their houses for them to be attending their sessions immediately. They could be missing out several essential details if they will be coming late. It would be better if the enthusiast will also be choosing one that is situated near his house.

The enthusiast should also be checking on the equipments which are present in the school. The equipments will be helping the student in training for the activity. The equipments must be working properly and complete. The equipments usually include dummies which are posing as victims during the trainings.

He should also be checking on the schedule on when the school will be holding the sessions. Several institutes are holding the sessions only during mornings or the afternoons. Some are also holding sessions the entire day during weekdays or the weekends. The individual should see to it that he will be choosing a schedule that suits him.

The individual should also be determining the class size of the institute. The class size represents the ratio of the students to one trainer. It will be better if he could be finding and choosing one that only has a smaller class size. This way, the instructor could be thoroughly concentrating on each student and his or her progress.

He should also be considering the trainers that the institute is employing in teaching the matters to the students. The trainers should be possessing the knowledge and the skills which they could be imparting to the trainees. The trainers should be undergoing and completing similar trainings first fo them to be possessing the essential qualifications and expertise, too.

Most importantly, he should be considering the enrollment fee which he should be paying for the sessions. Various schools are setting varying prices for this service. The individual should be aware and comparing some rates. If he has set aside a certain budget for this venture, he should be choosing the one he could afford.

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Benefits Of Martial Arts Portland Oregon In Your Life

By Beryl Dalton

Most people are investing heavily in some physical activities that others find insignificant. However, for those who know the importance of such activities such as martial arts or karate, they can persevere to learn more about them. In fact, you should even encourage your children to learn karate since it not associated with violence and many people take it to be. If you are looking for such activities, it is good to look for those who train martial arts Portland Oregon.

If you have problems in dealing with your body weight then you can be assured that you will be taught different ways to deal with it and in the healthiest ways. Heavy weight is normally associated with some life threatening events in life. Some of these include diabetes, stroke and even heart attacks. Participating in activities such as karate will help you deal away such problems.

Good training in karate helps you deal with fear. You are always confident and comfortable with your decision and in the presence of your peers. This can be helpful for children who fear being bullied by their senior in school. The child will have self confidence in themselves and can interact well with others without any fear.

You are sure to remain looking attractive and healthy if you keep practicing activities such as those of karate in Portland Oregon. The exercises will ensure that you maintain a very good and attractive physique. In a number of months the changes would be visible. You would have also developed a good discipline as far as eating habits are concerned.

The physical exercises that you are engaged in during training helps you attain a perfect and athletic shape of the body. People who go for training are encouraged to go to the gym so that they can improve their physical fitness. Most people consider an athletic and well build body shape to be admirable and attractive. With this shape you gain confident in yourself and with those that you interact with.

Through the karate sessions, you become mentally disciplined, focused and strengthened. In fact, you would learn that you do not train or attend karate sessions when you feel like. You are expected to go to the training ground even when you are weak and feeling down. This habit instills in you discipline that you should not always do things at your convenience but when you are supposed to.

Another virtue that you develop is having an indomitable spirit. This is well advocated among the various slogans that the karate artists are trained in. You develop the attitude of persevering strenuous exercises or pain. This helps you cope with the difficult situations that you go through such as loss of a job, loss of a friend and other situations that can cause stress.

Finally, you need to know that introducing your children in the karate sessions is good for their development. They are able to develop better listening skills, teamwork skills and sense of respect. Children who train karate become good goal setters and socialize with other people in a more amicable manner.

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Guidelines For Choosing The Best Varicose Vein Treatment Austin

By Olivia Cross

It is common knowledge that any time you are faced with a disease or body breakdown you rush to health facility. The main thought running through your mind is to acquire the best care from the professionals and to get better in the shortest time possible. In order for this thought to be a reality, you should know the guidelines for choosing the best varicose vein treatment Austin locals can access.

There has been a rise in the number of health facilities to curb the rising demand for cure from different ailments. This causes a greater challenge to a patient when it comes to selecting a suitable clinic. This process cannot be managed by one person. That is why it is prudent enough to engage other people in the search. They can offer suggestions and referrals.

The location of the health center has an impact on the quality of service that you receive. This is because any time you desire to have medical attention, you will have to visit the hospital. Therefore, if the hospital is located far from your residence, getting medical attention can be delayed. In some cases delay complicates the situation.

This medical procedure can only be carried out by a person who has undergone necessary education. In the current world, there is the presence of frauds who disguise themselves as professionals just to have your money. That is why you must insist on seeing proof that the physician underwent necessary training.

It is advisable to check on the period that the hospital has operated in the region. This is because you will have the ability of tracing the record of accomplishment of the facility. A health facility that does not offer the quality services lacks the capacity to operate for a long duration of time because patients will tend to avoid it.

A good health facility must have fixed equipment needed to support the services offered. A medical center that lacks the equipment needed will offer poor services. This is because the doctors mainly rely on the equipment when diagnosing the health challenge and administering cure. Therefore, ensure the hospital has the necessary equipment. You do not want to go to other clinics to get services that you could just get under one roof.

Every facility that has operated for a sufficient duration of time has built its status. When preparing to make a choice for a health facility, ensure you focus on their reputation. This is because the information regarding the status of the medical centers is mostly accurate. However, before making a decision in regards to it, confirm the allegations basing on that reputation.

Your choice will be guided to the health center that is affordable to you. In this case, evade medical facilities that will lead you to financial constraints. Therefore, draft a budget that stipulates the level of your affordability. Drafting a budget is useless if you cannot strictly adhere to it. Settle for a hospital that offers a more affordable option.

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In this issue: Paleo diet questions, COPD, early-onset Alzheimer's, 2-week sugar challenge and more.

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