Orthopedic News for Patients - Bone & Joint Pain

News for patients with orthopedic conditions & bone and joint pain.

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy luggage may be more than a hassle for holiday travels -- those overloaded bags can sometimes cause health problems, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) warns. "Individuals are at high risk for back, neck and shoulder strains when carelessly handling heavy luggage," Dr. Nitin Khanna, an orthopedic surgeon and AAOS spokesperson, said in an academy news release. "Always be cognizant of the way you are lifting heavy luggage to avoid painful injuries," Khanna advised. In 2014, Americans suffered almost 73,000 luggage-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. When you shop for new luggage, look for a sturdy, light piece with wheels and a handle, the AAOS said.

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THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- X-rays don't detect hip arthritis in many patients, resulting in delayed diagnosis and treatment, researchers report. The researchers looked at information from almost 4,500 Americans taking part in two arthritis studies. In one study, only 16 percent of patients with hip pain had X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis in the hip and only 21 percent of those with X-ray evidence of arthritis had hip pain. In the other study, the rates were 9 percent and 24 percent, respectively, according to the findings reported recently in the journal BMJ. "The majority of older subjects with high suspicion for clinical hip osteoarthritis did not have radiographic hip osteoarthritis, suggesting that many older persons with hip osteoarthritis might be missed if diagnosticians relied on hip radiographs to determine if hip pain was due to osteoarthritis," said study corresponding author Dr.

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FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Brain chemistry may change to help people tolerate arthritis pain, a small study suggests. Researchers applied heat to the skin of 17 people with arthritis and nine people without the disease, and found that the more opiate receptors in the brain, the higher a person's ability to withstand pain. Opiate receptors are proteins in the brain that link up with narcotic painkillers and help reduce feelings of pain. PET scans also showed the arthritis patients had more opiate receptors, which seems to be an adaptive response to help them cope with their chronic pain, said Christopher Brown and colleagues at the University of Manchester in England.

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FRIDAY, Dec. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Electrical nerve stimulation may offer some relief for older adults with chronic back pain, a new study suggests. While wearing and activating the "transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation" (TENS) device, people had significant improvement in pain when resting, according to the researchers. The study participants also had a reduction in pain while moving, along with improvement in physical functioning, the researchers said. "TENS is not a new treatment. It's been around 50 years or more," said lead researcher Corey Simon, a postdoctoral researcher, in the University of Florida's Pain Research and Intervention Center in Gainesville.

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THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A common shoulder injury that is usually repaired with surgery can heal just as well with nonsurgical treatment, a new study suggests. And, the researchers added, those who decide against surgery for a dislocated shoulder joint develop fewer complications and get back to work sooner. But, surgery patients seem more satisfied with the appearance of their shoulder after treatment. Found at the top of the shoulder between the collarbone and the shoulder blade, the acromioclavicular (AC) joint is often injured during sports. It can also be dislocated in a fall or car accident.

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An estimated 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Many go on to develop chronic back pain with persistent symptoms. Now, new research finds transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation also called TENS can lead to significant relief across all age groups. During the study, 60 adults, 18 to 79 years old, received four treatments over a 3 to 4 week period. A small battery-operated machine delivered low-voltage electrical current through electrodes placed on their skin. Overall, participants experienced a 48 percent improvement in resting pain. While wearing the TENS device, their pain with movement decreased by 34% and their physical function increased.

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WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Total knee replacement usually results in greater pain relief and better joint function after a year than nonsurgical arthritis treatment, researchers report. But baby boomers shouldn't automatically rule out physical therapy for moderate to severe knee arthritis, the authors of the new study said. "There are nearly 700,000 knee replacements done in the United States each year, but evidence of their benefit has been lacking," said lead author Soren Thorgaard Skou, a researcher in the musculoskeletal function and physiotherapy unit at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense.

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TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of aging Americans are plagued by arthritic knees, and two new studies offer insight into what might -- or might not -- help curb the condition. Both studies were presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting in San Francisco. One study found that a popular therapy, steroid drug injections, do nothing to slow progression of osteoarthritis in the knee. This type of treatment is common, but has never been specifically tested, and there are concerns about its safety, according to a team led by Dr.

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TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Naproxen -- a drug available over-the-counter and by prescription -- appears to provide as much relief for low back pain as a narcotic painkiller or a muscle relaxant, a new study suggests. The study compared the use of prescription-strength naproxen (Naprosyn) alone to the use of naproxen with the narcotic painkiller oxycodone with acetaminophen (Percocet), or the muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine (Amrix). Patients who took a combination of drugs fared no better than when they took naproxen alone, the researchers said. "Acute low back pain is a frustrating condition," said lead researcher Dr.

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