Tag Archives: arthritis digest

Opting into exercise improves knee osteoarthritis – Arthritis Digest Magazine

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Choice is key when it comes to improving osteoarthritis symptoms through exercise, highlights a new study in Clinical Rheumatology.

A total of 69 older people with knee osteoarthritis were split into groups: a supervised community-based or unsupervised walking programme. Six months later, people who expressed a preference, either for the supervised or unsupervised programme, and who were assigned to their preferred choice of programme were more likely to continue with the walking sessions, compared to those who did not obtain their preferred choice of programme.

After nine months, people who had been given the group they wanted had improved levels of stiffness and function compared to those who did not get the group they wanted.

The researchers conclude:
“We show this approach promotes long-term adherence to a community-based walking program, while ensuring the maintenance of clinical benefits of walking, among older adults susceptible to avoid or not properly engage in physical activity.”

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Guest Article By Arthritis Digest – Blood test for fibromyalgia moves a step closer

Image credit: Kim Strømstad

Image credit: Kim Strømstad

New research from King’s College London could lead to a reliable blood test for fibromyalgia, experts claim.

The team will examine samples and measurements taken from 400 twin volunteers, in which one twin has chronic widespread pain. The samples will be compared with the DNA of the healthy twin to establish the differences and identify biomarkers in the DNA associated with the condition.

“Currently there’s no blood test for fibromyalgia, which makes diagnosis difficult,” explains Dr Frances Williams, lead researcher. “And treatment is limited, and in many cases unsatisfactory.

“Our research will help patients in two ways. First it’ll contribute to our understanding of how fibromyalgia – and other chronic pain syndromes such as irritable bowel syndrome – develop, and point to pain pathways which we may not have suspected.

“Secondly, we hope it’ll lead to identification of a biomarker which we could work into a blood test.

“As well as enabling the condition to be diagnosed more effectively, it could help to ‘stratify’ patients into groups depending on disease severity, which will help in clinical trials of potential new treatments. It might even help us predict how the condition will progress.”

Fibromyalgia is common pain syndrome that causes muscle and bone pain, fatigue and disturbed sleep. It has no obvious physical cause and is difficult to diagnose, treat and manage.

Dr Natalie Carter, head of research liaison at Arthritis Research UK comments:

“Fibromyalgia is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat, partly because we know so little about why it occurs and how it progresses. Being able to diagnose it would be a major step forward, and understanding more about the influence of genetics will allow us to develop treatments specifically for people with fibromyalgia in the future.”

Source: Arthritis Digest magazine, http://arthritisdigest.co.uk

Guest Article by Arthritis Digest – New Osteoarthritis Treatment?

 

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Image credit: followtheseinstructions

Transplanting a person’s own fat cells could reduce the symptoms and heal some of the damage of osteoarthritis, says research published in Cell Transplantation.

A total of 1,114 people (average age 62 years, 53% male) with osteoarthritis received self-donated fat cell transplants and were followed for an average of 17 months. Before treatment and at three, six and 12 months, assessments were made of pain, non-steroid analgesic usage, limping, extent of joint movement and stiffness. Hip and knee joints were the most common joints treated and some patients had more than one joint treated.

“No serious side effects, systemic infection or cancer was associated with SVF cell therapy,” report the researchers. “Most patients improved gradually three to 12 months after treatment.”

At least a 75% score improvement was noticed in 63% of the volunteers. And after 12 months, at least a 50% score improvement was seen in 91% of the volunteers. Painkiller use declined dramatically after treatment.

Obesity and a higher grade of osteoarthritis were associated with slower healing.

“Autologous stromal vascular fraction cell therapy for degenerative osteoarthritis is safe, cost effective and clinically effective, and can lead to an improved quality of life,” the researchers conclude. “However, there is no guarantee that this cell therapy can lead to a definite cure for degenerative osteoarthritis. Future patients receiving SVF will need longer follow-up to answer questions about durability and long term safety of SVF cell therapy.”

Source: Arthritis Digest magazine, http://arthritisdigest.co.uk

Guest Blog – Arthritis Digest Report Latest Findings on Knee Surgery

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Recovery after knee surgery at home could be as effective as rehab in hospital. Arthritis Digest reports

People who have knee replacement surgery may be able to recover just as well at home as they would by staying in a rehabilitation facility, according to research from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Data from over 2,400 people enrolled in the HSS Knee Replacement Registry was analysed. After surgery, some recovered at home while others went to inpatient rehab. The research focused on patients with similar characteristics when comparing those who went home versus those who went to inpatient rehab after surgery. They were matched by age, health conditions and pre-operative function.

Results

Home-based patients received visits from physiotherapists for three days a week for four to six weeks, while those treated at the facility received physiotherapy six days a week and often stayed for 10 to 14 days.

There were no difference in complication rates within six months of knee replacement, regardless of whether patients went home or to an inpatient rehab facility after leaving the hospital. Both groups had similar outcomes in terms of pain and function two years after surgery.

The research therefore suggests that home-based treatment may be a more cost-effective option in many cases.

Implications

“There’s a common belief that people should go to a rehab facility after joint replacement,” explains Dr Douglas Padgett, who led the research. “Our study found that patients can be safely discharged to their home following knee replacement, dispelling the notion that rehabilitation at an inpatient facility is essential for a successful recovery.”

A spokesman for Arthritis Research UK comments:

“In the UK, post-operative exercise programmes vary from hospital to hospital. It’s very important that people who have had knee replacement surgery have access to a rehabilitation and exercise programme, as it’s been proven to have a big beneficial effect on their recovery.

“We’re currently investigating whether intensive post-operative physiotherapy can improve poor satisfaction rates following knee replacement surgery. Currently, outpatient physiotherapy is not routine; often patients are given a home exercise package, but there isn’t usually any supervised physiotherapy provided on the NHS. If targeted intensive physiotherapy is shown to work and made deliverable on the NHS, it could help a lot of people.”

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