Most of us with RA have pain in our feet and ankles. According to an article I read on Medscape, up to 85 percent of people with RA will experience painful feet or ankles at sometime during their life with this disease. During the first year of diagnosis, 57 percent of patients report foot and/or ankle pain.
Statistics are important, but statistics are numbers. What really matters to us is that our feet hurt . When our feet hurt, we have trouble getting around, and that is a bad thing for anyone. Not being able to walk keeps us from going places we want to go. It limits even more the amount of exercise we are able to do on a daily basis, and it isolates us socially.
A few weeks ago, I was experiencing a lot of pain in my feet and ankles. I noticed that I was “shuffling” instead of walking, and I was walking on the inside edges of my feet. My ankles were turning in, as evidenced by the shoes sitting in my closet. They all looked as though a I was wearing them w...
One of the biggest complaints about the American health care system is tests that are both expensive and needless. This is a report from the front lines of one expensive test that saved me from lots of grief.
I'm almost 500 miles from my home in Boulder, Colorado, passing through the little Southwestern Colorado town of Durango. Fewer than 20,000 people live here, and I didn't know any of them.
But I had a stomach ache that started at dinner Wednesday. By midnight I was feeling bad enough that I looked in the Yellow Pages for a 24-hour pharmacy where I could buy an antacid. I struck out.
Reluctantly, I realized that the only place I could buy something that would counteract stomach acidity was the local urgent care facility or hospital emergency room. So back to the Yellow Pages I went. Since the local urgent care closed at 7 p.m. my only choice seemed to be going to a hospital.
I thought that the doctors and nurses there might laugh off my trivial symptom. Instead, they treated ...
Q. I definitely want to avoid lymphedema. Is there anything I can do to ward it off, or is lymphedema totally random? A. The very best thing you can do to help prevent lymphedema is to make sure you get full range of motion back in your arm, whether after surgery or radiation. Favoring the arm on your affected side, hunching your shoulder protectively, being too stiff to stretch your arm up over your head and around towards your back–these are all things that will make it easier for lymphedema to gain a foothold. I have a friend who’s a physical therapist specializing in lymphedema treatment. In fact, we became close as she gave me daily massages to relieve my own swollen arm. (Just as getting a tummy tuck is the silver lining of a tram flap reconstruction, a daily massage is the big plus of having lymphedema!) This friend says that women who’ve had surgery, particularly a mastectomy with lymph node removal (even if just a single node) need physical thera...
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