FROM OUR EXPERTS
"My knee feels stiff when I sit for a long time and it hurts to get up. But, after I walk for a few minutes, the pain eases up."
"My hands are stiff in the morning or after I take a nap during the day. After I have been awake for about twenty minutes, the pain is completely gone."
"My lower back is very tight in the morning and it hurts to get out of the bed. I do a few exercises and my back seems to loosen up."
The above are just a few of the comments I hear on an almost daily basis. In osteoarthritis, joints are commonly sore, stiff, and painful after sleep or after resting them for a while. After getting up, the joints "loosen up" as they move around and are used. In the spine, the small facet joints are a common source of arthritis and back pain. The facet joints work as hinge joints similar to the hinges on a door. In a young, non-arthritic person, the joints glide smoothly over one another. However, as the joints become arthritic, they function more as a rusty hi...
Lately, I’ve found that my hips have stiffened up. According to my massage therapist, part of the reason is due to lower back issues that I’ve been facing. It turns out that my lower back has recruited my hip muscles into a revolt that at times can be uncomfortable and at times can be downright painful.
And I’m not alone because, unfortunately, stiff hips can be part of aging for women. In her book, “Fit and Fabulous After 40,” Denise Austin notes that women’s hips differ from men’s. “Our hip socket is called a Q socket, and unlike men, the line from knee to hip isn’t straight; our femurs, or upper leg bones, fit into the hip socket at an angle,” she writes. “For this reason, women tend to experience more hip problems are they grow older.” She notes that issues with your hips can impact your ability to walk and also can lead to back pain and other injuries. Plus, I want to do everything I can to avoid getting arth...
Dear Dr. Krant: I am a 55 year-old man who has had osteoarthritis in my feet for 17 years. During the last 3 years it has spread throughout my spine, skull to tailbone, in the shoulders/hips/knees and hands, and nodes on fingers. I also have some difficulty walking. Is this a normal progression, or an extreme variation? You have had osteoarthritis for almost twenty years, beginning in your early 30s. Many people develop aches and pains in the large weight-bearing joints relatively early, even in their twenties. X-ray evidence of joint space narrowing, loose bodies and asymmetry throughout the weight-bearing surfaces usually does not appear until the 40s, although certain people will develop abnormalities early on. This is particularly true when cartilage has been surgically removed from the knees, when work involves repetitive lifting, bending and weight-bearing heavy loads, and when there is a genetic link to an affected parent. Nodes on the fingers (called Heberden...
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