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...
It’s still amazes me how Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect so
many different aspects of my life. Here
I am, many years after my diagnosis, still learning so much about life with
this disease. Here I am, still trying to
live well with RA.
Tornado Alley, Oklahoma
I live in northeastern Oklahoma, right in the middle of Tornado
Alley and have lived here my whole life. In fact, I often joke that you can always tell a true Oklahoman by the
way we stand outside and watch the clouds in the midst of a severe
thunderstorm. I grew up watching tornados
with my grandpa. We would sit out on his
balcony and watch the clouds. I lived
through many tornados and 28 years of tornado seasons. At 2:30 a.m. I find myself sitting on the same
balcony (I bought my grandpa’s house when he passed). I watch the clouds in the moonlight and watch
the stillness of the trees in the midst of all this rain. I wonder what the weather will bring.
Proper Care of the Body's Shock Absorbers Just like motor oil keeps your car running smoothly, there’s an important fluid that lubricates and nourishes your joints. This substance is called synovial (syn ō vi`al) fluid, and joints that contain it — like your shoulders and hips — are called synovial joints. As you move, sacks of this fluid cushion your knees and elbows against friction, and these sacks are known as bursae (bûr´s∂). When you hear people talk about tennis elbow — outer elbow pain often caused by repetitive motion — they actually have inflamed bursae, which doctors refer to as bursitis. Joint pain can interfere with your physical activity and daily life. The flip side, however, is that as your fitness level increases, joint pain may decrease. Here are some things you can do to encourage both of these desired results: * Warm up before any activity. Try this for your knees: Sit in a chair, and slowly raise your left foot un...
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