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.
As many as 30 percent of people with psoriasis actually have psoriatic arthritis, a form of inflammatory arthritis. How do you know, though, if the aches and pains you're experiencing are of the normal, everyday variety or are something more serious?
I've wondered this myself, knowing psoriatic arthritis is a possibility for me. One great resource I've found is The Joint Smart Coalition, which launched earlier this year by the Arthritis Foundation and the National Psoriasis Foundation. In collaboration with pharmaceutical companies Amgen and Pfizer, the Coalition aims to provide empowering and educational resources for people with psoriatic arthritis and other related inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and plaque psoriasis.
A key component of the effort is BeJointSmart.org , a website that provides resources and information for people to learn more about these diseases. The central message of the site is that people who have certain chronic inflammatory diseases should c...
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