I have often in these virtual pages emphasized the
importance of sleep in reducing the severity of chronic pain . Sleep has been shown in fibromyalgia studies
to be extremely important in reducing the pain fibromyalgia patients experience, and a lack of sleep appears to contribute to
the misery restless legs syndrome (RLS) patients experience.
Insomnia affects 10% to 20% of the United States
population. Among the elderly, the
percentage of those affected is 47%. For
the year 2007, it is estimated the cost of treating insomnia was approximately
$100 billion! We have all seen the
television commercials with the beaver and Abraham Lincoln.
There are several classes of medications for insomnia:
such as Restoril or Valium are effective in putting patients to sleep and
keeping them asleep, and they are relatively inexpensive. However, such drugs can have a hangover
effect, and a significant addiction potential...
It is so easy to forget that arthritis is not the only problem we see with rheumatoid arthritis, particularly when the disease is labeled and named an ARTHRITIS. However, the so-called extra-articular manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis can cause significant disability, even death. It must not be forgotten that rheumatoid arthritis is a SYSTEMIC disease, the most basic manifestation being malaise and fatigue. But there can also be significant inflammation of a variety of organ systems, particularly in those patients who are rheumatoid factor positive. Such patients also, in general, suffer from more severe arthritis and often have nodules. Rheumatoid nodules develop in about 50% of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and most of these patients are rheumatoid factor positive. Another extra-articular manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis involving the skin is vasculitis. Sjogren's syndrome can cause dry mouth and dry eyes, common in rheumatoi...
How do you know when it's time for a knee joint replacement? When pain is not relieved by any other means. Quite often, the patient has severe arthritis as seen on X-ray. A 75-year old woman with a leg amputation below the knee is presented in this report. Her case is unusual because most people with an amputated leg have less arthritis in that leg. They tend to use the "good" leg more and favor the amputated side, putting less stress on the joint. In this case the patient had severe arthritis in both knees. At first she had the knee replaced on the nonamputated side. When she could no longer move the knee on the amputated side, that knee joint was replaced. A joint replacement on an amputated leg has more than the usual risks. For this woman, decreased blood flow led to the amputation in the first place. A joint replacement increases her risk of a second amputation further up the leg (mid-thigh). Physical therapy started the day after surgery. She went home on the eighth day, when she c...
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