Polymyalgia Rheumatica (or PMR) is a relatively common form of muscle pain and stiffness that occurs most frequently in the hips upper back, & neck area. Sufferers are most likely to be afflicted in the morning after waking up but symptoms can appear at any time in the day. Women are twice as likely as men to be afflicted and it occurs most often in older adults.
Although PMR symptoms are not limited to just muscle stiffness. A general feeling of malaise or fatigued, a low grade fever, and even Anemia. Unfortunately there is not one clear cut test to diagnosis this disease, although certain blood tests can help your doctor in making a diagnosis.
Depending on the severity of the pain, nsaid pain relievers may be tried first although quite often the oral steroid prednisone proves to be the most effective treatment in providing symptom relief, generally in just a few days. If you don’t see relief from prednisone, contact your doctor immediately to rule out other possible causes for the muscle pain.
Knee Replacement Surgery
Researchers in Canada have addressed the issue of what criteria should be used in determining who is most likely to have a positive outcome from total joint replacement surgery. They point out the importance of helping a patient determine when to stop simply trying to minimize the symptoms with pain management and move forward with surgery. As surgery is usually a last resort, if the joints are not too badly damaged or deteriorated and the level of pain is acceptable, surgery and its risks can often be delayed.
The researchers also cast doubt on the high rate of success often cited by manufacturers and doctors involved in this type of surgery. However controlling for other factors such as additional health problems or defining what constitutes a successful outcome could have contributed to the lower rate. Definitely check out the link above to read more, especially if you or a loved one is considering joint replacement surgery.
There is new evidence that using topical NSAID creams and lotions can in many cases provide safe and effective pain relief from osteoarthritis in many patients. Given the rare occurrence of severe side effects, such as severe burning of the skin, these topical preparations might make them a good first option.
However, other medical organizations still recommend starting out with oral NSAIDs like Aleve(naproxen sodium) or Advil(ibuprofen). So as usual, always talk to your doctor before starting any course of treatment. Just because a medication is over the counter does not mean that it is 100% safe and without possible severe side effects. Finally any osteoarthritis treatment plan should always include a discussion about low impact exercise and weight loss to supplement or lessen the need for medication.
If you’ve have success or failure in treating joint pain please drop us a line below outlining your experience. Thanks.
We have read some interesting posts regarding what can best be characterized as chronic fatigue that is often extreme or more than what should normally be expected
Exercise & Fatigue
following exercise. The symptoms are often described as being completely exhausted with very sore muscles. Naturally, if a weekend warrior or pro athlete pushes their own personal limits with a vigorous work out this could happen, but many people describe suffering after even light to moderate activity.
The general first line treatment suggested involves dehydration, i.e. drink more water. Sports drinks could be used in limited circumstances, however, the amount of sugar often contained in these drinks make it difficult to justify their use for the average athlete. I would think eating a banana could provide some necessary energy and a kick of potassium. However, this extra hydration does not remedy the situation for many complaining of this problem.
There is occasionally conflicting information on this type of fatigue. Can anyone contribute any of their own experiences with this problem and share with us what has worked for you? Whether it be stretching, a particular supplement or perhaps even a change in diet. Thanks.
Researchers in the United Kingdom have released a study that indicates that teenagers who are classified as being “double jointed” are more susceptible to pain such as back, shoulder and neck later on in life. For the purpose of the study, the young people were classified as double jointed if 6 of 9 particular joints were more flexible than the norm i.e. hypermobility. Obviously, a person does not have to be a contortionist to be hypermobile.
Following a common theme, those double jointed teenagers who were also obese were the most prone to suffer, suggesting that physicians should make sure patients understand the importance of proper weight management. Strength training also seemed to be effective at staving off future problems. Then again, diet and exercise are effective tools for all of us in staying healthy and pain free.
New research indicates that it may be possible to treat the symptoms of back pain by changing the way a person thinks about and reacts to the pain. According to a study published in the European Journal of Pain, symptom relief was achieved by having subjects think more positively about their back pain and by modifying the mental and physical behaviors associated with the pain. The protective movements that may come instinctively to sufferers may not in fact be the best movements to achieve long term relief.
For example, for many back conditions it was always assumed that bed rest was the prescription, however it is now this is now generally accepted to be false. Of course every situation is different so always talk to your doctor and maybe a little change in your thought process might bring some big results.
If you are one of those people who is constantly cracking their knuckles but also worrying about doing some long term damage to them, fear no more according to new research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. The cracking or pop sound you hear when you manipulate your fingers just so is usually the same sound as you hear in other parts of your body. Granted it seems more severe to hear your back than your knuckle make such noises but root causes are generally relatively benign and will not lead to any sort of arthritis or joint damage. Of course if any sound is ever accompanied by any pain or something doesn’t seem right, always consult a doctor. Now we just need to find a way to stop our fretting and get back to enjoying the good life. Ahhh, if only it was that easy.
There is new evidence and continuing clinical trials to see if this normally avoided insect product could actually bring relief to some patients. Bee venom therapy has been around for a while but according to recent news reports it is now being further investigated as a potential back pain treatment.
Obviously in the studies will be more controlled than putting sufferers in a room filled with bees and seeing what happens, as the venom from bees will be collected and injected into patients. A bit of skepticism is always a good idea, but any new research to help the millions of Americans currently suffering from this sort of muscle pain in the back would certainly be welcome news. Again, please don’t try this at home by using some sort of “honey do” method.
An interesting and detailed article on steps to help runners limit the risk of injury and pain. It is a fairly technical post however the lessons should prove invaluable to both the weekend warrior jogger or serious marathon runner looking to cut down on injuries. The point is very well made that if pro athletes require adequate warm up time then certainly those people who are not in peak physical shape are also going to benefit from stretching.
Or course, this issue is not black and white. There are a great many myths regarding stretching before running and you should be aware of these before starting any exercise regimen. I can think of few things more disappointing than getting crazy and sweating like crazy only to find out that you’ve managed to do more harm than good to your body.
While much is written about the benefits of taking Omega-3 oil vitamin supplements from fish or other sources, it can become be very confusing to patients, consumers, and even some doctors when trying to figure out the just the right omega-3 oil dosage and the correct levels of DHA. A review of the the research seems to indicate that you need to find a dose of at least 600mg of DHA in the omega-3 supplements to get the possible benefits. New and often conflicting research on the benefits of Omega-3 is also constantly emerging so stay up to date and always talk to your physician before starting or changing your intake of any medication.