Science is evolving on a daily basis and this means us clinicians have to keep up to date with the latest goings ons in far to many areas. i can now see why many doctors specialise in one area! Anyway what is the current research advice out there for arthritis? I was contracted out to the awesome Wellvess program, an online arthritis program that looks at nutrition, the body and mind of arthritis sufferers. This multidimensional approach really is required in such a complex condition. Here are a few snippets from what I found in my research:
- The Tasmanian Older Adult Cohort (TASOAC) study has evidence from a 10 year study showing that walking more than 10 000 steps per day, which is the current recommended goal for heart health, is actually bad for your knee joint if you have a structurally abnormal knee joint. They found that it’s not the absolute amount of activity you do, it is how vigorously you are doing it that matters.
- The 2013 NICE guidelines on osteoarthritis care and management in adults do not recommend glucosamine and acupuncture as a treatment for arthritis. I would add here that if acupuncture has helped you with pain before then it is worth a try but remember the evidence does not support it. Plus paradoxically, the NICE guidelines for persistent low back pain actually recommend acupuncture.
- The same guidelines commented that according to evidence-based practice health professionals should be providing advice and education to support self-management, exercise and weight loss strategies as priority treatment avenues for the management of arthritis.
- Tasmanain-based clinician, Dr Graeme Jones is expanding on some of his recent investigations into the potential of modifying joint pain for sufferers of osteoarthritis. “There is this thing called a bone marrow lesion, seen on MRI scans, which is very common in osteoarthritis. It correlates with pain, cartilage loss and predicts knee replacement. We think we can modify this lesion using a medication called zoledronic acid, which interestingly is actually an osteoporosis medication”. So it might be worth bringing this medication up with your G.P.
- Crowdsourcing, the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, is a relatively new approach to solving problem. Read about this innovative Challenge to improve the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and the Arthritis Foundation's role in bringing it to the people.
- The Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) is developing consensus treatment plans for childhood rheumatic diseases. Read about the consensus process and overviews of the resulting treatment plans.
So lots of things are happening out there to try and improve peoples pain and disability with arthritis. Keep reading for all things arthritis and check out the wellvess program. The new program starts in early 2015.