Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)are not effective treatments for hand or knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to a new meta-analysis. The drugs are commonly used to treatrheumatoid arthritis (RA)and other forms ofinflammatory arthritis, but researchers in the United Kingdom (UK) found they were no better than placebo for OA pain. Their findings appeared in June 2018 inRheumatology.
DMARDs aren’t pain medications. They’re meant to slow the disease and prevent further damage to joints and organs by suppressing inflammation. When DMARDs work, pain usually improves as inflammation gets under control.
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A new study takes a look at which approaches are best to bring relief to people with kneeosteoarthritis (OA), a condition that affects approximately 20 percent of people over the age of 45 in the United States.
Knee OA can be extremely painful and limit a person’s ability to function. Although there is no cure, numerous treatments are available to reduce symptoms, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Exercising and losing weight if a patient is overweight or obese also can help. Total knee replacement surgery is effective but is done only in cases where the disease is advanced and it’s medically necessary.
So, which treatment is best? To help sort out the choices, a group of researchers set out to assess how the available non-surgical drug treatments stack up against each other for providing pain relief and improving physical function. The authors did not address lifestyle changes, likeweight lossandexercise. The study was published recently inJournal of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons(JAAOS).
Focusing on either aerobic conditioning or resistance training – especially moves that target the quadriceps muscles, which help support the knee – is the most effective exercise approach for reducing pain from kneeosteoarthritis(OA), according to a 2014 study published inArthritis & Rheumatism.
Experts have long known that exercise can help reduce pain and improve function for people with knee OA. But what type of exercise is best, and how much, are subject to debate. The new study, an analysis of 48 previously published trials, aimed to provide answers.
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