Diagnosing Hand And Finger Arthritis
First, its important to correctly diagnose hand or finger arthritis, advises Dr. Newsum. Sometimes, patients experience hand or finger pain or stiffness and assume its arthritis, but there are other conditions that can cause these symptoms, he adds.;
In addition to arthritis, two other common causes of hand and finger pain include trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome.;
Trigger finger is a tendonitis of the fingers flexor tendons, whereas carpal tunnel is caused by compression of a nerve in the hand, explains Dr. Newsum.;
Carpal tunnel usually causes numbness, tingling or electric shooting nerve sensations in the hands that can be worse at night or aggravated by certain activities, but it can present without numbness and be mistaken for arthritis, too.
With trigger finger, pain is usually experienced in the palm of the hand at the base of the fingers. The finger can click and even get stuck in a particular position or just may cause stiffness with difficulty bending the fingers.;
Clicking or sticking of a finger is a distinct symptom of trigger finger and not arthritis, clarifies Dr. Newsum.;
What Does The Research Say
While there have been some claims that glucosamine and chondroitin, either together or separately, can help to reduce pain in people living with OA, these claims are now being questioned. Evidence around the effectiveness of these supplements has always been mixed. However, recent reviews of this evidence now suggest that studies that show positive results may be of low quality and unreliable. Higher quality, independent studies suggest that glucosamine and chondroitin are no better than placebos at reducing pain or slowing the impacts of OA. As a result of this, while glucosamine and chondroitin remain safe for most people, many doctors no longer recommend these supplements as a way of managing arthritis.;
To date, there is no evidence that these supplements are effective for any other forms of arthritis.
Topical Or Oral Nonsteroidal Anti
Dr. Newsum explains that topical over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications in the form of gels or creams can be even more effective than similar medications taken by mouth.;
Since the finger joints are right under the skin, topical anti-inflammatories can deliver the active ingredient quite well and even offer less side effects compared to oral anti-inflammatories.
Though, oral anti-inflammatories can be an effective treatment, too, if needed.;
Your doctor can help you determine which is best for you, says Dr. Newsum.
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Glucosamine And Arthritis: No Hip Help
At the study’s end, the pain scores of those who took the supplement didn’t differ much from those who took the placebo, Rozendaal says. On the scale used, “the pain scores range from 0 to 100,” she explains in an email interview, “where 0 equals no pain and 100 equals most severe pain.”
The average difference between groups in pain scores was a decline of just 1.5 points, she says. To be statistically significant, there would have to have been a difference of at least 10 points, she says.
“Our trial does not suggest an effect of glucosamine for hip osteoarthritis,” she adds.
No differences were found between groups in the joint space narrowing, either, Rozendaal says. The study is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation ;uses a machine that sends electrical impulses through sticky patches,;called electrodes, attached to the skin. This may help ease the pain caused by your osteoarthritis by numbing the nerve endings in your spinal cord which control pain.
Treatment with TENS is usually arranged by a physiotherapist or doctor, who can advise you on the strength of the pulses and how long your treatment should last.
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Glucosamine Chondroitin: Uses Benefits Side Effects And Dosage
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two popular supplements said to help manage joint pain.
Despite their widespread use, though, research on glucosamine and chondroitin has showed mixed results. In fact, some studies have shown theyre not effective.
This may leave you wondering whether you should take glucosamine and chondroitin or if youre better off without them.
This article discusses the uses, potential benefits, side effects, and recommended dosage of glucosamine and chondroitin.
What’s Behind The New Advice To Stop Taking Glucosamine For Arthritis
by Nial Wheate and Joanna Harnett, The Conversation
The Australian Rheumatology Association this week warned people not to take the supplement glucosamine for their osteoarthritis due to possible allergic side-effects.
What’s the evidence behind this latest advice? And do you really need to stop taking it?
How did we get here?
This is despite conflicting evidence on whether the supplement works. Yet many patients may buy glucosamine, presuming that even if it doesn’t help, at least it’s “natural” and so won’t do any harm.
The study found hundreds of allergic reactions to glucosamine have been reported to Australia’s medicines watchdog, the Therapeutic Goods Administration .
So is it safe for you to take glucosamine? In short, if it works for you and you haven’t had any side-effects, and your doctor and pharmacist know you are taking it, it is likely to be safe based on the multiple trials conducted to date.
What is glucosamine?
Whether it works to manage osteoarthritis seems open to debate. The most recent evidence suggests little to no clinical benefit.
Is glucosamine really as dangerous as people say?
So, what should I do?
How Glucosamine Helps Osteoarthritis
Glucosamine sulfate functions as the primary building block for proteoglycans, large molecules in cartilage that give it viscoelastic properties. This molecule stimulates the formation and repair of articular cartilage. When taken orally, glucosamine sulfate is absorbed readily into the system and can be traced to cartilage as soon as four hours after consumption.
Similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , glucosamine sulfate has been shown to have unique anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, in some laboratory tests, the glucosamine supplement demonstrated a protective effect on the cartilage. These studies suggest that glucosamine sulfate may inhibit the breakdown of cartilage associated with osteoarthritis and may have the potential to help build-up cartilage.1
Glucosamine hydrochloride, another form of glucosamine, is also available as a nutritional supplement, but is considered less effective for the treatment of osteoarthritis. This is because the sulfate moiety, not present in this formulation, is believed to play an important role in strengthening the cartilage and aiding in proteoglycan synthesis. This hypothesis has not yet been confirmed.
What The Science Says About Safety And Side Effects
- No serious side effects have been reported in large, well-conducted studies of people taking glucosamine, chondroitin, or both for up to 3 years.
- However, glucosamine or chondroitin may interact with the anticoagulant drug warfarin .
- A study in rats showed that long-term use of moderately large doses of glucosamine might damage the kidneys. Although results from animal studies dont always apply to people, this study does raise concern.
- Glucosamine might affect the way your body handles sugar, especially if you have diabetes or other blood sugar problems, such as insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance.
If you use dietary supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, read and follow the label instructions, and recognize that natural does not always mean safe.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates dietary supplements, but the regulations for dietary supplements are different and less strict than those for prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
Some dietary supplements may interact with medications or pose risks if you have medical problems or are going to have surgery. Most dietary supplements have not been tested in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children.
For more information, see .
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Some people with osteoarthritis try complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy and find them helpful.
However, there’s a lack of medical evidence to suggest they’re effective and they generally are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .
What Else Can You Do To Keep Your Joints Healthy And Free Of Pain
To keep joint pain to a minimum, heres what Dr. Beach recommends:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Practice primarily low-impact exercises;to reduce the stress on your joints
- Work on maintaining or increasing your flexibility and range of motion
- Keep activestay in motion to keep your muscles strong so they can support your joints
- Know your limits and dont push through your joint pain
Osteoarthritis And Joint Degeneration
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage on the ends of the joints wears down and the exposed bones rub together. This degenerative process causes excess friction in the joints, which leads to loss of motion, stiffness and joint pain. Osteoarthritis is more common among middle-aged and older individuals. Symptoms can range from mild to very severe pain in the back, neck, hands, hips, knees, and/or feet.
When degenerative osteoarthritis occurs in the back, it is usually referred to as facet joint osteoarthritis .
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are believed to impact the cartilage degeneration process of osteoarthritis in the following ways:
Ra Treatment: Do Glucosamine And Chondroitin Really Work
If youre living with Rheumatoid Arthritis , you are no stranger to the pain associated with this condition. Stiffness, swelling, and tenderness in the joints. Back and muscle pain. Whole body fatigue, anemia, skin blemishes/redness, dry mouth, pins and needles sensations. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the whole body. And those that suffer from this chronic condition are seeking relief using a variety of compounds to limit or prevent inflammation.
<h3>Pain Relief via Supplements</h3>
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate are compounds that work together to treat inflammation due to arthritis as found in RA and osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is key to cartilage formation and maintenance and is manufactured from shellfish. Chondroitin is also a key component to cartilage maintenance as its main function is to attract water to the cartilage to provide better shock absorption during physical activity.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate have been found to have considerable success in the treatment of osteoarthritis in both humans and animals. Results from the American College of Rheumatologys medical studies indicate that both supplements have been found to reduce joint inflammation and swelling, with most evidence being present in the knee.
<h3>What Does the Research Say?</h3>
<h3>The Case Against These Supplements?</h3>
<h3>So Whats the Verdict?</h3>
Glucosamine And Chondroitin For Osteoarthritis Pain
;Research is mixed on whether these supplements help with OA pain and stiffness, but they are safe to try.;;
Glucosamine and chondroitin;are popular supplements used to treat osteoarthritis;.;According to one estimate from the NIH, 6.5 million adults, or 2.6 percent of the population, has used one or;both of these;products. Although studies on glucosamine and chondroitin have been mixed, some evidence suggests they may help relieve;OA;joint;pain;and stiffness.;;
What;Are;Glucosamine and Chondroitin?;
Glucosamine and chondroitin;are natural compounds found in healthy;cartilage;–;the connective tissue that cushions joints. Supplements are;manufactured from the cartilage of animals;such as;cows, pigs,;or;shellfish, or;are;made in;a lab.;Glucosamine is sold in different forms, including;glucosamine sulfate;and glucosamine hydrochloride.;You can buy glucosamine and chondroitin individually, but most often theyre sold together in a single supplement.;;
In many European countries, these supplements are;a prescribed;treatment for OA. In the U.S.,;the recommendations on glucosamine and chondroitin are more;moderate,;due to;the mixed results of studies.;;
Glucosamine and chondroitin;protect cells called chondrocytes, which help maintain cartilage structure. In theory, these supplements have the potential to;slow;cartilage;deterioration in the joints, and;to;reduce pain in the process.;
Which Form;Is Best?;
Are They Safe?;
The Bottom Line;
Is Exercise Or Glucosamine Better For Arthritis
Are you one of the 27 million Americans with osteoarthritis ? If so, youre probably familiar with OA pain. OA is the second most expensive condition treated in US hospitals today, and the leading cause of disability. It results from degeneration of cartilage in your joints , and this leads to inflammation andyou guessed itpain.
But Good NewsCurrently, there are several surgical and nonsurgical options that may relieve pain associated with OA . One very popular non-surgical option is a glucosamine supplement, which you can buy at most grocery stores. Although glucosamine is a naturally occurring chemical in the human body, the supplement form is often harvested from shellfish and is thought to improve joint structure and function by supporting healthy cartilage. Sounds great, right? Well, unfortunately, research on glucosamine is a bit sketchy , so you might want to consider other options too. One alternative approach to relieving OA pain that we will talk about is exercise. This is because exercise can help build muscle to stabilize joints and relieve pain .
So, whats your best bet for easing OA pain? Here, well compare the research on glucosamine and exercise, so that you can decide how to spend your time and money.
ExerciseWe found a total of 12 studies that examined the effects of different forms of exercise on OA symptoms. Here they are:
What about Glucosamine?We found a whopping 19 trials on glucosamine .; Here they are:
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Glucosamine: No Help For Hip Arthritis
Dutch Study Shows Popular Supplement No Better Than Placebo; Industry Disagrees
Feb. 18, 2008 — The popular supplement glucosamine, used by many arthritis sufferers, was found to be no better than placebo pills for relieving the pain of hip osteoarthritis or increasing the ability to do everyday activities, according to a new study from the Netherlands.
“In our study, there was not much room for doubt,” says Rianne Rozendaal, MSc, the study’s lead researcher.
“The differences between the glucosamine and placebo group were all very small,” says Rozendaal, a researcher at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
But representatives of the supplement industry disagree, with one manufacturer saying the researchers may have focused on people too early in the arthritic process.
Results Showed Glucosamine Sulfate To Improve Pain And Function
The research team didnt expect to see any changes until the six-month mark but were surprised to see results after just three months, reporting 18 percent difference in reduction of pain between the study and control group. The only side effects reported by the glucosamine sulfate group were some cases of mild and transient gastrointestinal upset.
European Supplements Different Than American Supplements
This study was done in Italy. Be aware the European supplements are different than American ones in that European products are regulated by their local government for purity and potency. In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not review vitamins or supplements. When you buy a bottle of supplements in America, you cannot be 100 percent sure of what you are buying. Also, we dont prescribe supplements here but with a prescription in Europe, you know you are getting a good product, cautions Erickson. Check ConsumerLab.com, which tests and rates various vitamin and supplement brands.
What Is The Recommended Dose
- Glucosamine sulfate: 1500mg per day;
- Glucosamine hydrochloride: 1500mg per day ;
- Chondroitin sulfate: 800 1000mg per day;
Different brands contain different amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin. Read the label carefully to see how many tablets you need to take to get the right dose, or ask your pharmacist for advice.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Taking Glucosamine And Chondroitin
The typical daily dose is 1,500 mg of glucosamine and 1,200 mg of chondroitin sulfate, either all at once or in divided doses. For heavier individuals, this can be increased to 2,000 mg of glucosamine and 1,600 mg of chondroitin.
The effects of glucosamine and chondroitin may not be noticeable for at least six to eight weeks, and their benefits become apparent in about four to six months. If no benefit is seen after six months, the supplement should be discontinued.
Common side effects
Levels Of Hand Disability Decreased With Combination Treatment
Study participants had to be at 40 points or higher on the visual analogue scale for pain. . After treatment with glucosamine and standard therapy, study participants average pain levels went down 25 points. Hand function also improved based on functional score testing, indicating less hand disability in the treatment patients.
For Other Parts Of The Body
Only a small amount of research has been done on glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis of joints other than the knee and hip. Because there have been only a few relatively small studies, no definite conclusions can be reached.
- Chondroitin for osteoarthritis of the handA 6-month trial of chondroitin in 162 patients with severe osteoarthritis of the hand showed that it may improve pain and function.
- Glucosamine for osteoarthritis of the jawOne study of 45 patients with osteoarthritis of the jaw showed that those given glucosamine had less pain than those given ibuprofen. But another study, which included 59 patients with osteoarthritis of the jaw, found that those taking glucosamine did no better than those taking a placebo .
- Glucosamine for chronic low-back pain and osteoarthritis of the spineA Norwegian trial involving 250 people with chronic low-back pain and osteoarthritis of the lower spine found that participants who received glucosamine fared the same at 6 months as those who received placebo.
How Do I Take These Supplements
- Typical dosage is 1500mg for glucosamine sulfate and 1200mg for chondroitin sulfate, taken once daily. For body weight less than 100 lbs, the dose is generally reduced to 1000mg for glucosamine sulfate and 800mg for chondroitin sulfate.
- Duration of treatment has not yet been determined.
- Reported improvement varies from three weeks to as much as eight weeks.
- Some studies have shown continued improvement of symptoms after oral intake was stopped.
- Generally, if there is no pain reduction after two months, there is little chance of improvement.
- Patients should keep a diary of their symptoms when treatment begins to better judge any changes in pain level or joint movement, and this information should be shared with their physician.