Failed arthritis drug may prevent opioid addiction

A drug already proven safe for use in people may prevent opioid tolerance and physical dependence when used in combination with opioid-based pain medications, according to a new study in mice.

Researchers have discovered that a compound previously tested to treat osteoarthritis pain appears to block neuropathic pain and decrease signs of opioid dependence.

When drug manufacturer Eli Lilly and Co. conducted human trials of the drug to treat osteoarthritis pain, they found that the drug lacked efficacy. Researchers had not, however, tested the drug’s use in treating other kinds of pain and lessening opioid dependence.

Full story at Futurity

CDC: 40% of Patients With Arthritis Don’t Receive Exercise Counseling From Providers

Better, but still plenty of room for improvement—that’s the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) take on a recent analysis of the rate at which health care providers are counseling patients with arthritis to engage in physical activity (PA). The good news: the percentage of individuals with arthritis who received provider counseling for exercise grew by 17.6% between 2002 and 2014. The bad news: even after that growth, nearly 4 in 10 patients with arthritis still aren’t receiving any information from their providers on the benefits of PA.

The CDC analysis, which appeared in a recent edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, uses data from the National Health Interview Survey gathered in 2002 and 2014. In those years, the survey included a question on whether respondents had been told they have “arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia,” as well as a question asking whether “a doctor or other health professional [has] ever suggested physical activity or exercise to help your arthritis or joint symptoms?”

Full story at APTA

Study: For Individuals With Knee OA, 3 Tests Can Predict Ability to Walk 6k Steps a Day

Getting individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA) to walk regularly is a crucial component in reducing knee pain, improving physical function, and staving off comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease. But how can a clinician know if a patient is capable of meeting minimum walking recommendations? Authors of a recent study believe it may come down to performance on 3 simple tests.

In a study of 1,925 participants with or at risk for knee OA, researchers sought to link performance on the 5 times sit-to-stand test, the 20-meter walk test, and the 400-meter walk test to walking patterns outside the clinic. Participants ranged in age from 56 to 74 years, with an average age of 65. The study was e-published ahead of print in Arthritis Care and Research.

Full story at APTA

Early signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder where a person’s immune system attacks their joints, causing them to become inflamed. What are the early signs of this condition?

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) typically affect the hands, wrists, and feet. Spotting signs of RA early could lead to an early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Early and consistent management of arthritis can prevent joint damage and, ultimately, disability.

Full story at Medical News Today

CDC: 1 in 3 Rural Residents Has Arthritis; Over 50% of Those Experience Activity Limitations

America has an arthritis problem, and rural America is being hit especially hard—that’s the finding of a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimates nearly 1 in 3 rural residents in the US has some form of arthritis, with more than half of those with arthritis experiencing activity limitations.

The latest study, which appears in CDC’s May 25 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, describes the results of a detailed study of the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a survey of 426,361 noninstitutionalized adults across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Researchers asked respondents, “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia?” If the answer was “yes,” respondents were then asked, “Are you now limited in any way in any of your usual activities because of arthritis or joint symptoms?”

Full story of arthritis and activity limitations at APTA

Number of Americans Reporting Arthritis-Related Activity Limitations on the Rise

The overall prevalence of arthritis in the US may be about the same as it was 15 year ago, but its burden on Americans is worsening at a rapid pace—and in a particularly troubling way. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Americans with arthritis who report that the condition limits their activities has jumped by 20% since 2002. It’s a trend the CDC believes can only be countered by “existing, underused, evidence-based interventions,” specifically interventions that promote physical activity, which the CDC describes as “a proven strategy for managing arthritis.”

In its report released March 7, the CDC analyzed results from 3 years of National Health Interview Surveys conducted between 2013 and 2015, focusing on respondents who reported arthritis (for the CDC, that includes osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and fibromyalgia). The sample was balanced to reflect US population demographics, which allowed CDC to make overall estimates based on the results, and compared with statistics from 2002. Among the findings:

Full story of rising numbers in arthritis-related activity limitations at APTA

CDC: 1 in 4 Americans Have Multiple Chronic Conditions, With Wide Variation Among States

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one-quarter of the US adult population has multiple chronic conditions (MCCs), but that average doesn’t reflect regional differences, which include state MCC rates as low as 1 in 5 residents to a high of more than 1 in 3.

The report, based on results of a 2014 National Health Interview Survey of 36,697 results, tracks the prevalence of adults who reported having 2 or more of 10 chronic conditions: arthritis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, hepatitis, hypertension, stroke, or weak or failing kidneys. Respondents included Medicare beneficiaries and the privately insured.

Full story of Americans with multiple chronic conditions at APTA

County-by-County Analysis Finds Pockets of High Arthritis Prevalence

As if the prevalence of arthritis in more than 1 and 5 Americans isn’t challenging enough, now comes information that breaks down statistics at the county level to find that prevalence is very uneven across the US, with rates as low as 15.8% in some counties and more than 33% in others.

The new statistics are part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report set for release on May 20. That report describes the results of a detailed study of the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a survey of 464,444 noninstitutionalized adults across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories.

Researchers analyzed the prevalence rates for respondents who answered “yes” to the question “have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia?” and found that the overall prevalence rate for US adults is 22.7%.

Full story of high arthritis prevalence by County at APTA

Can a PT’s Personality Traits Affect Outcomes for Patients With Chronic Disease? This Study Says Yes

Want to improve physical therapy outcomes for patients with chronic diseases? Have a “calmer, more relaxed, secure, and resilient” personality, according to Dutch researchers.

In an article published in the December 16 issue of BioMed Central’s Health Services Research, researchers from the Netherlands compared treatment outcomes from patients with chronic disease such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes with the ways their treating physiotherapists (PTs) scored on “The Big 5” Index (BFI), a widely used personality test.

Authors of the study hoped to get a full picture of how the 5 personality dimensions measured in the test—neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness to experiences—played into patient outcomes. In the end, they found that only neuroticism seemed to have an impact.

Full story of PT’s personality traits and patient outcomes at APTA

APTA, CDC Partner on Community-Based Resources for Arthritis

APTA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have partnered to offer physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) new resources to promote community-focused, evidence-based physical activity programs that help people manage arthritis outside a therapeutic setting.

Information on the offerings have been made available on the APTA website, through the association’s consumer-focused MoveForwardPT.com, and via a CDC webpage. Taught by trained, certified instructors, the programs extend the benefits of physical therapy through activities including walking, aquatics, and low-impact aerobics.

Full story of APTA and CDC to provide resources for Arthritis at APTA