Posts Tagged ‘osteoarthritis’

Is Tai Chi Effective for Knee Osteoarthritis Pain, Function and Other Symptoms.

Friday, November 13th, 2015


Logos 005A new study presented recently at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in San Francisco concluded that both Tai Chi and Physical Therapy positively im,pact pain, function, and other symptoms of knee osteoarthritis–making Tai Chi a viable alternative for people suffering with this disease.   Joints under high stress due to repeated activities or weight bearing are most suceptible to osteoarthritis such as the hips, knees, hands, and spine.  Osteoparthritis becomes more common with aging and causes long term pain especially in the knees. Physical therapy has been a popular treatment for the condition. Although studies have shown that Tai Chi was effective for osteoarthritis, this was the first to compare it with physical therapy. Researchers said “Based on our previous investigation, we directly compared the effectiveness of the two therapies eacvh known to have health benefits  for knee OA.”

In the study 204 subjects with symptomatic and radiologic knee osteoarthritis (OA) were randomly placed in 2 groups. The first group of 106 subjects completed 12 weeks of classical Yang style  Tai chi twice a week. The second group of 98 completed physical therapy twice a week for six weeks and then were monitored as they followed six weeks of at home physical therapy exercises. Subjects were an average of 60 years of age, who had suffered from knee osterarthritis 8 years, had a BMI of 33, and were predominately white women Researchers looked for changes in pain and function using the Western Ontario and McMaster University Arthritis Index (WOMAC), depression, quality of life, and pain medication usage. Researchers also asked patients to assess their own pain and function and to complete   two-meter and six minute walking tests.

subjects in both groups had similar characteristics and test results in the beginning . At week 12  the WOMAC scores had improved by 167 points for the Tai Chi group and 143 points for the physical therapy group. In addition, there was no significant difference in pain improvement,. However, when subjects completed a 36 question survey researechers noted significant improvements in the results of the Tai Chi group at the 1`2 week mark. In addition, the Tai Chi group noted improvement in depression. Both groups reduced pain medication over time but their reaction to that reduction did not differ at 12 weeks but did differ at 24 weeks with NSAIDs and 52 weeks with analgesics. Researchers concluded Tai Chi should be considered a therapy option and they should work with a seasoned instructor in order to get proper instructions.

Saturday Radio Show with Dr Nathan Wei (stem cell), Dr Eric Love (Bach flower remedies) and Phyllis Kung (facial rejuvenation acupuncture) now available.

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Guest for the show yesterday were Dr Nathan Wei (left), Dr Eric Love (center), and Phyllis Kung.

Dr Wei is a board-certified rheumatologist and former clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine and consultant to the National Institutes of Health. He has been called the number one arthritis expert in the country and is a specialist in regenerative medicine. More information is available at:

Dr Eric Love has a PhD in religion and is considered one of the greatest living masters of the Bach flower remedies and has the oldest ongoing classes on the Back remedies in the world. More information is available at:

Phyllis Kung is a licensed acupuncturist in the state of Texas and nationally certified, and is an adjunct professor in the Texas College of  Traditional Chinese Medicine where she earned her masters in acupuncture & oriental medicine. More information is available at:

Enjoy the Interviews Below:

Dr Mark Brown, Dr Phillip Cheras and Dr Eugene Lipov Interviewed on the Holistic Health Show

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Dr  Mark Brown

P Cheras


Dr Carl O. Helvie, Host, Holistic Health Show interviewed Dr Mark Brown (top left), Dr Phillip Cheras (top right), and Dr Eugene Lipov (bottom left) yesterday. Dr Brown M.D., PhD is Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and has over 40 years experience caring for patients with neck and back pain. His award winning book is titled “Conquer Back and Neck Pain: Walk it Off.“More information is available on a previous entry on this site and at

Dr Cheras, PhD, is the Deputy Director of the Australian Center for Complementary Medical Education and Research and has been principle or co-investigator of clinical trials in Complementary Medicine in excess of 5 million dollar. His doctoral research on osteoarthritis received international attention. More information can be found on an earlier blog here. He can be reached through his publicist at:

Dr Lipov, M.D., a board certified anesthesiologist and pain manager, is Director of Research at Northwest Community Hospital and Medical Director of the Advanced Pain Center. More information was presented on an earlier blog or he can be reached through his publicist at:

The interview from yesterdays show follows.

Dr. Mark Brown, Dr. Phillip A Cheras, and Dr. Eugene Lipov to be Interviewed on the Holistic Health Show on Saturday

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Dr Mark Brown

P Cheras


On Saturday, Dr Carl O Helvie will interview Dr Mark Brown (top left), Dr Phillip Cheras (top right), and Dr Eugene Lipov (lower left).

Dr Brown, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. He has over 40 years experience caring for patients with back and neck pain and his PhD thesis and all of his research devoted to the cause, prevention, and cure of spinal disorders. He is a founding member of the International Society for the Study of Lumbar Spine and is also a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Orthopaedic Association, Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons, the Cervical Spine Research Society, Medical Advisory Board of PinnacleCare, and the North America Spine Society. He serves as a Consultant Reviewer for the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery , is on the Board of Associate Editors of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, is on the Associate Editorial Board of Spine, and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques.
He is the author of Conquer Back and Neck Pain: Walk it Off that was a finalist in the National Best Book Awards in the health, exercise and fitness category and also received the 2008 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award for first place in the “consumer health” category.

Dr Phillip Cheras received his PhD from the University of Queensland in Australia in 1993 and has been an Adjunct Associate Professor with NatMed Research at Southern Cross University in Australia since 2007. He has received international attention for his doctoral research which lead him to propose a new paradigm for the causation of osteoarthritis. He has published his “Vascular Concept of Osteoarthritis Causation” and presented it at numerous international conferences and symposia. In 2001 he was a core member of the team that established the Australian Centre for Complementary Medical Education and Research (ACCMER), a joint venture of the University of Queensland and Southern Cross University, and became the foundation Deputy Director. Here is this content that you can check out to get in touch with good surgeons to get a second opinion.
Dr Cheras has been the Principal or Co-investigator of clinical trials in complementary medicine valued in excess of $5 million. He has fostered links between the complementary medicine industry, academia, government, and entrepreneurial investors.

Dr Cheras reviews for a wide range of journals and organizations including the Cancer Council of Australia. In 2007, he was appointed as Interim Executive Officer for the newly created national Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) with the University of Western Sydney. He is a consultant to the Complementary and Alternative Industry and has co-authored both national and international reviews.

Dr Eugene Lipov, M.D. is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Management. He graduated from Northwestern Medical School in 1984 and attended Rush St Luke’s Medical Center to pursue advanced training in Anesthesiology and Pain Management. He has been on the academic faculty at Rush St Luke’s for more than 5 years.

Dr Lipov is currently the Director of Research, Northwest Community Hospital, and Medical Director, Advanced Pain Center. He has conducted numerous media interviews about his innovative treatment of hot flashes and pain management. He was an instructor for ISIS (International Spine Injection Society) and is a member of ISIS and NASS (North America Spine Society).

Strength Training, Self-Management Programs or a Combination are Equally Effective for Osteoarthritis

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010


A 24 month unblinded, random intervention study to compare the effects of strength training programs, self-management programs, and a combination of both carried out at the University of Arizona Arthritis Center found that physically inactive, middle aged people with symptomatic osteoarthritis benefited equally from strength training regimes, self-management programs, or a combination of the two. In this study, known as the Knee Study the researchers hypothesized that combining the two treatments might enhance the outcome.
Two hundred seventy three study participants between the ages of 35 and 65 who had reported pain and disability due to knee pain on most days in one or both knees for a period of not more than five years, and had a Kellgren/Lawrence classification grade 2 radiographic evidence of knee osteoarthritis in one or both knees were included.
Study participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups-strength training, self management program, and the combination group. The strength training group spent the first 9 months improving the core areas of stretching and balance, range of motion and flexibility, and isotonic muscle strength. This was followed by 15 months of developing independent, long-term exercise habits. The second group participated in a 2-phase self-management program to educate participants and provide one on one treatment advice. The combined group participated in both the complete training and self-management program. Two hundred one of the original 273 participants completed the two year program with the self management group having the highest compliance rate.

Despite the lack of differences in finding in the three groups, all groups demonstrated improvements in physical function tests and decreased self-reported pain and disability. The researchers stated that because the self management group demonstrated higher compliance and there was no differences found in the outcome of the three groups, self-management might be a less intrusive and equally effective early treatment for knee osteoarthritis. More information is available in the January 2010 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Avoid Knee Replacement and Harsh Treatments for Arthritis

Sunday, January 24th, 2010


Last night Dr Carl O Helvie, Host, Holistic Health Show interviewed Dr Ross Hauser (left) and Dr Thom Lobe (right).

Dr Hauser talked about prolotherapy a medical procedure of injecting natural substances into a site such as the knee to regenerate cartilage. He has been performing this procedure sucessfully for 12 years and studied with the physician who invented the procedure., He has also written books on the procedure. More of his biography was presented on this site earlier and can be found at

My second guest was Dr Thom Lobe who is the founder and medical director of Beneveda Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California. He has been first many times such as successful separation of siamese twins, establishment of first pediatric surgery training program in the south, first textbook on pediatric surgery, first medical journal devoted to advanced surgical treatments in children and others. He is also a long time host and moderator of a medical talk show on GHS television in Germantown, Tennessee called “Whats Up Doc?”. Others aspects of his biography were identified earlier on this site and can be found at Dr Lobe talks about natural ways to deal with arthritis.

The interview follows. I hope you enjoy it.

Two Year Follow Up Study of Exercise and Hand Osteoarthritis

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009


A study was carried out and reported in the Journal of Hand Therapy in 2007 on the effects of strength training among people with hand osteoarthritis. In this 2 year study whole body strength training and gripper exercise were evaluated in terms of hand strength, pain and functioning in adults with radiographic evidence of hand osteoarthritis. Fifty five adults age 65 to 78 and 80% women participated in two years of strength training three times a week. Bilateral gripper exercises (isotonic grip strength) isometric grip strength, pain, and self reported hand and finger functioning were reported at the beginning and the end of the 2 year period. Isotonic grip strength increased by 1.94 kg over the two year period which was significant at the p<0.0003 level; the right and left isometric grip increased 3.62 kg that was significant at the p<0.002 level and p<0.0005 level respectively, and hand pain decreased from 4.77 to 2.62 significant at the p<0.006 level. Hand and finger function scores showed minimal dysfunction at the beginning and at the end. Results suggest that strength train may safely increase grip strength and reduce the pain in older people with hand osteoarthritis.

Do Magnetic and Copper Bracelets Help Arthritis Sufferers?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009


Magnetic straps and magnetic and copper bracelets to relieve the pain of arthritis have become popular. They are advertised to increase the blood flow to tissues and stimulate the release of the body’s natural painkillers. In 2004 the results of studies on the effect of magnets on arthritis were contradictory. One study with 194 patients with osteoarthritis who wore the bracelet for 12 weeks concluded that those wearing the bracelet showed more improvement than those wearing a dummy bracelet. But several other studies that same year concluded that there was no evidence for magnetic bracelets helping arthritis patients.

This year a well designed study published by British scientists on (August 28, 2009) concluded that magnetic and copper bracelets are generally ineffective for managing pain, stiffness, and physical functions in osteoarthritis although they have no adverse effect and may provide hope for the sufferer.

In their study the researchers compared the effects of a popular magnetic device, a weak magnetic wrist strap, a demagnetized device and a copper bracelet in people with arthritis and reached the above conclusions. More information is available in the original article. .

Study Concludes Nontramadol Opioids Should Not be Routinely Used for Osteoarthritis

Friday, October 30th, 2009


A study in the October 7 issue of the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews reported that even when the pain is severe. nontramadol Opioids should not routinely be used for osteoarthritis. The researchers compared oral and transdermal opioids with placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee to determine its effect on pain, function, and safety. They reviewed studies from Central Medline, EMBASE, and CINAHL and conference proceedings and contacted authors for additional data when needed.
Of the 10 trials included that comprised 2268 subjects, 4 trials had studied oral oxycodone, 3 studied oral codeine, 1 studied transdermal fentanyl, 1 studied oral morphine, and 2 studied oral oxomorphone. Compared with the control subjects (placebo) those receiving opioids had better pain relief, and improved function. Efficacy did not vary much based upon opioid type, analgesic potency, daily dose, duration of treatment or of follow up, methodological quality of study, or type of funding.
Those in the study group were more likely than the control group to have adverse reactions. The researchers concluded that the small to moderate benefits of the Nontramadol Opioids were outweighed by large increases in the risks of adverse reactions and should not be routinely used even if the osteoarthritis pain is severe.

Limitations of the study were noted as funding for most of the studies had been provided by pharmacetical companies.

Holistic Health Show Last Night Started Arthritis Series with Dr Nathan Wei, Arthritis Expert, and Two Arthritis Sufferers, Kelly Rouba and Kirsten Mahoney

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

My first guest last night on the Holistic Health Show hosted by Dr Carl O Helvie was Dr Nathan Wei, CEO of the Arthritis and Osteoporesis Center of Maryland who has helped more than 7,000 patients with arthritis. He is author of more than 60 peer-reviewed literatures, 500 published articles, has produced 12 videotaped presentations, presented over 120 lectures worldwide, and taught advanced courses in rheumatology. More information is available on an earlier blog or at:

My second guest, Kelly Rouba, is an author, writer, emergency management professional, and spokesperson for the Arthritis National Research Foundation who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at age 2. More information is available on an earlier blog here or at:

My last guest was Kirsten Mahoney who is a certified Life Balance Coach and founder of Insight Out Life Coaching who has arthritis and talks about her treatment. More information is available on an earlier blog or at:

This interview follows. You can also listen to it on itunes, podcast alley, or podcast pickle.