Over Half of Older Adults Use OTC Pain Relievers for Joint Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Beth Wallace, M.D. M.Sc
Associate Investigator, Center for Clinical Management Research
Staff Physician, Rheumatology
VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Assistant Professor, Division of Rheumatology
University of Michigan

Dr. Wallace

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Arthritis and joint pain are common among older adults. We used data from the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging to understand how a national sample of older adults experiences and manages joint pain.

PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Seventy percent of adults aged 50-80 report that they have joint pain. Three in five have a diagnosis of arthritis, including 30% who have a diagnosis of osteoarthritis (also called “wear and tear” or “bone on bone” arthritis).

Of those with joint pain, half said that it limited their usual activities, but about three in four said that they saw arthritis and joint pain as a normal part of aging that they could manage on their own.

More than half of all adults use over-the-counter pain relievers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Advil, Motrin, Aleve) for joint pain. One in ten used a prescription oral steroid, like prednisone. This is important because these medications can cause or worsen health conditions common in older people, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. More than a quarter of adults who used oral steroids for joint pain did not remember discussing the risks of these medications with their health care provider.

Ninety percent of those with joint pain used non-medication treatments, like exercise, massage, and splints and braces, to manage their symptoms. Most people who used these treatments found them to be very helpful.

Barriers to Implementation of Patient Education in Inflammatory Arthritis

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Mwidimi Ndosi PhD MSc BSc PGCert (Clin Ed) FHEA RN 
Sarah Bennet and Beth Jones
Associate Professor in Rheumatology Nursing
University of the West of England, Bristol  
Honorary Researcher
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust  

Dr. Ndosi

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Patient education is seen as an essential part of managing long-term conditions like inflammatory arthritis. Chronic inflammatory arthritis includes rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. We define patient education as a planned interactive learning process designed to support and enable people to manage their life with a disease and optimise their health and wellbeing.[1]

There are variations across Europe in the way patient education is delivered to people with inflammatory arthritis. In 2015, an international group of professionals and patients with inflammatory arthritis developed evidence-based recommendations for patient education [1]. This initiative was supported by the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR), an organisation representing people with arthritis, health professionals in rheumatology and scientific societies of rheumatology in Europe.

In this study, we wanted to find out whether the recommendations were acceptable to patients and healthcare professionals. We also needed to know what helped people to follow these recommendations and what were barriers to putting them into practice. We surveyed health professionals in 20 countries in Europe, and 3 in Asia (India, Hong Kong and Japan) [2]

Cooled Radiofrequency Ablation for Pain Relief After Total Knee Replacement

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Felix Gonzalez, M.D.
Assistant professor, Division of Musculoskeletal Imaging
Department of Radiology and Imaging Scienc
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. Gonzalez

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Total knee arthroplasty is a common procedure performed worldwide for the treatment of symptomatic knee arthritis. Unfortunately, approximately 20% of those patients develop chronic pain after the surgical intervention in the setting of no complications such as infection or hardware loosening. The reason for this is not known at this point although theories exist.

The new study focused on 21 patients who were experiencing persistent chronic pain after total knee replacement, without underlying hardware complications. The patients had all failed conservative care. They filled out clinically validated questionnaires to assess pain severity, stiffness, functional activities of daily living and use of pain medication before and after the procedure. Follow-up outcome scores were collected up to one year after the C-RFA procedure.

In the end, the study found, patients with knee arthritis reported an 70% drop in their pain ratings approximately, on average.

Study Compares PRP to Placebo For Pain Relief in Knee Arthritis

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Professor Kim Bennell FAHM
Barry Distinguished Professor | NHMRC Leadership Fellow
Dame Kate Campbell Fellow
Centre for Health Exercise and Sports Medicine
Department of Physiotherapy
Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne, Victoria Australia

Prof. Bennell

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Osteoarthritis is a common chronic painful joint condition with no cure that often leads to costly joint replacement surgery. Treatments are needed that can not only reduce symptoms but also slow structural progression of the disease in order to reduce the burden of knee OA.  There are no approved disease-modifying treatments available at present. 

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have become a widely used treatment for knee osteoarthritis (OA) in recent years despite the fact that the evidence to support their effects is limited and not of high quality. For this reason, clinical guidelines currently do not recommend PRP for the management of knee osteoarthritis.

To address this gap in knowledge, our study aimed to compare the effectiveness of PRP injections to reduce knee pain and slow loss of medial tibial cartilage volume over a 12-month period. We did this by conducting a clinical trial of 288 people with mild to moderate knee OA. The study included a placebo group where participants were injected with saline into the knee. Participants and the injecting doctors were blind as to whether PRP or saline was injected into the knee.

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Knee Arthritis: Racial Differences in Treatment Patterns and Health Care Expenditures

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Stuart L. Silverman MD FACP FACR
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA School of Medicine
Medical Director, OMC Clinical Research Center
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Dr. Silverman

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: As a practicing rheumatologist, I am aware that prior studies have shown variation in medical care, pain management and treatment with opioids by race and social economic status.  Suboptimal treatment of pain in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) may also disproportionately burden racial minorities and Medicaid recipients. 

Studies have shown that African Americans are nearly 1.5 times as likely to have symptomatic knee OA than White patients even when adjusting for other factors.  Similarly, they also have a higher prevalence of symptomatic and radiographic hip OA.  Analyses of Medicare data has shown evidence of persistent racial disparities for joint arthroplasty usage and surgical outcomes.

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Genicular Artery Embolization: A Promising Therapy for Pain Relief from Knee Arthritis

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Dr. Siddharth A. Padia, MD
Interventional Radiology
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center

Dr. Padia, MD

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee can be a debilitating condition with significant impact on a person’s overall quality of life. OA has historically been considered a “wear-and-tear” disease, resulting from years of stress induced cartilage degeneration. Recent data suggests that inflammation plays a role not only in the experience of pain secondary to osteoarthritis, but is a driver of OA itself. 

Genicular artery embolization (GAE) is a minimally invasive procedure where the arteries supplying the lining of the knee are selectively catheterized during an angiogram to target abnormally increased blood flow associated with knee osteoarthritis. Injection of small, microspheres results in a reduction in arterial flow, which may in turn reduce the synovial inflammation. 


PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?

Response: 40 subjects were enrolled in this trial. Technical success was achieved in 100% of subjects. Transient skin discoloration and transient mild post-procedure knee pain were common and expected. Pain scores decreased from a 8 (out of 10) at baseline to 3/10 (63% decrease) at 12 months. Twenty-seven patients (67.5%) had greater than a 50% reduction in pain scores. 

PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Genicular artery embolization is a highly promising therapy for people with knee arthritis, who are not surgical candidates or which to defer surgery. It is the first non-surgical treatment that has shown to have a significant reduction in pain with a duration of at least one year. It is minimally invasive, and most people can resume their everyday activities the evening after their procedure. 

PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: This was a single arm trial, in that genicular artery embolization was not compared to other treatments. Future research needs to show a comparison to other treatments or placebo in order to prove its efficacy. Additionally, long-term result (2 and 4 years) would be beneficial to show the durability of GAE over time. 

Citation:

Abstract No. 16 Genicular artery embolization for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: final results from a prospective investigational device exemption trial
Padia, S. et al. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Volume 32, Issue 5, S8

https://www.jvir.org/article/S1051-0443(18)31829-3/fulltext

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