Over one third of falls caused by hips, knees or ankles giving way

Over one third of the falls were reportedly caused by hips, knees or ankle joints giving way

Adults with rheumatoid arthritis are at high risk of falls. In clinical practice, high-risk fall patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be identified by asking whether patients have fallen in the past year. Important risk factors highlighted include swollen and tender lower extremity joints, fatigue, and use of psychotropic medications.1

Researchers writing in the medical journal Arthritis Care say that doctors need to address the lack of motivation to exercise and to promote the benefits of physical activity to reduce the prevalence of inactivity in those with rheumatoid arthritis.” This because they found “Over two in five adults (42%) with rheumatoid arthritis were inactive.”2

This is a serious problem when you consider the significant fall and injury list in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In  recent research, doctors reported that “535 participants followed for 1 year had a total of 598 falls. 36.4% participants reported falling during 1 year follow-up with an incidence rate of 1313/1000 person-years at risk or 1.11 falls per person.

Over one third of the falls were reportedly caused by hips, knees or ankle joints giving way.

Over half of all the falls resulted in moderate injuries, including head injuries and fractures.

Treatment by general practitioners or other health professionals was required for 15.0% of falls and emergency services were required after 8.8% of falls. 3

Arthritis is a general term that is characterized by discomfort and pain in the joints. While there are numerous forms of arthritis, the most common osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on your joints, tendons and ligaments. As the cartilage that lines the surfaces of the joints wears away, you are left with rough surfaces. As a result, your joints become stiff and painful. Osteoarthritis primarily affects the weight-bearing joints such as hips, knees and back, as well as the hands and wrists. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis more commonly involves inflammation and swelling of the joints rather than a wearing away of the cartilage.

Of course it is difficult to be motivated to move if your joints are in pain or if you require NSAIDs or pain-killers to function. But here at the Magaziner Center for Wellness we get at the cause of the pain, and treat that, not suppress symptoms.

First and foremost, we assess the triggers of inflammation and infection and balance the body’s biochemistry to strengthen the immune response. Nutrient imbalances and an excess body burden of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic or mercury can contribute to a weakened immune response.

To strengthen the immune system, we identify any foods, pollens, molds or chemicals that may be weakening the ability of the body to withstand attack from viruses, bacteria or fungi – or those that may cause inflammation or reduce the ability of the immune cells to react appropriately. Once these are identified and removed, the body’s innate healing mechanism kick in and healing can begin.

Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, and Stem Cell Therapy

While most physicians feel that there is no cure for arthritis and that there is not a lot that can be done for this problem, the treatments are primarily focused on reducing the symptoms of painful and aching joints. The most frequent conventional treatments to help control the symptoms of arthritis involve the use of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications do not stop the progression of arthritis, but simply reduce the symptoms. NSAIDs have been associated with significant side effects such as bleeding in the digestive tract, liver damage, or kidney impairment.

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1. Stanmore EK, Oldham J, Skelton DA, O’Neill T, Pilling M, Campbell AJ, Todd C. Risk factors for falls in adults with rheumatoid arthritis: a prospective study. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013 Aug;65(8):1251-8. doi: 10.1002/acr.21987.

2. Lee J, Dunlop D, Ehrlich-Jones L, Semanik P, Song J, Manheim L, Chang RW.The public health impact of risk factors for physical inactivity in adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Jan 25. doi: 10.1002/acr.21582.
Research, online

3. Stanmore EK, Oldham J, Skelton DA, O’Neill T, Pilling M, Campbell AJ, Todd C. Fall incidence and outcomes of falls in a prospective study of adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Nov 8. doi: 10.1002/acr.21892.