Prime Time Living - Page 26 - Remedies from page 6

Prime Time Living
- Page 26
Remedies from page 6
physical therapy, you can see one without a prescription. If you’re on Medicare, you do need a doctor’s referral. For other types of arthritis, a rheumatologist can provide a prescription.

You may hear about stem cell therapies or PRP (Plasma rich protein) treatments. O’Koon says, “There are early promising studies on these, but so far there are no protocols for their usage or solid evidence. They are not approved yet to treat any type of arthritis. Yes, there is anecdotal evidence, but there are risks, so you should be cautious. If you are considering joining a stem cell research study, know that patients should never have to pay for participation in a legitimate study.”

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a very different disease than OA. When you have symptoms of inflammation, it’s important to get treated early as joint erosion can occur. There are also a whole range of disease-modifying drugs, both conventional oral medications and biologics, as injections or infusions. People can go into remission or have low disease activity, which may or may not be permanent.

Severe OA and other types of arthritis are chronic diseases and can cause mental health issues and isolation. Those who suffer benefit from connecting with others in similar situations. The Arthritis Foundation has an active online community ( www.liveyes.arthritis.org ) where users talk to one another and share information. There are disease-specific forums so you know you’re not alone. There are also local Connect Groups that meet regularly and provide education and camaraderie.

“We are committed to improving the lives of people with arthritis, providing leadership in the search for a cure and advocacy for supportive health care policies,” says O’Koon. “We have top-notch programs, services and information to help all people, no matter what type of arthritis you have.”

There is more you can do for your arthritis, such as food and diet recommendations, exercises, pain management, and specific information to live a healthier life. And remember: you have support to cope with your arthritis. You’re not alone. •