NYU Langone Musculoskeletal Experts Offer Tips For Managing Arthritis

Arthritis Month Highlights Importance of Clinical Expertise, Research and Technology to Aid in Earlier Identification of Joint Diseases, Better Long-term Outcomes

May 9, 2012 - 8:53am

New biologics and drug therapies, clinical techniques and advanced imaging technology help clinicians and researchers evaluate and identify arthritis sooner. This earlier intervention can help return arthritis patients to an active lifestyle faster, with better long-term outcomes.

“We anticipate that by the year 2030 roughly one out of four U.S. adults will be affected by arthritis, so it’s important for people to understand that – while research continues to make strides in identifying the underlying causes of arthritis – there are many treatments and interventions available to minimize the symptoms and control the progression of the disease,” said Steven B. Abramson, MD, professor, Departments of  Medicine and Pathology, director, Division of Rheumatology and Vice Dean for Education, Faculty and Academic Affairs, NYU Langone Medical Center. “Today, by working with your doctor, most of those suffering from arthritis can resume work and continue all the activities they enjoy.”

Tips to managing arthritis include:

  • Stay informed. People diagnosed with arthritis should understand and put into place arthritis management strategies that will help them take control of their condition, reduce pain and limit the frustration and worry about their overall health.
  • Be active. Research shows that physical activity decreases pain, improves function and delays disability. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week. This can be done in simple, ten-minute intervals.
  • Weight does matter. Studies link an increased prevalence of arthritis with increased weight. Losing even a modest amount of weight (10 lbs.) reduces the risk of getting arthritis and improve existing joint pain – and can increase function and quality of life for those already diagnosed.
  • Be your doctor’s partner. Though there is currently no cure for most types of arthritis, early diagnosis and appropriate long-term management of the condition is critical to minimizing pain and staying mobile.
  • Protect your joints. Research links joint injuries with the eventual development of osteoarthritis. Science is still investigating this link, but strengthening the supporting muscles and tendons by staying active and exercising correctly will decrease the potential for injuries.

NYU Langone recently ushered in the next generation of orthopaedic, rheumatologic and rehabilitative care with the opening of the Center for Musculoskeletal Care (CMC) – the first, and largest, stand-alone facility in the U.S. to incorporate state-of-the-art therapeutic and medical technology with the expertise of NYU Langone’s top-ranked doctors, wellness programs, biomedical research of bone and joint conditions – within a single point of care.

“Our clinicians and researchers are examining the basic biology of joint tissue and their functional decline with aging and the onset of osteoarthritis – with a goal to one day create therapies that promote the intrinsic and extrinsic regeneration of these tissues,” said Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD, the Walter A. L. Thompson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center.

NYU Langone is one of the nation’s premier academic medical centers and ranked among the top 10 in the country for the musculoskeletal specialties of orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey of “Best Hospitals” in America.