health day reporter
TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Joint pain is common in people over 50, but it’s still important to speak to a doctor rather than endlessly self-medicate, experts say .
Now a new University of Michigan poll is breaking down articular painits impact on those who responded to the survey and how they chose to react to this painful condition.
Results from the University of Michigan National Survey on Healthy Aging indicate that 70% of people over 50 experience joint pain at least occasionally. About 60% were told they had some form of arthritis.
Of those with arthritis symptoms, about 45% said they experience pain every day and 49% said it somewhat limits their usual activities.
“If you experience joint pain frequently or if it interferes with your normal activities, you don’t have to go it alone,” said Indira Venkat, senior vice president of AARP Research. The organization was one of the supporters of the ballot. “Discuss with your health care provider how you treat your joint pain and additional strategies that may help.”
About 80% of people with joint pain said they had at least some confidence in their ability to manage it on their own.
About 66% do so with over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or naproxen (Aleve). About 26% said they took supplements, such as glucosamine or chondroitin. About 11% use cannabidiol (CBD), derived from marijuana, while 9% use marijuana.
About 18% use non-opioid prescription-only pain relievers, 19% receive steroid injections, 14% take oral steroids, 14% use opioids, and 4% use disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
“There are considerable risks associated with many of these treatment options, particularly when taken long term or in combination with other medications. Yet 60% of those who take two or more substances for their joint pain said their healthcare provider didn’t tell them about the risks, or they couldn’t remember if they had. And 26% of those taking oral steroids had not spoken with a provider about the particular risks these drugs carry,” said Dr. Beth Wallace. She is a rheumatologist and researcher at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare system, the VA Center for Clinical Management Research, and Michigan Medicine.
“This suggests an urgent need for providers to talk with their patients about how to manage their joint pain, and the long-term interactions and risks that might arise if they use medications to do so,” Wallace said.
American College of Rheumatology guidelines for osteoarthritis and the rarer rheumatoid arthritis seeks to reduce the risk that can occur with long-term use or for those taking multiple medications that can affect the stomach, liver, blood pressure, blood sugar, mood, or sleep patients.
Guidelines for osteoarthritis, which can be caused by wear and tear, emphasize weight loss, exercise, self-management programs with arthritis educators, tai chi, yoga, braces, splints and kinesiotaping, acupuncture or acupressure, cognitive behavioral therapy, and applying heat, cold, or topical pain relievers to painful joints.
For medications, the guidelines focus on short-term use of low-dose over-the-counter medications, as well as joint injections of steroids in appropriate patients. They advise against most supplements, opioids, and other prescription drugs.
About 64% of survey respondents who have joint pain exercise and 24% have had physical therapy. Far fewer used non-drug options such as braces.
Certain groups of older adults seem more likely to experience more severe joint pain, said survey director Dr. Preeti Malani, a Michigan physician with a background in infectious diseases and geriatrics.
“Those who say their overall health is fair or poor were twice as likely to say they have moderate or severe joint pain as those in better health. The difference was almost as large between those who say their mental health is fair or poor than those who report better mental health,” she said in a press release from Michigan Medicine.
“And older people with fair or poor physical or mental health were much more likely to agree with the statement that there is nothing anyone with joint pain can do to relieve their symptoms, which is what we now know. be wrong,” Malani said. providers should bring up the topic of joint pain with their elderly patients and help them develop a plan of care that might work for them.
The telephone survey was conducted in January and February 2022 with 2,277 adults between the ages of 50 and 80.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on osteoarthritis.
SOURCE: Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan, press release, September 12, 2022