Osteoarthritis of the hip is a painful condition that can interfere with leg movement and diminish the quality of life. In some, the symptoms are mild, but in others, osteoarthritis can be severe and can even lead to joint failure. Pain is often intermittent in early stages, but in later stages, the pain can be constant with periods of sharp, intense pain. The hip joint becomes stiff and unstable, making it difficult to move around and greatly increasing the risk of falls.
Unfortunately, there are few effective treatments for osteoarthritis of the hip. Management includes pain control with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. Steroid injections into the hip are not as effective as they are for knee osteoarthritis, so many doctors hesitate to perform them. Joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are unlikely to be very effective—clinical trials have not provided evidence that they actually work. The definitive treatment for hip osteoarthritis is hip replacement surgery, which is expensive and associated with a long period of recovery.
The main problem in osteoarthritis is that the joint breaks down over time from wear and tear (i.e. microtraumas). At the same time, the joint has a very limited capacity to heal itself. In other words, once the joint breaks down, it pretty much stays that way. Since life is a series of joint microtraumas, the hip gets progressively worse. Indeed, one in four people will have painful osteoarthritis of the hip by age 85, and hundreds of thousands will have it earlier in life.
Scientists have long wanted to find ways to help the body regenerate the joint substances, particularly joint cartilage. Unfortunately, the joint does not receive good blood supply and no known drug or supplement can actually rebuild joint cartilage. That is the main reason researchers are aggressively testing stem cells as a treatment for hip osteoarthritis.
Mesenchymal stem cells have the potential to become many different types of cells, including chondrocytes (cartilage cells). Mesenchymal stem cells sense the environment they are in and then become the cell consistent with that environment. So, the theory goes, injecting mesenchymal stem cells into the hip joint can prompt them to become hip joint cells (chondrocytes).
Researchers tested this hypothesis in a clinical study. They injected mesenchymal stem cells taken from fat tissue (i.e. adipose) and injected them into the hip joints of people with difficult-to-treat hip osteoarthritis. They compared the patients’ Harris Hip scores (HHS) before and 6 months after treatment. HHS is a reliable way to assess the severity of osteoarthritis symptoms. An HHS score of less than 70 is “poor” and a score of 80 to 90 is “good.” Before stem cell treatment, patients had an average HHS score of 67.2±3.4 and 84.6±6.3 afterward. Scores also improved in other tests including WOMAC and Visual Analogue Scale. In other words, mesenchymal stem cell treatment reduced pain and improved joint function in these patients compared to levels prior to treatment.
The authors of the clinical study state that “preliminary results are positive and promising.” Further research and studies will help to learn more about this regenerative medicine potential.
Reference: Dall’Oca, C. et al. (2019). Mesenchymal Stem Cells injection in hip osteoarthritis: preliminary results. ACTA Biomedica. 2019, 90(Suppl 1): 75-80.
Often caused by the natural wear and tear on the joints that occurs with age, osteoarthritis occurs in millions of people throughout the U.S. and typically develops during or after an individual’s middle ages. While the condition may develop in any joint, it’s...
Significant advances in the treatment of cancer have increased the number of cancer survivors while also allowing survivors to live longer and with overall improved quality of life. However, these treatments have also resulted in an increase in the number of survivors now living with their debilitating side effects, the most prominent being chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).
According to the American Cancer Society, CIPN often occurs when nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord are damaged as a result of chemotherapy treatments. One of the many symptoms associated with CIPN is chronic oxidative stress, which results in a significant increase in free radicals and proinflammatory cytokines throughout the body. Common side effects of CIPN include dysesthesias, pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and fatigue.
It’s estimated that up to 85% of cancer patients are treated with neurotoxic chemotherapy, and up to 100% of those treated with platinum-based drugs (such as cisplatin, carboplatin, and oxaliplatin), develop CIPN. Not only does CIPN significantly affect a patient’s quality of life, should it develop during cancer treatment, the condition often interrupts and/or delays scheduled chemotherapy sessions.
This review, authored by Clavo et al., examines current cancer treatments potential mechanisms that could result in CIPN, summarizes current CIPN prophylactic and treatment approaches introduce and describes the role of ozone therapy in modifying oxidative stress and inflammation (with a specific focus on how it relates to CIPN), and summarizes experimental and clinical trials using ozone therapy to address the symptoms of CIPN.
Through the course of their review, the authors conclude that while there are several medications and therapies designed to address the inflammation and oxidative stress associated with CIPN, the results of their effectiveness in achieving the desired and/or intended effect(s) have been inconclusive. As a result, the authors conclude that prophylactic and therapeutic approaches to CIPN continue to be limited in both numbers and efficacy.
Ozone therapy is the process of introducing ozone gas into the body to treat an existing disease or medical condition. According to a study published in Medical Gas Research, ozone, when introduced into the body, creates higher concentrations of red blood cells, increases oxygen levels in the body, and produces an anti-inflammatory response. This process, when used to treat CIPN, is thought to be potentially effective in addressing the symptoms of the condition by inducing adaptive responses of tissues within the body.
The authors conclude their review by describing their current research examining the effect of ozone therapy on the analytical and symptomatic evolution of patients with CIPN. Specifically, this research will explore whether or not a relationship exists between the basal levels in oxidative stress parameters, including hyperspectral imagines (HSI), and the quality of life and symptoms self-reported by patients. The authors also call for further research to better understand the role of oxidative stress in CIPN as well as the clinical role of its modulation.
Research exploring the benefits of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has demonstrated tremendous potential as a regenerative therapy option for the musculoskeletal system. Research into these cell-based regenerative therapies is promising, and they must continue to provide the data necessary to show their therapeutic potential in clinical settings.
In this review, Steinert et al. review and summarize some of the promising and unique therapeutic features of adult MSCs, detail their current state of clinical application as a regenerative musculoskeletal therapy, and describe the potential for future developments in this field.
Specifically, as a part of this review, the authors share the status of 31 clinical cell therapies for musculoskeletal regeneration occurring between 1996 through 2011 and specifically covering bone defects and nonunions, avascular necrosis of the hip, cysts and benign tumors of the bone, cartilage lesions, and tendons and ligaments; results for the majority demonstrate the safety of and/or the efficacy associated with the specific method of cell-delivery being evaluated.
The field of regenerative orthopedics points to the large body of MSC clinical research indicating the successful treatment of myocardial infarction, post-stroke or spinal cord injury nerve regeneration, graft versus host disease, and a variety of other conditions as an indication that the application has tremendous potential as a regenerative therapeutic option in a wide variety of musculoskeletal indications.
Although there appears to be evidence demonstrating the paracrine and trophic functions of MSCs, research explaining the specifically demonstrated therapeutic effects is still being determined. The authors highlight that research continues to explore the reasonable therapeutic expectations associated with MSC-based treatments, an essential step required to fully understand the range of healing associated with musculoskeletal regenerative cell-based therapy.
The authors, in concluding this review, point out that the demand for MSC-based musculoskeletal regenerative therapies continues to increase. Steinert et al. call for further study into the specific combination of cell preparation, bioactive factors, and stimuli for each specific MSC therapeutic application. Once these have been demonstrated for each application and should they demonstrate better or improved outcomes compared to standard treatments, only then can they be considered for long-term clinical application.
As of December 2020, 71% of U.S. employees were working from home. These figures were likely a reflection of the coronavirus’s impact on normal work routines, but as more and more employers realize work can be completed from home, it’s likely a good portion of businesses will continue to be conducted remotely even as vaccines continue to roll out.
Working from home has many benefits from skipping commutes to not having to invest in a business wardrobe. Yet, it also comes with some unique challenges. For one, injuries of the hands, wrists, and back increased through 2020, which suggests that home office arrangements aren’t quite posture-friendly. Whether you’re working from the couch on your laptop or slumped over the kitchen counter, chances are there’s room for improvement.
Fortunately, improving the ergonomics of your home office doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are a few simple changes you can make:
Focus on Your Alignment
First and foremost, if you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, you should have a designated workspace. Even if you need to set up a small desk in your bedroom, setting up an actual workstation will prevent you from working on the couch, in the kitchen, or in another common area of your home. In these spaces, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy working posture.
With a desk, however, you can put your body into alignment to support spinal health. Ideally, your elbows should be in line with the keyboard, and your feet should be flat on the floor. Your shoulders should be relaxed and stacked over your hips. Try to situate your monitor so that its midpoint is at eye level.
Keep Your Lower Back Supported
To prevent slumping, keep your lower back well supported and your buttocks firmly pressed into the back of your chair. If that feels uncomfortable, you might consider placing a small cushion or rolled-up towel behind your back. This can support the spine’s natural curve and provide a little extra support.
Get Up & Stretch
At work, you may have taken periodic breaks to talk to coworkers. Some people have fewer distractions at home and find that it’s easier to get stuck in one spot for long periods. Yet, being sedentary for too long can put pressure on your back, wrists, and other areas of the body. Plus, it impedes circulation. Keep the blood flowing by doing heel raises from time to time when you’re seated. Every 20 to 30 minutes, get up and stretch or walk around. With a little creativity, it’s easy to integrate movement into your daily routine. You might try to stand and walk about while you’re on the phone, or do stretches while proofing an email, for example.
Be Mindful of Your Arms
Proper keyboard placement can reduce strain in the upper body. Aim to have your arms bent at a 90-degree angle while working. Only use your armrests during breaks, and remove or adjust them if they don’t support your arms at the proper angle. Try to keep other items you use frequently, such as your phone, within close reach so you’re not stretching awkwardly.
Invest in the Right Equipment
While you can implement the tips above right away, you might also consider purchasing some items to promote ergonomics in your office space if you think you’ll be working from home for a long time. An ergonomic desk chair is a great place to start. Ideally, it should provide back support and be adjustable to align with your specific height and comfort needs. If you’re not ready to invest in new furniture right now, modifications such as placing a yoga block under your feet or even tilting your monitor can help improve ergonomics and reduce the strain on your body.
With these tips, you may find yourself feeling better and perhaps even becoming more productive in your home office. Not only will you help to prevent strain now, but you can also avoid some of the long-term issues that come with poor work posture.
Stemedix, Inc. Bayfront Medical Plaza 601 7th Street S. Suite 565 Saint Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
This website and its contents are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease. Stemedix, Inc. shall not be held liable for the medical claims made by patient testimonials or videos. They are not to be viewed as a guarantee for each individual. The efficacy for some products presented have not been confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.