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When Your Back Hurts, Don’t Let Back Pain Knock You Flat

https://www.niams.nih.gov/newsroom/spotlight-on-research/dont-let-back-pain-knock-you-flat

Is your back hurting? You’re in good company. In any 3-month period, about 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has at least one day of back pain, mostly in the lower back. The back is a complicated structure. Its center is the spine, which is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae, stacked in a column. The nerves of the spinal cord run in a tunnel through the middle of those bones. Spongy discs between the vertebrae act as cushions. Ligaments and tendons hold everything together. A lot of things can go wrong with your back. A strained muscle

Giant Cell Arteritis

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/giant-cell-arteritis

What is giant cell arteritis? Giant cell arteritis causes the arteries of the scalp and neck to become red, hot, swollen, or painful. The arteries most affected are those in the temples on either side of the head. These arteries narrow, so not enough blood can pass through. It is important that you get treatment right away. Otherwise, the arteries could be permanently damaged. There is also a risk of blindness or stroke. If you have giant cell arteritis, your doctor should also look for signs of another disorder, polymyalgia rheumatica. These conditions often occur together.

Psoriasis

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/psoriasis

What is psoriasis? Psoriasis is a chronic (long-lasting) disease in which the immune system works too much, causing patches of skin to become scaly and inflamed. Most often, psoriasis affects the: Scalp. Elbows. Knees. The symptoms of psoriasis can sometimes go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months followed by times when they subside (or go into remission). If you have psoriasis, you may have a higher risk of getting other serious conditions, including: Psoriatic arthritis. Heart attack or stroke. Mental health problems, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.

Osteonecrosis

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/osteonecrosis

What is osteonecrosis? Osteonecrosis is a bone disease. It results from the loss of blood supply to the bone. Without blood, the bone tissue dies. This causes the bone to collapse. It may also cause the joints that surround the bone to collapse. If you have osteonecrosis, you may have pain or be limited in your physical activity. Osteonecrosis can develop in any bone, most often in the: Thigh bone (femur). Upper arm bone (humerus). Knees. Shoulders. Ankles. It is also called: Avascular necrosis. Aseptic necrosis. Ischemic necrosis.

Back Pain

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/back-pain

What is back pain? Back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the United States. It might feel like a dull, constant ache or a sudden, sharp pain. Back pain can result from: An accident. A fall. Lifting something heavy. Changes that happen in the spine as you age. A disorder or medical condition. Treatment depends on the cause and symptoms of your pain. You can do things to improve your health and lower your chance of developing chronic (long-lasting) back pain.

Fibromyalgia

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/fibromyalgia

What is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a long-lasting or chronic disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue (feeling tired). If you have fibromyalgia, you have pain and tenderness throughout your body. Sometimes you may have two or more chronic pain conditions at the same time, such as: Chronic fatigue syndrome. Endometriosis. Irritable bowel syndrome. Interstitial cystitis. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). Vulvodynia.

Gout

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/gout

What is gout? Gout is a type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling in your joints, usually as flares that last for a week or two, and then go away. Gout flares often begin in your big toe or a lower limb. Gout happens when high levels of a substance called serum urate build up in your body. When this happens, needle-shaped crystals form in and around the joint. This leads to inflammation and arthritis of the joint. However, many people with high levels of serum urate will not develop gout. With early diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle changes, gout

Bioengineered Compound May Aid in Treating Osteoarthritic Joints

https://www.niams.nih.gov/newsroom/spotlight-on-research/bioengineered-compound-may-aid-treating

A bioengineered molecule designed to bind together key components found in the fluid that surrounds joint areas may improve lubrication and minimize friction. This could potentially slow the degeneration of cartilage tissue that occurs in knee osteoarthritis, according to a study conducted in rats and funded in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The study was published in Nature Materials. The synovial fluid that bathes our joints is composed of several types of lubricants, including hyaluronic acid (HA) and lubricin. In healthy joints, this fluid ensures that tissues move together smoothly and without

MRI Findings Reveal Early Changes to Joint That Predict Development of Knee Osteoarthritis

https://www.niams.nih.gov/newsroom/spotlight-on-research/mri-findings-reveal-early-changes

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a team of scientists has detected structural changes in the knee joint that precede signs of osteoarthritis seen on X-rays. The study, which was supported in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), calls into question the assumption that damage to cartilage is the primary underlying cause of osteoarthritis. The findings appeared in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology.

New Insights Into How Psoriasis Arises and How It Heals

https://www.niams.nih.gov/newsroom/spotlight-on-research/new-insights-how-psoriasis-arises

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by itchy red patches and silvery scales, usually on the elbows, knees or scalp. It affects about 2 percent of Americans, and is sometimes associated with other health problems, such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. The causes are not fully understood, but the condition is related to an abnormal immune assault on skin cells that triggers inflammation. Scientists have been trying to understand the molecular details of what causes psoriasis. Now, two studies funded in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and published in