Monday, July 27, 2009

About Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

rheumatoid arthritisApproximately 1.3 million adults were living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2005, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to produce chemicals which attack its own tissues rather than protecting them. RA can flare when the immune system responds incorrectly to an infection or another external factor, causing the lining and other tissues around joints to become inflamed. Rheumatoid arthritis is sometimes called a systematic disease because it can affect other organs, not just the joints. A characteristic symptom of RA is inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues, which can lead to permanent damage and deformity.

Many people who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis experience periods of pain and stiffness as well as periods of little to no symptoms. The symptoms of RA occur when the disease is active, and subside during periods of remission. Often, joints on both sides of the body are affected at the same time, for instance, both knees. Some symptoms that are commonly associated with the condition are stiffness (particularly in the morning or after rest), inflammation of the joints, reduced range of motion, pain, puffiness and even fever. Movement or pressure on the affected joints typically becomes more painful.

Since RA is a chronic condition with no cure, treatment programs are usually intended to help the affected person function with less pain while reducing the extent of long term damage that may occur as a result of the condition. Treatment is personalized by medical professionals for each patient with RA and is specific to his or her situation and lifestyle. Some methods used in the treatment of RA are:
  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications

  • Medications to prevent or slow joint damage

  • Exercise

  • Weight loss

A recent development called the Jstim 1000® Therapy System utilizes a combination of compression and infrared heat designed to help alleviate the pain associated with RA of the hands. Research aimed at determining the cause, creating effective treatments and hopefully finding a cure for rheumatoid arthritis is ongoing.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a leading orthotic device supplier specializing in diabetic footwear including shoes and socks for diabetics as well as a full line of orthotic insoles.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

About Osteoarthritis (OA) of the Knee

OA knee

Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis, can occur in any joint in the body. OA of the knee is characterized by a gradual degeneration and possible wearing away of joint cartilage in the knee. Healthy cartilage serves the important functions of enabling smooth movement while providing a protective cushion between bones. As osteoarthritis of the knee progresses, protective cartilage wears down and a host of issues including bone spurs and excess fluid can result. Pain and stiffness develop as a result of the changes that take place in the bones and joints with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis often develops in knees that have been previously injured, even if the injury occurred years prior. Other factors that are associated with increased occurrences of OA include aging, gender and heredity. Obesity can also be a risk factor due to the excess pressure it places on the joints of the knees. Some symptoms associated with OA are pain and/or stiffness as well as reduced range of motion in the knee.

Though there is currently not a cure for OA, medical professionals may advise a range of treatment options for alleviating the symptoms of OA. If you have OA, it is advised to work with a medical care provider to determine the appropriate treatment plan for your situation. Your medical care provider may advise one or more of the following actions for alleviating the symptoms of OA:

  • Exercise

  • Over the counter pain or anti-inflammatory medications

  • Physical therapy

  • Weight management

  • Support brace or cane

  • Surgery in extreme cases

To prevent the need for a surgery, an appropriate hinged knee brace may be worn to mechanically unload the compartment of the knee which has the "bone on bone" arthritis. New technologies such as the Jstim 1000® Therapy System utilize electrotherapy in combination with conductive fabric and infrared heat to reduce the pain associated with OA, opening up new doors for the treatment of the condition.

Early diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee is beneficial. If you have or suspect you have OA of the knee, consult your health care professional to determine the best plan of action for your situation.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, lumbar brace or other quality brace, please visit

Friday, July 10, 2009

What is Diabetic Footwear?

diabetic shoesDiabetes can be a contributing factor in a range of related problems, including leg and foot pain. Used in conjunction with a foot care regimen advised by a podiatrist or certified pedorthist, diabetic footwear can help alleviate the foot pain and discomfort commonly experienced by those with diabetes. Proper foot care is essential for anyone with diabetes.

A common cause of foot problems is neuropathy, or damage to the peripheral nervous system that is known to occur in many people with diabetes. Among other symptoms, nerve damage to the feet can cause pain as well as numbness or tingling. The lack of sensitivity resulting from nerve damage in the feet can prevent a person from noticing and subsequently treating foot problems such as blisters, cuts or ulcers, leading these conditions to worsen.

Poor circulation to the feet and toes is another factor that can lead to diabetic foot pain. As narrower arteries decrease circulation, less oxygen is supplied to the lower legs, feet and toes, reducing their ability to recover from infections and other problems. In addition to neuropathy and a decline in circulation, other issues caused or exacerbated by diabetes can lead to foot pain. Among these are ulcers, calluses and infections. Diabetic footwear is designed to help alleviate the pain that is often associated with such conditions.

Diabetic shoes provide optimal support for the arch, heel and ankle while controlling the distribution of weight such that painful pressure points are avoided as much as possible. Many types of diabetic shoes also allow extra room inside so that custom orthotic inserts can be worn with them for optimal comfort.

The options and styles for diabetic shoes were in the past quite limited, but today a wide range of styles are available. People with diabetes can now find comfortable footwear for any purpose or occasion, including running shoes, casual dress shoes, sandals and loafers.

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Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale distributor of comfort footwear offering a wide selection of shoes for diabetics as well as custom made orthotics. Please visit for more information.