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Synovium front cover

Issue 36 (Summer 2012)

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Recently my father showed me the main story on the front page of his national newspaper. ‘The best way to battle arthritis,’ it said. It was encouraging to see the paper reporting that simple lifestyle measures including regular exercise, weight loss and a healthy diet are probably the best way to prevent and manage arthritis. The paper also called for urgent action now to prevent the explosion of arthritis anticipated as a consequence of the ageing population, increasing obesity and sedentary lifestyles. It is good to see this message, well-acknowledged in medical circles, receiving such high-profile coverage.

And, on the subject of doing the simple, safe and highly cost-effective interventions for arthritis well, while browsing an article from the Lancet 1 that once again raised the issue of the lack of data on the long-term safety of joint implants the editorial eye was attracted to a paragraph that called for better management of the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis so that fewer patients come to joint replacement. Regular readers will know this is a favourite subject in the virtual Synovium office. On this theme we have previously featured patella taping and, more recently, low-heeled footwear. In this issue we bring you the very first randomised
controlled trial of the walking stick! 

Adrian Dunbar, Medical Editor

1. Carr AJ, Robertsson O, Graves S et al. Knee replacement. Lancet 2012 Apr 7;379(9823):1331-40.

Low back pain is often a long-term condition

Guidelines for the management of mechanical low back pain have robustly stated that 90% of patients recover in 6 weeks. However, new knowledge is emerging that gives a more complete and somewhat less optimistic picture.

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Randomised controlled trial of a walking stick!

This eye-catching little study should probably have been performed long ago. Given the widespread use of the walking stick we need to know that there is evidence that it is actually helpful rather than simply being perceived to be so.

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The diagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica

Diagnosing polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is often a challenge for the primary care clinician so the recent publication of provisional classification criteria will be welcomed.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.