NSAID cream works for knee pain
Researchers have found that rubbing anti-inflammatory
(NSAID) cream on your painful knees is as effective as taking a pill and
has fewer side effects.
Studies reported in the journal Health Technologies
Assessment show NSAID creams to have an equal effect. And those who used
them had no side effects such as indigestion, increased blood pressure
or asthma flare ups.
Doctors do say, however, that people with more
widespread pain would benefit more from a pain-relieving pill.
A study of people age 40 to 75 by the Postgraduate
Medical School in Prague, Czech Republic, showed that pain strips
containing about 200 mg of ibuprofen were good pain relievers.
Old-time medications may still work for your knee
pain. Absorbine Jr claims to be America's top-selling pain reliever
Sold at drug stores, the bottle has a sponge on top
so it can be spread without getting any on your hands. It's especially
handy for relieving pain at night.
Absorbine's active ingredient is menthol. It puts
deep heat on the knee to relieve pain.
Some studies show that taking fish oil seems to
prevent some joint pain.
Aspirin and bone health
If you have been wondering whether taking a baby
aspirin every day is good for your heart, it probably is. Here's another
plus to taking one.
According to PloS One, a journal from the Public
Library of Science, many doctors have noticed that people on regular
aspirin therapy tend to have stronger bones.
More than one study supports this observation. In one
study of mice, aspirin helped to rebuild bones in two ways. It promoted
the growth of new bone cells and it prevented existing bone from being
broken down and reabsorbed by the body. Scientists hope the findings
will result in a new osteoporosis therapy.
Dentists using fewer antibiotics
In the past, newspapers have carried stories about
healthy people developing sometimes fatal infective endocarditis (IE),
an infection in the heart, after dental work. Dentists have given many
patients antibiotics in the hope of preventing the infection.
That policy is changing. The American Heart
Association (AHA) says even people who already have heart disease don't
need this precaution. Their study of all cases of IE from 1950 through
2006 shows that only patients at high risk for serious complications
from IE should take preventive antibiotics, a decision that will result
in a 90 percent reduction in antibiotic use by dentists.
Doctors at John Hopkins Medical Centers say those who
should take preventive antibiotics are people who have had IE,
artificial heart valve replacement, valve problems after a heart attack
or congenital heart defects. Penicillin or an alternative is usually
A recent study published in Heart shows the risks of
antibiotic use outweigh the benefits because people are more likely to
have an allergic reaction to the antibiotic than to develop IE.
Most patients can control bacteria by brushing and
Women's poor sleep habits can lead to heart disease
Doctors at Duke University questioned hundreds of men
and women in detail about their sleep habits. They found a consistent
association between poor sleep and heart disease risk factors. But only
Their poor sleep customs resulted in higher levels of
fasting insulin, glucose, insulin resistance and overweight, all of
which are risk factors for type II diabetes, which increases heart
Women who did not sleep enough or did not sleep well
also had higher levels of other harmful substances in their bodies and
higher rates of depression and stress. Insufficient sleep creates a form
of stress in women that is an ideal condition for cardiac problems.
Doctors think testosterone could be protective for
men. They found that men reporting the most difficulty sleeping had the
highest levels of testosterone, which is known to reduce levels of
The researchers didn't say for certain that getting
enough restful sleep will prevent heart disease in women. They did say
that the study results should prompt women to pay more attention to
their sleep habits.
Doctors at the sleep disorders center at Northwestern
University say patients should be encouraged to sleep well just as they
are encouraged to eat well and exercise. For women, it's more than just
beauty sleep that's involved.