STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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Be bone smart and learn more about joint replacement at these organizations’ Web sites: 


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (www.aaos.org)

American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (www.aahks.org)

Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints and surrounding tissues. Joints are places in the body where bones come together. They are crucial to good health because they hold the skeleton together and support movement. Among the bone diseases humans face, bone-on-bone pain in the shoulders, knees, hips, fingers, toes or ankles makes for a very limiting journey.


The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis. OA, commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, occurs when the natural cushioning between joints – the cartilage – wears away. When this happens, the bones of the joints rub more closely against one another with less of the shock-absorbing benefits cartilage provides. OA is a painful, degenerative disease that often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back or small joints of the hands. It usually develops in joints that are injured by repeated overuse from performing a particular task, playing a favorite sport or carrying around excess body weight. Eventually the injury or repeated impact thins or wears away the cartilage. As a result, the bones rub together, causing a grating sensation. Joint flexibility is reduced, bony spurs develop and the joint swells.


Often the first symptom of OA is pain that worsens following exercise or immobility. Treatment usually includes a range of analgesics, topical creams or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; appropriate

BONE-ON-BONE ARTHRITIS MAKES YOU SAY: OUCH!

exercises or physical therapy; joint splinting; or joint replacement surgery for seriously damaged larger joints, such as the knee or hip.


Joint replacement surgery is performed by an orthopedic surgeon. It involves the removal of a damaged joint and the surgical replacement of arthritic or diseased bone or joint surfaces with implants that restore proper, pain-free function. All joint replacements have potential complications but patients have good reason to expect a successful outcome to their surgeries at centers specializing in joint replacement surgery. If you want to learn more about joint replacement surgery, BoneSmart (www.bonesmart.org) is dedicated to raising patient awareness about hip and knee joint replacement options.


Many other joints can be replaced surgically, including ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists, thumbs, great toes and fingers. Some joints have both bearing surfaces replaced; others, such as the thumb or toe, might only have one surface replaced. Some implants require the use of cement, but some are specially coated to bond with the bone. Silastic finger joints may only be placed into the bone with the express intention that they will not be affixed. The flexible movement of the implant allows the fingers to move with greater freedom.

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller