How it works: According to Dr. Edwards, stress produces chemicals in the body that increase inflammation. “With relaxation techniques, you have stress reduction and therefore decreased inflammation and less pain,” she says. Meditation also relaxes muscles that tense up with pain. Dr. Edwards suggests meditating for 20 minutes once or twice a day. For moments of acute pain, she also recommends “meditation minutes.” For example, take four to five deep breaths, counting to 10 with each inhalation and exhalation. “Just doing that four to five times a day can decrease depression and improve outlook,” she says.
The recent study used precise new imaging methods to look at the bone structure of 30 women placed on oral steroids for three months or longer. In particular, a high resolution CT scan was used to observe the micro architecture of the women’s bones and compare that to 60 control patients who didn’t take steroids. What’s fascinating was the standard gross metric called a DEXA scan was not accurate enough to show any differences between the women. However, the more sophisticated measures did show huge and scary changes. The women on steroids literally had evidence that their bones were being eaten away and rearranged by the steroids.