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Arthritis ‘pacemaker’ on the horizon

Graphic explanation of how the arthritis 'pacemaker' worksAn arthritis ‘pacemaker’ is on the horizon. The device is a tiny electronic implant fitted under the skin near the collarbone. It works by sending electrical pulses to the vagus nerve. When the vagus nerve is stimulated by the electric pulse, it sends a signal from the brain to key organs such as the spleen and triggers a decrease in the production of cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that help regulate the immune system and can cause inflammation in joints.

The arthritis ‘pacemaker’ is currently being tested in the Netherlands with people who live with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Scientists found that the use of electrical pulse can have a similar positive effect on RA without the side effects of medications.  The medical device should be available in the United Kingdom by 2020. A patient who took part in the pilot study said: “I have my life back, like before I got arthritis.”

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Clare Jacklin of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society cautions: “The disease is different in different people. This new device may well be impactful for some patients dependent on their disease profile.”

What are your thoughts? Would you use the arthritis ‘pacemaker’? Continue reading

ROAR 2016 – Action on Arthritis: Steps to a better you

ROAR2016 bannerROAR 2016 – Action on Arthritis: Steps to a better you

Join us at an interactive public forum hosted by the Arthritis Patient Advisory Board of Arthritis Research Canada.

 

What is ROAR?

With rapid changes in access to health care information and health technologies, managing your chronic disease is becoming more collaborative and patient-centred. The ROAR public forum features a group of researchers from Arthritis Research Canada who are at the forefront of these changes. They will share what the latest research, developed in collaboration with patients, is telling us about arthritis care and self-management. Updates on current research will be presented in a relaxed and informative series of talks for people with arthritis and those who care for them. Bring your questions, as this is an interactive forum.

Date: Saturday, October 1st, 2016
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm (PDT) Continue reading

Let BC PharmaCare hear “Your Voice” on etanercept SEB

Stick man holding megaphoneBC PharmaCare is looking for your input on etanercept SEB for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

Etanercept SEB is a subsequent entry biologic version of etanercept (Enbrel). Etanercept SEB is used for treating people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and works by targeting the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFA) molecule. It is given by subcutaneous injection.

A SEB needs to have the same mechanism of action as the originator biologic it was compared to, which means it should work in a similar way. Health Canada defines SEBs as a “biologic drug that enters the market subsequent to a version previously authorized in Canada, and with demonstrated similarity to a reference biologic drug.” Continue reading

Best Arthritis Workplaces: It’s Arthritis Awareness Month – the search is on!

Best Arthritis Workplaces BannerACE is searching for Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis

To help kick off Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada, Arthritis Consumer Experts ACE) today announced the launch of the third annual Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis. The judging criteria this year will particularly value those organizations providing an environment that meets the needs of employees living with arthritis to manage their disease and work with symptoms such as pain, fatigue, joint dysfunction or immobility.

“Smart employers know committed, productive teams require an environment where employees know they can balance work, family and personal responsibilities. In this third year of our award, we are looking closely at the availability of flexible work benefits and policies, as well as employees’ comments on their effectiveness,” said Cheryl Koehn, President and Founder, Arthritis Consumer Experts. “We want to recognize companies providing innovative flexible work arrangements to help employees with arthritis, and other chronic diseases, take better care of themselves, and in turn report less pain, fatigue, and disruption at work, allowing them to remain employed for longer.” Continue reading

Is your sport likely to result in arthritis?

Arthritis: A woman doing ribbon gymnasticsRio 2016 concluded Sunday with Canada winning 4 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 15 bronze medals. Athletes in the Olympics are passionate about the sport they love and have devoted their life to training and excelling in their sport. We should be reminded that the display of skills and excellence, though as entertaining and thrilling as they are to spectators, could result in arthritis for the athletes down the road as injuries progresses and frequency of injuries increase. In light of this, Arthritis Olympic Village would love to thank all the athletes who participated in the Olympic games. Your selfless, determined, and passionate attitude towards the sport you love is an inspiration to us all. Continue reading

Football: How to prevent injuries and build muscles

As football (soccer) approaches the medals round in Rio 2016, Arthritis Olympic Village wants to share some tips on how to prevent injuries and build muscles in this sport. The first component is to observe your form while you warm up. It will help to record yourself warming up, such as jogging for a couple of meters.

Sports Without InjuryPreventing injuries - Picture of a feet about to hit a football suggest you observe the following:

  • Watch to make sure your hip, knee and ankle are in a straight line.
  • Don’t let your knee cave in or your feet whip out to the side.
  • Don’t let your toes point toward each other.
  • You may also want to learn to strike the ground with the front of your foot, but it’s important to build up your calf strength first.
  • Shuffle sideways and run backwards and observe how you bend at the knees and hips

In the video above, former U.S. national midfielder Cobi Jones demonstrates proper backward and forward running form.

It is important for a football player to develop muscle strength in their quadriceps, hamstrings, hip muscles, gluteus and core muscles. These muscle groups will help protect your knees, ankles, groins, feet, calves, shins, Achilles tendons and everything below the waist.

Sports without Injury provide a good example of exercises you can do in the respective muscle.

  1. Hamstrings – This exercise, called the Nordic (or Russian) hamstring exercise not only strengthens the hamstrings, it strengthens their ability to do the eccentric contractions they make to balance the concentric contractions the quadriceps make.
  2. Core – An advantage of these core-building exercises is that they strengthen the muscles in the trunk without stressing the lower back.
  3. Hips – Hips move in multiple directions, and these exercises capture most of them.

Doing muscle strengthening exercises two or three times a week will make physical activity easier and more enjoyable. Please note not all of the above exercises may be suitable for someone living with arthritis. Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise treatment plan.