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Making Valentine’s Day special for someone living with arthritis

Valentines Day image

Research has shown that people in relationships in which they feel positive, connected, and comfortable sharing feelings may experience a reduction in their physical disability and pain, and fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. Do you know how to make Valentine’s Day special for someone living with arthritis?

Below are some ways to impress your sweetheart:

  1. Take the time to learn your partner’s disease. Learning about your partner’s disease will show that you care, understand and want to share their struggles and celebrate their accomplishments with them. You will also reduce the feelings of stress and frustration that sometimes come with explaining one’s arthritis to a friend or loved one.
  2. Pace your Valentine’s Day activities. Pace yourself to conserve your energy. Look at what you can realistically do and ask your partner for their feedback on your Valentine’s Day plan(s). You will both feel more relaxed and controlled.
  3. Ask others to help. Put certain tasks on hold or delegate others to complete the tasks for you while you take the night off with your loved one. If you have children or pets, ask a relative or friend if they can look after them for you.
  4. Avoid long commute. There are health risks associated with activities that require you to be in the same position for long periods of time, such as getting stiff or swollen joints. If you must commute a long way, ensure the car seat is comfortable and to take short standing breaks every 15 minutes or so.
  5. Avoid smoking and limit the amount of alcohol you drink before anticipated sexual activity. Both reduce sexual functioning. Furthermore, some of the medicines your doctor prescribes to relieve sore joints don’t mix well with alcohol – including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), which carry a greater risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers when you drink. Taken with acetaminophen, methotrexate or leflunomide, alcohol can make you more susceptible to liver damage.
  6. Start the night with a warm shower or bubble bath to warm up the joints, to help with sore muscles, and to relax.
  7. Talk to your partner about what you like and don’t like, what hurts and what doesn’t hurt. You may find the honesty will enhance your relationship, and you will likely be more comfortable during sexual activity because of communicating what works for you. If you are finding these conversations difficult, you may benefit from seeing a sex therapist.
  8. Incorporate sexual activity and physical contact (like hugging) into your Valentine’s Day activities. Both can improve bonds between people and help build trust, reduce pain, promote sleep, reduce stress, boost immunity, burn calories, improve self-esteem, and improve heart health.

If you have any other ideas, please leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter. On behalf of the team at Arthritis Broadcast Network, I hope you will have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Let BC PharmaCare hear “Your Voice” on tocilizumab (Actemra™) 

Stick Man figure holding MegaphoneBC PharmaCare is looking for your input on tocilizumab (Actemra™) for the treatment of giant cell arteritis

Tocilizumab (Actemra®) for giant cell arteritis (GCA) is now being considered for coverage under the British Columbia Ministry of Health’s PharmaCare program. By filling out a questionnaire on a website called Your Voice, you can provide feedback about tocilizumab for the treatment of GCA.

You can give input if you are a B.C. resident and have giant cell arteritis, a caregiver to someone with giant cell arteritis, or if your group represents people who live with giant cell arteritis.

If you would like our help in providing your input, you can email us your input at or call us at 604-974-1366. We can send it as a patient organization on your behalf. Please provide your input to us by Monday, February 19 so that we may submit the questionnaire in time for the deadline.

The submission deadline is midnight on February 21, 2018. Patients and caregivers may give their input directly through the links below.

Please click here to let BC PharmaCare hear Your Voice. Or, go to the following links:

  • To view the information sheet for tocilizumab for giant cell arteritis: click here
  • For the Patient Questionnaire: click here
  • For the Caregiver Questionnaire: click here
  • For the Patient Group Questionnaire: click here (Patient groups are required to register their name with the Ministry of Health before making their submission.)

Nous sommes les #ArthritisOlympians – Que les Jeux d’hiver commencent !

Participez aux Jeux olympiques et paralympiques d’hiver 2018 à titre de #ArthritisOlympians

Le comité ACE (Arthritis Consumer Experts) a mis sur pied la campagne #ArthritisOlympians afin de soutenir les athlètes des Jeux olympiques et paralympiques d’hiver 2018 et de souligner le caractère « olympique » des efforts que doivent fournir quotidiennement toutes les personnes atteintes d’arthrite.

#ArthritisOlympians BannerL’entraînement rigoureux fait partie de la préparation aux Jeux pour les athlètes olympiques, mais au-delà de l’entraînement pour un événement particulier, tout, du régime alimentaire au repos en passant par une bonne santé mentale, est un élément important du succès anticipé. Les Olympiens comptent sur le soutien de leur équipe, sur les soins du personnel médical et sur les conseils de leur entraîneur pour s’assurer d’être bien préparés pour tous les défis qui les attendent. Les patients arthritiques passent par des pratiques similaires toute leur vie. Nous sommes les #ArthritisOlympians, faisant face à la douleur et la fatigue et comptant sur le soutien de notre équipe de soins pour surmonter nos défis quotidiens.

La campagne #ArthritisOlympians se poursuivra pendant toute la période des Jeux olympiques et paralympiques d’hiver 2018, soit du 9 février au 9 mars 2018. Tout au long de cette campagne, nous ferons un parallèle entre la façon dont les athlètes olympiques et les #ArthritisOlympians gèrent leur santé pour atteindre le meilleur d’eux-mêmes.

Avez-vous des moments #ArthritisOlympians à partager avec nous ? Nous serions enchantés de vous lire ! Communiquez avec nous :

N’hésitez pas à passer le mot aux amis, à la famille et aux collègues et invitez-les à participer et à commenter les moments #ArthritisOlympians.

We are #ArthritisOlympians – Let the Winter Games begin!

Participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics as #ArthritisOlympians

Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) has created the #ArthritisOlympians campaign to support athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics games and recognize that people living with arthritis are Olympians in their own sense.

#ArthritisOlympians BannerOlympic athletes must train rigorously in preparation for the Games. Beyond training for their specific event, everything from diet, rest and mental health are keys to success. Olympians rely on support from their team, care from medical staff and guidance from coaches to ensure they are prepared for all challenges that may come their way. Arthritis patients use similar practices in their lives. We are #ArthritisOlympians – confronting pain and fatigue with the support of our healthcare team to overcome daily challenges.

The #ArthritisOlympians campaign runs during the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics games from February 9-March 18. Throughout the campaign, we will highlight the parallel ways Olympians, and #ArthritisOlympians manage their health to achieve their personal bests.

Do you have #ArthritisOlympians moments you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with us by:

Please feel free to invite your friends, family, and colleagues to participate and provide comments on #ArthritisOlympians moments.

Study Review: the power of prehabilitation when undergoing joint replacement

Total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA), also known as hip/ knee replacements, are surgical procedures in which parts of the joint are replaced with artificial material to restore function and ultimately reduce pain. As an arthritis patient, if other forms of treatment have not improved the joint’s ability to function or been able to prevent additional damage, your rheumatologist may recommend arthroplasty.

A recent study conducted by a team of Canadian Physiotherapists at The University of Western Ontario has discovered valuable information regarding the impact of prehabilitative care prior to arthroplasty. The team wanted to see if education and exercises for patients before surgery (prehabilitation) impacts pain, function, strength, anxiety and length of hospital stay after surgery (post-operative outcomes).

Continue reading

Vous avez une question brûlante au sujet de l’arthrite à poser à un physiothérapeute, un ergothérapeute ou un rhumatologue reconnus mondialement ?

#CRArthritis Facebook and Twitter Live BannerVoici l’occasion de le faire ! Dans le cadre de l’Assemblée scientifique annuelle de la Société canadienne de rhumatologie (SCR) et de l’Association des professionnels de la santé pour l’arthrite (APSA), le comité ACE tiendra encore une fois sur le Réseau de diffusion sur l’arthrite sa tribune libre en direct sur Facebook et Twitter #CRArthritis. 

D’ici le 15 février, envoyez-nous ces questions qui vous brûlent les lèvres au sujet de l’arthrite et nous les poserons pour vous aux spécialistes pendant la diffusion en direct de la tribune libre #CRArthritis du 21 au 23 février. Parmi les spécialistes qui seront interviewés figurent des rhumatologues, physiothérapeutes, ergothérapeutes, chercheurs et leaders d’organisations de patients et d’organismes de bienfaisance en santé les plus importants au Canada.

Cliquez ici pour nous envoyer vos questions.

Pour en savoir plus sur #CRArthritis

La tribune libre en direct sur Facebook et Twitter #CRArthritis du Arthritis Broadcast Network’s est générée par le comité ACE et appuyée par des représentants du Conseil consultatif des patients arthritiques du centre Arthrite-recherche Canada, de l’Alliance canadienne des arthritiques et de l’Association Spondylitis canadienne. Principal et plus important organe d’information sur l’arthrite au Canada et géré par des patients, le Réseau de diffusion sur l’arthrite offre l’information la plus récente sur l’arthrite, passant des résultats de la recherche en santé aux histoires et tranches de vie les plus inspirantes.

Nous remercions de façon particulière la SCR et l’APSA d’avoir inclus notre tribune libre à leurs rencontres annuelles.

Want to ask a world leading rheumatologist or physical or occupational therapist your burning arthritis question?

#CRArthritis Facebook and Twitter Live BannerHere’s your chance! ACE will once again be hosting the Arthritis Broadcast Network’s #CRArthritis Facebook and Twitter Live event at the 2018 Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) Annual Scientific Meeting and Arthritis Health Professions Association (AHPA) Annual Meeting.

Send us your burning arthritis questions by February 15th so we can ask the experts during the #CRArthritis live broadcast on February 21st to February 23rd. Experts to be interviewed include Canada’s leading rheumatologists, physio and occupational therapists, researchers and patient organization and health charity leaders.

Click here to send your questions.

More about #CRArthritis

The Arthritis Broadcast Network’s #CRArthritis Facebook and Twitter Live event is powered by ACE and supported by representatives from the Arthritis Patient Advisory Board of Arthritis Research Canada, Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, and Canadian Spondylitis Association. Arthritis Broadcast Network is the world’s largest patient-led arthritis news outlet, bringing you the latest information on medical research findings to inspirational stories and life hacks.

Special thanks to the CRA and AHPA for including our event at their annual meetings.

Researchers need your help to determine the best way to invite patients to participate in their study!

The study will be on the risk of damage to vision related to taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) or chloroquine (CQ) in Canadians living with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

The research team at Arthritis Research Canada and the University of British Columbia want to do research to:

  • Accurately determine the risk of damage to vision related to taking HCQ or CQ in Canadians living with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Provide annual vision testing to approximately 3,000 patients with SLE or RA who have been taking HCQ or CQ for more than 5 years

The research team will use a state-of-the-art vision testing method that can detect any signs of damage to vision at an earlier stage before the damage is irreversible. The researchers need your help in designing this research project. They want your opinion about the best way to invite patients to participate in this study:

  • Option 1
    The research team will send a letter to the patients who have SLE or RA and have been taking HCQ or CQ for more than 5 years. The letter will ask the patient to ask their doctor (family doctor or rheumatologist) to send a referral to see an ophthalmologist for the vision tests.
  • Option 2
    The research team contacts the family doctor or rheumatologist directly and requests that the doctor tells their patients with SLE and RA about the study and sends a referral to the ophthalmologist.

Click on this survey link to select your preferred option.

More information about damage to vision related to taking HCQ and CQ

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), also known as Plaquenil, and Chloroquine (CQ), are inexpensive anti-malarial drugs commonly used to manage symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) because it has been shown to prevent “flares” (episodes when symptoms worsen), prevent disease progression, and help people live longer.

Most drugs have some unwanted ‘side-effects’, such as causing nausea. Research shows that taking HCQ or CQ for long period of time can affect vision, and if not detected on time, it may lead to damages to a patient’s vision. It is recommended that people taking HCQ or CQ for 5 years or more should have their vision tested by an ophthalmologist every year using new technology that detects early changes before they are irreversible.

A recent study by Arthritis Research Canada found that about 40% of those who should have had their vision tested had not had the test within the past 5 years – it was even worse (almost 70% didn’t have their vision tested) if they were not being cared for by a rheumatologist.

JointHealth™ insight – Des soins de l’arthrite qui visent la « satisfaction du patient » : ce que vous avez partagé avec le comité ACE

Des soins de l’arthrite qui visent la « satisfaction du patient » : ce que vous avez partagé avec le comité ACE

JointHealth insight French bannerDans ce premier numéro de 2018 du JointHealth™ insight publié par le comité ACE (Arthritis Consumer Experts), nous partageons les résultats de trois sondages menés auprès de nos membres vers la fin de 2017 et grâce auxquels nous avons appris de vous, la personne atteinte d’arthrite (ou d’un membre de votre famille ou aidant), à quoi ressemble votre expérience de la maladie et votre cheminement dans le système de santé. Avez-vous obtenu cette « satisfaction du patient » au degré désiré ?

Dans ce numéro, vous pourrez en lire plus sur :

  • Vivre avec l’arthrite – un regard personnel
  • Fixer des objectifs de traitement et discuter des choix de médicaments avec votre professionnel de la santé
  • Les tenants et aboutissants de « l’autogestion » – c’est vous la vedette

… et plus encore.

JointHealth™ insight – Getting “Patient Satisfaction” from Arthritis Health Care: What You Told ACE 

Getting “Patient Satisfaction” from Arthritis Health Care: What You Told ACE 

Banner for JHI EnglishIn Arthritis Consumer Experts’ (ACE) first JointHealth™ insight of 2018, we share the results of three member surveys conducted at the end of 2017 and learn from you, the person with arthritis (or family member or caregiver), what your disease experiences are like and your journey through the health care system. Are you getting “patient satisfaction”?

In this issue, read about:

  • Living with arthritis – a personal look
  • Setting treatment goals and discussing therapy preferences with your health professional
  • Ins and outs of “self-care” – it’s all about you

…and more.