James J. Braddock, “The Cinderella Man” is an Irish American boxer who held the world heavyweight championships from 1935 to 1937. Braddock was famous for his powerful right hand and persevering through personal ups and downs, which included having to work at the docks during the Great Depression and having to switch his technique due to arthritis that developed in his hands as a result of injuries throughout his career.
Although Braddock eventually retired due to his arthritis, he never once gave up. When pain and stiffness became especially bad in his dominant right hand, he retrained to make his left arm the stronger one. Braddock’s career highlight includes winning the fight with John “Corn” Griffin, the “Ozark Cyclone” and heavyweight contender, Art Lasky. On June 13, 1935, Braddock played one of the most memorable matches in boxing history – winning the heavyweight championship of the world against the then World Heavyweight Champion, Max Baer, as the 10-to-1 underdog. Above is a video recap of the boxing match captured by BoxingMemories.com. Continue reading
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2010. At first, his joints ached and then one day, he could barely get out of bed due to agonizing pain. While he waited for test results from his rheumatologist, he played in the 2010 U.S. Open and landed a fourth place finish.
If untreated, psoriatic arthritis can affect Mickelson’s golf game. The swelling of the hands and toes can affect his ability to stabilize his swing and stance. Swelling in the hands can also affect how he grips his club. With the help of medications, Mickelson is back in the game. Off the golf course, he is a vocal advocate of raising awareness for arthritis. Continue reading
In the Arthritis Olympic Village today, we’ll be talking about weightlifting! Dave Prowse, the actor who wore Darth Vader’s famous black mask and cape in the original Star Wars trilogy, is a former bodybuilder and British Heavyweight Weightlifting Champion living with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Did you know that lifting weights is actually one of the best ways to care for arthritic joints?
A journal published in Geriatric Nursing indicates that lifting weights can improve strength, flexibility, and balance for people with arthritis. When joints become stronger, the pain of arthritis is often reduced. Continue reading
The results for Rio 2016 Men’s 100m sprint in Athletics are in! Congratulations to reigning champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica on his gold medal, Justin Gatlin of the United States on his silver medal and Canada’s Andre De Grasse on his bronze medal. In celebration of the track and field events happening this week in the Olympic games, the above video is an interview between the Balancing Act and USA track and field champion Carl Brown about the athlete’s fight with rheumatoid arthritis. Brown works with the Arthritis Foundation to keep Americans with arthritis in motion. Continue reading
Venus Williams, despite life with Sjögren’s syndrome, and teammate Rajeev Ram takes home the silver medal for mixed doubles in tennis in the Olympic games. Though Williams was denied the gold medal by fellow Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock, she will always be a hero to the arthritis community for her battle against Sjögren’s syndrome.
Sjögren’s syndrome is an inflammatory autoimmune disease (like arthritis) in which white blood cells—the body’s immune system—attack moisture-producing glands. Most often, this results in dry eyes and mouth, although it can also affect the joints and muscles, and organs including the liver, pancreas, kidneys, lungs, stomach, and brain. Continue reading
People with arthritis should celebrate the success of Canada’s swim team at Rio 2016 by going for a swim.
The Arthritis Research Centre of Canada reports that water provides an excellent medium for exercising. The buoyancy of your body in the water means less weight on the main weight- bearing joints (feet, ankles, knees, and hips) and allow for freer, less painful movement while still providing resistance to muscles. Swimming, combined with the water’s support provides an aerobic workout without putting extra stress on your joints. Similarly, walking through the water in a swimming pool protects joints and lessens possible pain, while providing a workout with 12 times the resistance of walking on land. Continue reading