Battling rheumatoid arthritis – American Ninja Warrior style. #WeAreAllAbel
The TV series American Ninja Warrior (ANW) is a show where contestants compete to win the grand prize by finishing an obstacle course requiring strong, agile and determined athleticism. Contestants must have faith that they can conquer any obstacle put in front of them – the same type of faith some have when battling rheumatoid arthritis. In ANW contestant Abel Gonzalez’s case, this was true in the literal sense.
Abel grew up in Chicago with a rough childhood. His parents married young and had little financial means. In an interview with EverydayHealth, he said: “My dad was abusive. He sold tires at a flea market to try to help us get by. When I was 10, my mom and dad’s fighting escalated.” His parents eventually split up and Abel and his brothers were forced to split up. Abel and his brother were sent to live with family members in Texas, while his two younger brothers stayed behind to live with his mother in Chicago.
“I can remember my younger brothers sitting on the steps as Matthew and I drove away for good. It devastated me to be apart from my younger brothers. I was only 10. I thought that maybe I had caused my parents to get divorced,” Abel added.
According to a recent study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, forty percent of people will be affected by symptomatic osteoarthritis in at least one hand.
The study was conducted by the Arthritis Program at the U.S. Renters for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Lead researcher Jin Qin, Sc.D, and his team looked at 1999 to 2010 data on 2,218 individuals from North Carolina, ages 45 or older. Data collected include participant reported symptoms and hand X-rays.
April 6 is World Day for Physical Activity, let’s take a moment to recognize that the words “physical activity” and “outdoor” or “gym” are not synonymous. There is a perception that working at an office means being chained to your desk and inevitably becoming a “desk-potato”.
Deskercise, or desk exercises, are simple and short exercises that you can do at, or near your desk with tools available at the office or exercise gadgets you can easily bring to the office. Something as simple as walking can have significant health benefits. Walking a minimum of about 10 city blocks each day could reduce the risk of dementia, and potentially improve cardiovascular and joint health in the long term. To learn more about walking and its benefits, click here.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There are many ways to include exercise in your mall routine. By turning daily tasks into an exercise routine, you will be able to improve your overall strength. Many Canadians visit the mall on December 26, also known as Boxing Day in Canada, to find deals on electronic, clothing, and entertainment goods and services. Like the Black Friday sale event down in the United States, the shopping centres are packed with people. The mall also provides a free and dry environment for walking when the weather makes road conditions unsafe for outdoor exercise. Below are some ways you can incorporate and optimize exercise while shopping: Continue reading →
Today at the ACR annual meeting, attendees at a symposium on the benefits of exercise heard presenters encourage arthritis patients to include physical activity into their treatment, something that was unheard of at a meeting like this 20 years ago.
Dr. Vilet Vlieland, Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics, Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, said it’s important for an experienced therapist to implement tailor-made exercise programs for arthritis patients, consisting of routine and planned activities, monitored by regular assessments. Continue reading →
Rio 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 →
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.
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.
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.
Core – An advantage of these core-building exercises is that they strengthen the muscles in the trunk without stressing the lower back.
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.
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 →