ACE has set ambitious goals for its 2015/2016 Work Plan. Our five primary work areas will deliver high impact consumer and public formulary information, programming, advocacy and private payer education across Canada.
Hannah Coulthurst, a volunteer with Arthritis Care UK, was diagnosed with chronic idiopathic arthritis in 2003 at the young age of eight. Since her diagnosis, she has been a full time wheelchair user. Despite her diagnose, she never gave up on her passion for sports. In search for a sport that she can participate in, she discovered table tennis and started training in 2007. She trains regularly with the Great Britain squad in Sheffield and represented Great Britain at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.
Hannah is pursuing her dream of participating in the Brazil Paralympics Games in 2016. To thank Hannah for her inspiration and in celebration of the table tennis events happening at the Toronto PanAm Games, today’s #ABNPhotoADay features table tennis.
Hannah is currently a psychology student at the University of Hull. In 2013, she was profiled by Arthritis Care UK. Below is Hannah’s story from the interview:
My name is Hannah. I was diagnosed with Chronic Idiopathic Arthritis at the age of eight after spending seven weeks in hospital. Recently I have also been diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy as well. I am now 18 years old and have been using a wheelchair for the past 10 years. Continue reading →
“Canada is a vast, scenic country that offers some of the best hiking in the world. From the ancient rainforests of British Columbia…the foothills and mountains of Alberta…the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere and the Northern Ontario wilderness…the Appalachian Trail in Gaspe…to the coastal beauty of the Eastern provinces…there are hiking trails for every skill and fitness level.” – Discover Canadian Outdoors
As a British Columbian, I am, of course sharing a picture of a hike I did with my friends at Garibaldi Lake hiking trail. This particular trial was 18 km long and took 6 hours to complete (roundtrip) – taking into consideration we took a nice dip and swim in the glacier water of Garibaldi Lake. This was a more strenuous hike but there are many other trails to discover on Parks Canada’s website.
Hiking and Arthritis
When we asked Dr. Julia Alleyne, the Chief Medical Officer for Team Canada during the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto, what sports she would recommend for people living with arthritis, she replied, “Any sports that involve both upper and lower extremities are good for people with arthritis. Sports with low impact on the joints such as water aerobics, aqua fitness, hiking, swimming, and golfing can be beneficial to someone living with arthritis.” Continue reading →
Running is a popular form of exercise in Canada – be it along the sea wall, in the park, or at the gym. Today the research suggests that aerobic activity is great for becoming and maintaining fitness and health. Many people believe that running can worsen or be one of the underlying causes of osteoarthritis. A new study puts this fear at ease.
According to an article on Arthritis Digest, “A recent research presented at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International World Congress showed that people aged over 50 years old with osteoarthritis who ran on a regular basis did not have any increase in pain, or radiographic structural progression, over the four-year study.” Continue reading →
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone quality. This results in bones becoming thin and weak, which increases the risk of fracture as they are easy to break. It is known as the “silent thief” because bone loss occurs without any symptoms. In fact, often it is not until someone fractures a wrist, spine, rib, or hip that osteoporosis is suspected (and often it is missed even after a fragility fracture).
As many as two million Canadians have osteoporosis. One in four women, including a third of women aged 60-70 years and two thirds of women aged 80 years and older, will be diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Research shows that weight-bearing exercise, including soccer, is an effective way to reduce the amount of bone loss over time and preserve bone mass, and thus, reduce your likelihood of developing osteoporosis and having a fracture. To prepare for the FIF Women’s World Cup™ this weekend and Father’s Day, #TeamArthritis challenges you to do something that reduce your chance of getting osteoporosis.
FIFA 11+ : Preventing osteoarthritis by preventing injuries in youth
The FIFA Women’s World Cup™ is here in Canada and causing excitement across the country. Our youth will see the best female soccer players in the world take their places on the field to play the “beautiful” game. Soccer in Canada has one of the largest participation rates in youth. However, there is a downside – injury – especially of the knee and ankle. Knee and ankle injury rate in soccer are significant for both boys and girls, with girls up to 8 times more likely to have an injury. Injuries cause pain and disability and can lead to long-term consequences – osteoarthritis (OA). Sports injuries are one of the leading causes of developing osteoarthritis later in life which results in daily pain and suffering for millions of people across Canada. Many people with OA can remember the injury that started their knee or ankle problems. Continue reading →
Exercise: An essential component of your arthritis treatment plan
The last thing someone living with the extreme pain of arthritis may want to think about is . . . exercise. As it happens, exercise is one of the most important components — along with healthy eating — of your arthritis treatment plan. Low-impact exercise can be beneficial for someone living with arthritis.
Low-impact exercise / high-impact benefit Walking, bicycling, yoga, tai chi, Pilates, low-impact aerobics, swimming, and water aerobics are types of low-impact exercises. Regardless of their age, those living with long-term arthritis and its associated pain can participate in low-impact exercises. A bonus, is that low-impact exercise decreases stress levels and helps to improve the way you feel. If you are doing any of these activities outdoor, remember to wear sunscreen and proper footwear.
Today, #TeamArthritis challenge you to participate in any of the above exercises. Please take a photo and share with us on our event page. Continue reading →
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute state that asthma is a chronic disease that affects more than 22 million Americans (an estimated 6 million of whom are children). On World Asthma Day, we want to remind people living with asthma that they may also be at increased risk for osteoporosis. Though asthma itself does not threaten your bone health, asthma medications and behavioural practices may affect your bones.
An asthma attack can be triggered by everyday activities, such as air pollution, dust, allergens, exercise, infections, emotional upset, or certain foods. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, increased and rapid heart rate, and sweating. Children may experience itchy upper chest and get dry coughs. Continue reading →
Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm say that exercise and physical activity may protect against the development of rheumatoid arthritis in women. The researchers studied 30,112 women enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort who responded to a questionnaire in 1997 regarding physical activity. Participants were asked questions that assess daily energy use at home and wok and during leisure time. Researchers calculated the metabolic equivalent score based on duration, intensity and inactivity.
According to the research findings, 201 out of 30,112 women developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) during the average follow-up time of 7.5 years, totalling 226, 477 person-years. Other findings include:
The women who developed RA expended less energy per week;
Women who spent more hours performing home or household chore had a 35% decreased risk of developing RA;
Women who spent 2 hours or more per week exercising had a 20% decreased; and,
Women who were inactive during their leisure time had a 27% increased risk for developing RA.
The litany of famous athletes who suffer from various types of arthritis is long: golfers, cyclists, figure skaters, baseball stars, downhill skiers … you get the idea. There are countless athletes performing and competing at world-class levels in every imaginable sport. They do it all despite their arthritis and many have become high-profile and public supporters for their form of arthritis.
These athletes have found a way to compete at the highest echelon of their sport even as they suffer from the effects of arthritis. They do it with the aid of sports psychologists (keep attitudes positive), physiotherapists (keep joints limber), coaches (keep on the game), trainers (keep in top physical shape), medical personnel (keep tweaking meds), and maybe a financial advisor and a business agent too. On the other hand, we mere mortals must play all those roles (and more) by ourselves and all at the same time. The team behind us is far less comprehensive: probably a medical doc (rheumatologist) and then a bunch of friends and family cheering us on from the sidelines.
Courtesy of lamnee | freedigitalphotos.net
In recent years, arthritis research and advocacy organizations have made important inroads in creating public awareness about the many types of arthritis (and related inflammatory diseases). However, I think that there’s nothing like an athlete’s star power to help focus attention on arthritis, which until recently was not understood or even considered a “serious” disease by many health professionals.
Athletes are terrific ambassadors for spreading the word about arthritis; their personal stories provide comfort and inspiration about how they cope with their condition during their sports careers. They possess the ideal public platform to get out the message about arthritis’ deleterious impact on millions of lives. In bringing awareness to the seriousness of the disease, they also help to direct more dollars towards research and ultimately, a cure.
Personally, we all deserve to consider ourselves as winners. Every day, we haul our pain around with us, we cope with hurting joints and aches, and the secondary effects created by various medications, including fatigue and depression. Unlike high-performing athletes, we do this without the benefit of a team of medical and/or health professionals. We participate as best we can in the “game” of life; we find our personal motivation and encouragement to keep moving. We may not run marathons, bolt down ski slopes at breakneck speeds, or drive a golf ball 300 yards, but we are all arthritis athletes in our own right. ~Fran