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
Injury to wrist joints can lead to post traumatic wrist arthritis. According to the International Journal of Table Tennis Sciences, the most common areas of injury in table tennis players are the lower back, knee joint, wrist joint, shoulder joint, and ankle joint. These types of injuries can be avoided by keeping training sessions short and using the proper technique. Continue reading
Amy Cotton is a champion for people living with arthritis and a two-time Olympian in the sport of Judo. The Nova Scotia native was diagnosed with Still’s disease at age 17. She remembers feeling muscle aches and fatigue, the symptoms of arthritis, as early as age 13.
Adult Still’s disease is a rare form of arthritis which is characterized by high fevers, inflammation of the joints, and a salmon-coloured rash on the skin. In children, this disease is known as systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; when it occurs in people over age 15, it is known as adult Still’s disease. Continue reading
When American Olympic gold medal cyclist Kristin Armstrong was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her hips in 2001, she decided to focus on cycling. She is the second American woman to win a gold medal in cycling. Besides cycling, Armstrong does an exercise routine that involves stretching and yoga to keep her arthritis pain at bay.
Low-impact exercises are the best types of exercise for people living with arthritis. Examples of low-impact exercises include swimming, walking, and cycling. These sports are less stressful to weight-bearing joints, especially the spine, hips, feet, knees and ankles.
If you are inspired by the Cycling Road event happening today at the Rio 2016 Olympics and would like to try cycling for yourself, here are some tips to optimize your cycling experience: Continue reading
King City resident Rosie MacLennan, trampoline gymnast and defending Olympic gold-medal winner, will be the flag bearer for Team Canada in the Rio 2016 Olympic opening ceremony.
The Canadian Olympic Official Team interviewed MacLennan about her role as a flag bearer and what it means to give your everything. When asked about the honour of being a flag bearer, she said: “The Olympic movement is something that has inspired me since I was really young and those values of respect, integrity, and excellence are things that really hit home so to be able to represent those values and be from a country that holds those values very highly is exciting.”
Respect, integrity, and excellence are values that should be applied to the patient-rheumatologist therapy conversation.
- Respect can be observed in how rheumatologists talk to their patients. In what is coined as motivational interviewing in the healthcare industry, registered psychologist Michael Vallis of Dalhousie University recommends that rheumatologists should pose questions about medical adherence to patients in a non-judgemental and encouraging way. Patients should feel at ease about voicing their concerns about their treatment therapy.
- Integrity plays an import role in disease outcome. It is crucial that a patient informs their doctor about arthritic symptoms that they may be experiencing. Once a doctor suspects a patient has arthritis, the patient should be referred to a rheumatologist in a timely manner. Early and aggressive treatment in arthritis can prevent further joint damage. Patients can also write letters to their government to ensure everyone has fair access to medications.
- Excellence in the healthcare community is ambiguous; there is no single treatment therapy that works the same for everyone. Patients, friends, families, and healthcare professionals can work as a team to achieve “excellence” – keeping your arthritis under control and in remission, and helping you live a pain-free life.
Photo from: Springfree Trampoline/James Heaslip Photo (http://www.yorkregion.com/sports-story/6793106-5-facts-you-might-not-know-about-olympic-flagbearer-rosie-maclennan/)
“Give your everything means wanting it enough to do whatever it takes. So…on a day to day training, giving that extra little bit when your muscles are sore and pushing for that extra turn. It means that when others would give up, you’re still there.” – Rosie MacLennan
As we cheer on Team Canada, let’s remember to “give your everything” (minus the “giving that extra little bit when your muscles are sore and pushing for that extra turn”) and remind others that people living with arthritis can remain active and become “Olympians” in their own ways.
Celebrate the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics by joining us in the virtual Arthritis Olympic Village.
Arthritis Broadcast Network (powered by Arthritis Consumer Experts) invites you to join us between August 5-21 in our virtual “Arthritis Olympics Village” Facebook page. In honour of an Olympic event happening each day, the village will share inspirational stories on:
- Athletes living with arthritis who have excelled or continue to excel at their sports
- Injury prevention and risks associated with certain sports
- Athletes and what they can do to advocate for the well-being of people living with arthritis
- Which specific sports may benefit people living with arthritis
It’s time to recognize and promote that people living with arthritis can remain active and become “Olympians” in their own eyes.
Come hang out and experience the Arthritis Olympics Village: Continue reading