A recent Canadian research published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found that older adults with arthritis are less likely than young and middle-aged adults to report worse outcomes that include more pain, sleep disturbance, and impaired mental health. Regardless of age, the researchers stress the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment for all ages in order to prevent or minimize arthritis-related impairment.
The study examined and compared the physical and mental health effects of arthritis in older Canadian adults (75+ years) and younger adults (20-44, 45-64, and 65-74 years). Led by Siobhan O’Donnell, MSc, an epidemiology researcher at the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention in Ottawa, the study analyzed poll data on 4,565 respondents from the arthritis component of the 2009 Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada (a cross-sectional follow-up survey to the larger 2008 Canadian Community Health Survey). The survey looked at the following: Continue reading
Rheumatoid arthritis can increase the chances of depression; depression may worsen RA symptoms, leading to higher disease activity and disability, which in turn can lead to depression. Several studies have indicated that depression in those with rheumatoid arthritis is linked to greater joint pain and other symptoms of RA such as fatigue and sleep disturbances, decreased immune function, and a higher mortality rate. Untreated depression may cause you to be less likely to take care of yourself, less motivated to stick to a treatment plan, more likely to isolate yourself from friends and family and avoid activities you once enjoyed.
It is estimated that people living with RA are twice as likely to suffer from depression. Research shows that approximately 13 to 20 percent of the population currently living with RA are already depressed. A study published in the Rheumatology medical journal states that women living with RA are almost twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts and commit suicide.
“Many people with suicidal thoughts brought on by chronic illness will not come out right and say what they are thinking,” said Thea Barrieau, a SeniorBridge Care Manager. If you are concerned that someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, look out for the following suicidal warning signs and seek help from a medical professional:
- Gathering friends and family “one last time” or “to say goodbye”.
- Verbal or physical signs that allude to an inability to “cope” with the chronic illness, giving up, or a lack of motivation to do everyday and new tasks.
- Skipping medication dosages or trying a new medication regimen.
It’s not your fault you are depressed
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
People who live with chronic pain understand when I say that life often gets in the way of living. They understand that coping on a daily basis with pain sometimes is a full-time profession. We can become so preoccupied with minimizing our various physical challenges that life simply passes us by. Any plans to enjoy the too-short summer are shelved while we minister to limitations imposed by our arthritis and its associated inflammatory conditions. Instead of planning outdoor fun activities, we spend our days looking for ways to be comfortable, or trying to find the balance between moving too much or too little. Continue reading
According to a recent review published in the Cochrane Library, topical treatments (gels, creams, sprays) are effective in providing pain relief for acute musculoskeletal pain in adults. The review was conducted by a team of Cochrane authors based in the United Kingdom and the Cochrane Pain, Palliative, and Supportive Care Review Group and based on a review that was initially published in 2010. Continue reading
“It’s about good communication.” How often have we heard this wisdom when it comes to personal or professional situations? We have all experienced how a failure to communicate can derail a situation or relationship because our messages were misunderstood or misspoken. Continue reading
According to recent study, there was a strong connection between the severity and intensity of morning symptoms (including pain and stiffness) and measures of disease activity in the lives of those living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Below are the findings from the study:
- Relation between the severity of morning stiffness and intensity of morning pain and measures of disease activity = Pearson correlation of 0.91 (P<0.001)
- Relation between the duration and severity of morning stiffness and the Disease Activity Score at 28 joints (DAS28) and the American College of Rheumatology -20 score (ACR20) = Pearson correlation of 0.50 (P<0.001)
- Duration of morning stiffness and intensity of morning pain – Pearson correlation of 0.46 (P<0.001)
- Pain on waking as measured in patient diaries and at a clinic visits as part of the ACR assessment – Pearson correlation of 0.69 (P<0.0001)