Helping you detect, treat and manage arthritis

It’s not your fault you are depressed…YOU are not making your RA worse

Woman with text It's not your fault you are depressedPeople living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are twice as likely as the rest of the population to feel depressed. An important thing to understand is that it is NOT your fault you are depressed, therefore, YOU are not making your RA worse. It is natural to feel anxious or sad as a result of the diagnosis and to be depressed as a symptom of the disease. Instead, realise that it just demonstrates that rheumatoid arthritis is a complex condition that may require multiple levels of treatment; and, that an important strategy for reducing the pain of arthritis is treating your depression. Two approaches can be used, non-pharmacological and pharmacological, together or individually.

Separate from improving mood, antidepressants have been shown to reduce pain in many different chronic conditions, including arthritis, and they work even when depression is not a factor. How these drugs work to reduce pain is not fully understood, but may have to do with improving sleep, relaxing muscles, or increasing neurotransmitters in the spinal cord that are responsible for lessening pain signals.

Please consult your doctor to discuss your treatment options.

There are many strategies you can try, which you may find useful for helping you to avoid or alleviate depression without using drugs. No matter what suggestions you decide will work best for you, we recommend you speak with your doctor or therapist before getting started: Continue reading

Do it for the kids! Juvenile arthritis: Exercise, models of care, and advocacy

Four kids playing at the park

In honour of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada, we have compiled a list of interviews from this year’s CRA Annual Scientific Meeting & AHPA Annual Meeting in Ottawa. The interviews below highlight models of care, advocacy, clinical practices, and different therapy options for juvenile arthritis.  Continue reading

JointHealth™ insight – March 2017: Arthritis in the workplace

JointHealth™ insight – March 2017

Arthritis in the workplace: Are employers and employees speaking the same language? 

Arthritis in the workplace - two human cartoon talkingIn this issue of JointHealth™ insight, Arthritis Consumer Experts looks at the current state of arthritis in the workplace. Find out what makes the City of Ottawa and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network two of Canada’s best workplaces for employees living with arthritis.

In this issue, you will also find:

  • A summary on arthritis in the workplace, including the latest statistics about the cost of work disability
  • Suggestions on what kind of flexible work arragements would help workers with arthritis
  • Key messages for employers
  • Tips for employees living with arthritis

Weightlifting improves strength and flexibility for arthritic joints

a picture of 2kg dumbbellsIn 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

Track and field injuries can lead to knee arthritis

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

Cycling: A low-impact exercise for people with arthritis

Picture of a bike for cyclingWhen 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