Living your best life with arthritis.

Prevent slips, trips and falls

In a previous post titled “Falls” more prominent in middle-aged to older adults with arthritis, we learned that the chances of falling are two or three times more likely in middle-aged and older adults living with arthritis in comparison to those without arthritis. The chances of getting injuries due to falls are also higher in this group. 

Man climbing up ladderFalls can cause a type of arthritis known as post-traumatic arthritis. Post-traumatic arthritis is caused by the wearing out of a joint that has had any kind of physical injury. Injuries include, but are not limited to, those from playing sports, a motor vehicle accident, and a fall. Poor treatment and rehabilitation of these injuries can cause damage to the cartilage and/or the bone, affecting the natural mechanics of the joint, making it wear out more easily and quickly. Continued injury to the same ligament or joint and excess body weight can exacerbate the wearing-out process.

Slips, trips and falls can occur anywhere – whether you are at work, playing sports, or taking a leisure walk around your neighbourhood. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety defines slips, trips and falls as follow:

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AS it Goes – Amber as Therapy?

Amber bead necklace in heart shapeMy friend, her daughter and her 6-month old son recently came for an afternoon visit and while the baby entertained us with his antics, his shirt opened to reveal that he was wearing a necklace made of small amber beads.

The baby’s mother, a university-educated and grounded young woman, told me that many young babies wear these necklaces because it is believed that amber has strong anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Babies wear amber as a remedy for teething; Baltic amber, in particular, is thought to soothe and calm a fussy baby without resorting to drugs. Continue reading

Rocker-sole shoes an option for those with knee OA?

One shoeA recent research study report that, compared with standard walking shoes, rocker-sole shoes significantly reduced the load going through the knee (without a significant immediate impact on walking pain), which may help patients living with knee osteoarthritis (OA). The study collaborator include the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine at the University of Melbourne, Elizabeth Madden, a senior lecturer in podiatry, and Dr. Crystal Kean from Exercise and Sports Science.

Shoes with rocker soles have bottoms that are shaped like a boat, with rounded edges at the front and back of your foot. The logic is that the rocker-bottoms are less stable, requiring you to constantly adjust to the instability and work on your balance; therefore, making your muscles work. According to Ryn rocker sole technology, the benefits of rocker-sole shoes are:

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Be our guest, please take a seat to relief your arthritis pain

Periods of rest with physical activities are important for people living with arthritis and for those who have had a recent joint injury or surgery. For Cheryl Koehn of Arthritis Consumer Experts, she loves to see occasional benches or tree stumps that she can sit down and rest for a minute before carrying on, especially if she is on a long walk with Molly, her labradoodle puppy.

Our dear friend Céline from Céline Interiors Inc. notes her opinion about public benches in her blog C note:

“Historically designed as seats for everyday folk, bench designs today are far from common. As an antidote to urban isolation communal seating has gained in popularity. Designers have embraced the revival with stunning designs that re-think the humble bench.”

C-note blog

We have included an excerpt of Céline’s C note blog below. Feel free to share pictures of unique looking benches in your area. What would you do to make a bench arthritis-friendly?

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Rheumatologists should ask “How’s your sex life?”

Couple close togetherOne of the main goals of the PRECISION project, showcased in July’s issue of JointHealth™ monthly, is to enable clients to lead a healthy life in the context of their chronic disease. Besides medical adherence, rheumatologists should also express concern about their patient’s sex life and ask, “How’s your sex life?”

In an interview with The Rheumatologist, Alex Shteynshlyuger, MD, a New York urologist, said that more than half of all rheumatoid arthritis patients have difficulties with sex and yet the topic gets little attention from rheumatologists.

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AS it Goes – A Magical Fish

Armand the betta fish

Armand, the betta fish. Photo courtesy of Fran Halter.

My hubbie and I recently celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary, and our children searched for the perfect gift to give the couple that already has two of everything. They finally settled on a “little” something related to the traditional stone—coral—that marks 35 years of married life.

Coral is said to grant wisdom, promote a healthy emotional foundation, and protect passage through tempests. However, instead of giving us a piece of ornamental coral (where to display that?) or a decorative photo of colourful coral (no wall space available either), they decided to expand on the coral theme and integrate it into their gift.

Apparently a family vacay to see a coral reef was their first idea, but practicality and financial reality intervened. Instead, we were introduced to “Armand”, a bright blue betta fish whose new home features coloured coral-type rocks on the bottom of his fish bowl. These fish tend to be aggressive, so they are often sold individually as they can easily live up to their common name: Siamese Fighting Fish. Two male bettas in the same tank will fight each other to death to exert their dominance (I’m sure the kids did not know about this aspect when they decided on their gift ).

However, Armand seems friendly enough and he interacts with us: he follows your finger along the outside of his tank and every day at the feeding hour, he nearly jumps out of the water with excitement when his food arrives. Lately, he’s been making bubble nests, floating bundles of bubbles, which apparently indicates that he is healthy and comfortable in his environment on the island in our kitchen.

We were a little hesitant about owning a fish because our previous attempts to care for goldfish were most unsuccessful. But there’s no doubt that owning a pet has a positive psychological effect. Armand’s lazy swim around his bowl does impart a certain calmness with his hypnotic movements. It’s a fact that your body goes through a physical change when your mood is altered; the level of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is actually lowered. And the production of serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being, is increased.

Fran HalterCoupled with the purported “magical” properties imparted by the coral stones on the bottom of his bowl, Armand has made a positive contribution to our state of health. Anyone who suffers from a chronic condition or disease, such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS), welcomes any small positive measure that brings even a modicum of comfort or relief. Seems like Armand has done just that. ~ Fran


Do you have a pet that has a magical effect on your health? Send us pictures!