Living your best life with arthritis.

What is an ACL injury?

Knee anatomy

Picture from orthoinfo.aaos.org

An ACL injury is the tear or sprain of an anterior cruciate ligament – one of the major ligaments in your knee. The cruciate ligaments are found inside your knee joint and combined, the anterior and the posterior cruciate ligaments control the back and forth motion of your knee. An ACL injury is one of the most common knee injury and often occur in athletes who play physically demanding sports like soccer, football, and basketball.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, injured ligaments are considered “sprains” and are graded on a severity scale, as listed below:

  • Grade 1 Sprains – The ligament is mildly damaged in a Grade 1 Sprain. It has been slightly stretched, but is able to help keep the knee joint stable.
  • Grade 2 Sprains – A Grade 2 Sprain stretches the ligament to the point where it becomes loose. This is often referred to as a partial tear of the ligament.
  • Grade 3 Sprains – This type of sprain is most commonly referred to as a complete tear of the ligament. The ligament has been split into two pieces, and the knee joint is unstable.

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ACE presents award to Simon Fraser University

One of Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis

A group picture of award winners and presenters

(Left to right: Dennis Leung, Coordinator and Harro Lauprecht, Manager, SFU’s Return to Work/Disability Management Program; Monica Swanson, Manager, SFU Special Projects; Cheryl Koehn and Kelly Lendvoy of ACE)

Hello ACE members, subscribers and followers,

As a person with arthritis I know all too well how difficult in can be to deal with the daily realities of living with the disease and try to do a great job at work, even on days or times when I’m not feeling that well. Because what we do for work is a large part of our lives and we derive not only an income but a sense of personal satisfaction from our jobs, ACE wants to recognize employers in Canada who are dedicated to helping employees with arthritis remain gainfully employed.

It was with great pleasure that on January 28, 2016, ACE presented Simon Fraser University with it’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis award. One of Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) important goals is to maintain a healthy workplace for all employees, including those living with chronic diseases like arthritis. I am so encouraged by SFU’s approach to employee well-being and, in particular, the understanding, empathy and services they provide their employees living with arthritis. ACE is thrilled to be a resource to SFU and other employers in Canada to elevate disease awareness and education and explore ways to collaborate to help employees with arthritis live better lives at work.

Sincerely,
Cheryl Koehn
Founder and President
Arthritis Consumer Experts

About Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis

The Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis program is a national campaign to help employers better understand arthritis in the workplace. Annually, ACE conducts the Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis Awards, a coast-to-coast search to find and recognize three small, medium and large companies who offer exceptional workplaces for their employees living with arthritis. The recipients of the award is recognized for their efforts to make their work environments great for everyone, including employees living with arthritis – the most common chronic disease in the workplace.

About Simon Fraser University

Born in 1965, SFU has become Canada’s leading comprehensive university with vibrant campuses in British Columbia’s largest municipalities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – and deep roots in partner communities throughout the province and around the world. Simon Fraser University celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2015.

Gift-giving for adults and children with arthritis

Boxed gifts or variety sizesGetting the perfect Christmas or New Year’s gift for an adult or child with arthritis requires some thoughtful thinking. Things you may consider before you purchase your gift include:

  • How long have they had the disease for?
  • What is their lifestyle like?
  • Do they live alone or with family and friends?
  • Do they work or go to school?
  • What do they like to do?
  • What type of arthritis do they have?
  • What treatment therapy are they on?

Here are some gift ideas to help lessen the burden of arthritis on everyday life. If you are trying to be a #GreenAngel and want to create memories, not garbage, note the gift ideas with the hashtag symbol beside them.  For those on your list who works with arthritis: Continue reading

Happy Holidays from ACE!

ACE Holiday Slide Image

2015 was a year full of challenge, empowerment and change, and Arthritis Consumer Experts was by your side through it all, delivering the consumer-patient voice and fighting for the rights of Canadians with all forms of arthritis.

For me, 2015 also marked the point in time when I have now lived more than half my life with rheumatoid arthritis. Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday I sat across the desk of a rheumatologist and heard them say to me, “you have rheumatoid arthritis”.

In my “half-life” with rheumatoid arthritis, I, like hundreds of thousands across Canada, have seen life changing scientific advances in medication and non-medication therapies. New medicines, like biologics and targeted small molecules have literally saved people’s lives and are now commonly used words and terms in an ever expanding arthritis consumer (patient) “dictionary”. Blood tests such as JOINTstat™ are being used to strengthen a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and possibly predict disease severity. Research into exercise has proved that even people with severe rheumatoid arthritis should find ways to exercise safely in order to improve or maintain joint function and maintain cardiovascular and general health. And most recently, evidence that begins to suggest people with rheumatoid arthritis’ life expectancy is moving closer to that of the general population, possibly as a result of the treatment paradigm shift from “wait and watch” to “earlier and aggressive”. These types of advances have also occurred in the other common inflammatory diseases, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Continue reading

Living well with arthritis: Tips from people like you

Bikers beside a river fist pumping in the airThe award-winning chef Seamus Mullen, athlete Aimée Espinoza of San Clemente, California, triathlete Dina Neils and Pain Talks Founder Alan Brewington are all successful people, who just happen to live with arthritis. Remember that you have arthritis, but it doesn’t have you.

In an interview with Everyday Health, Seamus Mullen, author of Hero Food and the chef and owner behind New York City’s Tertulia restaurant, said: “I think the first mistake I made was believing that life as I knew it was over. I really felt as though the rug was pulled from beneath me, and that I would never again be able to do the things I once loved doing.” Mullen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2007. He adds, “I really wish that, early on, I’d gotten to know more people who were living and functioning with RA, and that I’d learned more about what I could do as an individual to treat the disease, rather than depending so heavily on the medical community for answers.” Continue reading

Biomarker tests to help detect rheumatoid arthritis

hand holding test vialTreating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) early and aggressively is vitally important and can help to prevent crippling joint damage. Today specialists recommend a treatment plan that includes education, medication-often a combination of several different types of medication will be used in a person’s treatment plan-social support, appropriate amounts of range-of-motion, cardiovascular and muscle strengthening exercises, rest, vitamins and mineral supplements and a well-balanced diet. Biomarker tests may also help to detect RA and prevent further joint damage.

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