Living your best life with arthritis.

World Arthritis Day: The Future in your Hands

Future in your hands logo
World Arthritis Day (WAD) was established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) and is a global initiative bringing people together to raise awareness of issues affecting people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease (RMDs). WAD is celebrated every year on October 12th and is supported by a year-round global campaign.

The aims of WAD, set by EULAR, PARE (the Standing Committee of People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe) and the WAD community are: Continue reading

New online forum to improve biosimilars education

Arthritis Consumer Experts today announced the launch of the Biosim•Exchange

Arthritis Consumer Experts today announced the launch of the Biosim•Exchange – the first central resource in Canada for consumers to find timely, fact-based information on biosimilars safety and effectiveness and report on public and private health insurance formulary policy or listing decisions on biosimilars.

Biosim Exchange Banner“There is a real need for balanced, evidence-based information on biosimilars. Our aim with the Biosim•Exchange is to help patients better understand biosimilars and their place among other inflammatory arthritis treatments. With this knowledge, patients can have a full therapy conversation with their rheumatologist (or other specialist) in order to best decide on their choice of medications, including originator biologics or biosimilars,” said Cheryl Koehn, Founder & President, Arthritis Consumer Experts.

To view the Biosim•Exchange, please click here:

ACE encourages you to share the Biosim•Exchange with other patients, your friends and family.

We look forward to your questions and comments and hearing about your experience with biosimilars.

Government of Canada issues Flexible Work Arrangements report

Arthritis in the Workplace

Government of Canada issues Flexible Work Arrangements report

Working with patients to bring the right to request flexible work arrangements to Canada.

Table from the reportIn May and June of 2016, Canadians participated in the online consultation of implementing a meaningful right to request flexible work arrangements under the Canada Labour Code. Stakeholders shared their expertise, concerns, ideas, and personal experiences through online surveys, written submissions, and roundtable discussions.

ACE participated in Flexible Work consulations carried out by the Department of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, attending a regional roundtable in Vancouver and being part of a written submission from the Arthritis Alliance of Canada.

In its post consultation report, the Department made the following references to arthritis: Continue reading

Roughly 1 in 5 Canadians live with arthritis. Where is our social movement?

People with arthritis need to take action. Together, we need to pull our disease out of the closet and start talking about it.

Picture of Cheryl KoehnAt a recent dinner party, a good friend of mine said something revealing to me: “I don’t think of you as disabled.” My friend’s comment was meant as a compliment but also reflected the still common misperception of arthritis pain as a “condition” associated with getting old and that can’t really be treated. It also reminded me how people with arthritis are often embarrassed about it and live in silence. This in spite of the fact that arthritis affects more than 4.6 million Canadians, is a debilitating disease and the leading cause of work disability in Canada and limits the activities of nearly 20% of Canadians.

I have had rheumatoid arthritis for 27 years and while I have learned to live it, my life is a far cry from what it once was and what I wanted it to be. In my work, I try to build “pride” in everything ACE does. Still for reasons we have no “movement” but not because we’re not proud.  Continue reading

Football: How to prevent injuries and build muscles

As football (soccer) approaches the medals round in Rio 2016, Arthritis Olympic Village wants to share some tips on how to prevent injuries and build muscles in this sport. The first component is to observe your form while you warm up. It will help to record yourself warming up, such as jogging for a couple of meters.

Sports Without InjuryPreventing injuries - Picture of a feet about to hit a football suggest you observe the following:

  • Watch to make sure your hip, knee and ankle are in a straight line.
  • Don’t let your knee cave in or your feet whip out to the side.
  • Don’t let your toes point toward each other.
  • You may also want to learn to strike the ground with the front of your foot, but it’s important to build up your calf strength first.
  • Shuffle sideways and run backwards and observe how you bend at the knees and hips

In the video above, former U.S. national midfielder Cobi Jones demonstrates proper backward and forward running form.

It is important for a football player to develop muscle strength in their quadriceps, hamstrings, hip muscles, gluteus and core muscles. These muscle groups will help protect your knees, ankles, groins, feet, calves, shins, Achilles tendons and everything below the waist.

Sports without Injury provide a good example of exercises you can do in the respective muscle.

  1. Hamstrings – This exercise, called the Nordic (or Russian) hamstring exercise not only strengthens the hamstrings, it strengthens their ability to do the eccentric contractions they make to balance the concentric contractions the quadriceps make.
  2. Core – An advantage of these core-building exercises is that they strengthen the muscles in the trunk without stressing the lower back.
  3. Hips – Hips move in multiple directions, and these exercises capture most of them.

Doing muscle strengthening exercises two or three times a week will make physical activity easier and more enjoyable. Please note not all of the above exercises may be suitable for someone living with arthritis. Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise treatment plan.

American boxer James “The Cinderella Man” Braddock’s fight with arthritis

James J. Braddock, “The Cinderella Man” is an Irish American boxer who held the world heavyweight championships from 1935 to 1937. Braddock was famous for his powerful right hand and persevering through personal ups and downs, which included having to work at the docks during the Great Depression and having to switch his technique due to arthritis that developed in his hands as a result of injuries throughout his career.

A boxer in his arenaAlthough Braddock eventually retired due to his arthritis, he never once gave up. When pain and stiffness became especially bad in his dominant right hand, he retrained to make his left arm the stronger one. Braddock’s career highlight includes winning the fight with John “Corn” Griffin, the “Ozark Cyclone” and heavyweight contender, Art Lasky. On June 13, 1935, Braddock played one of the most memorable matches in boxing history – winning the heavyweight championship of the world against the then World Heavyweight Champion, Max Baer, as the 10-to-1 underdog. Above is a video recap of the boxing match captured by BoxingMemories.comContinue reading