Living your best life with arthritis.

Kids on the Block puppets talk juvenile arthritis in Vernon

A picture of puppets Leslie, a puppet with juvenile arthritis, and JenniferJuvenile arthritis strikes up to three in 1000 children in B.C. and is one of the most common chronic diseases among children. Cassie and Friends’ Kids on the Block, an educational puppet troupe, is spreading awareness about juvenile arthritis at elementary schools like the one Sarika Adriaanse attends in Vernon. The aim is to help children understand arthritis. With the aid of a $2,500 grant from Telus’ Community Board, the performance will visit several other interior school boards.

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Indigenous children expresses pain through art

The Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative wanted to answer one simple question: What does pain look like? Not what it feels like, but what pain would look it if you had to express it on paper, or in this case, canvas.

In an interview with CBC News, John Sylliboy, community research co-ordinator with the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative, said: “Aboriginal children feel and experience pain just like anyone else. It’s just that they express their pain very differently. They don’t necessarily verbalize their pain, or they don’t express it outwardly through crying or through pain grimaces. A lot of kids, they just suck it up. That’s what they say all the time. ‘We just suck it up.'”

The research study spawned in 2008 when Margot Latimer, a clinical scientist at the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, observed there was no First Nations youth being referred to their pain clinic at the IWK hospital.

One of the paintings from the children

“My painting is about pain and the black represents how she feels inside. But she has like this white kind of atmosphere and it separates it from her pain.” – Artist, 16-year-old
Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/aboriginal-youth-art-pain-hurt-healing-1.3852646?cmp=rss

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ACR News: Exercise for Arthritis

Today at the ACR annual meeting, attendees at a symposium on the benefits of exercise heard presenters encourage arthritis patients to include physical activity into their treatment, something that was unheard of at a meeting like this 20 years ago.

A picture of people's legs walking on a cross walkDr. Vilet Vlieland, Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics, Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, said it’s important for an experienced therapist to implement tailor-made exercise programs for arthritis patients, consisting of routine and planned activities, monitored by regular assessments.
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Survival tools for a cold and damp winter for people living with arthritis

Arthritis can affect people all year round; however, the winter and wet weather months can make it harder to manage arthritis symptoms. Climate change can increase pain to joints.

According to Robert Jamison, Professor at the Harvard Medical School and chief psychologist at the Pain Management Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Chestnut Hill, the increased pain is caused by a change in barometric pressure. Jamison explains the impact of barometric pressure on the body by comparing it to a balloon: “When a balloon is inflated, it has the maximum inside and outside pressure. High barometric pressure that pushes against the body from the outside keeps tissues from expanding. As the barometric pressure fails, tissues in the body may expand. As the tissues expand, they put more pressure on nerves that control pain signals.”

There are several ways to survive the cold. Firstly, take care of your own health by getting a flu vaccine. Health Canada states the following:

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine, also known as a flu shot. Flu vaccine is safe and effective. You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Most people do not have reactions to the flu vaccine. Severe reactions are rare.

Getting a flu vaccine is a simple action that can save lives by:

  • protecting you if you are exposed to the virus
  • preventing you from getting very sick
  • helping protect other people because you are less likely to spread the virus to others

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Take a walk with the Walk10Blocks app!

Walk10Blocks logoDo you need help meeting the basic daily exercise requirement? If you do, then Walk10Blocks is the app
for you! 

We all know walking is good for your health. Research shows that even walking 10 city blocks a day, equivalent to about 2,000 – 3,000 steps or 1 km, can help delay dementia and may help improve cardiovascular and joint health over time.

Arthritis Consumer Experts has partnered with Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP) and Alzheimer’s Society of BC to develop an easy-to-use iPhone app to help people become more physically active through walking called “Walk10Blocks.” This innovative project is supported by ICON (Improving Cognitive & Joint Health Network), a 3-year knowledge translation network research study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. To learn more about the project, please click here.

Arthritis Consumer Experts is looking for people to join the “Walk10Blocks” community. To start walking, all you need is an iPhone 5s or 6 and five minutes of your time every other day to answer brief survey questions about your experience using the app.

To download the “Walk10Blocks” app, please click here.

Call for patient input on treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

Megaphone GraphicDo you have rheumatoid arthritis or care for someone who does? We want your valuable input

The Common Drug Review (CDR) is welcoming input on the manufacturer’s submission of sarilumab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from patients and their caregivers.

The CDR is part of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). The CDR conducts objective, rigorous reviews of the clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs, and provides formulary listing recommendations to the publicly funded drug plans in Canada (except Quebec).

To help them make their recommendations, the CDR accepts input from patient groups, like Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE). We would like to gather your views and share them with the CDR.

These are the questions they are asking: Continue reading