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What is pain? What are EULAR’s guidelines for pain management?

Close up of a person's face wincing in painWhat is pain?

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage”.

Pain is your body’s warning signal, letting you know that something is wrong in your body. When part of your body is injured or damaged, chemical signals are released that travel from nerve system cells (called neurons) to your brain where they are recognized as pain.

Most forms of pain can be divided into two general categories: Continue reading

ACR News 3 – October 23, 2018

newspaper in mail slotACE is reporting from this week’s American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals 2018 Annual Meeting. Here are some presentations that are important for arthritis patients.

The future of arthritis care and the next generation of arthritis specialists 

The Arthritis Alliance of Canada has looked carefully at how patients with arthritis receive timely diagnosis and treatment. Central to ensuring timely care is making sure there are adequate numbers of rheumatologists for making an early diagnosis and starting appropriate treatment. In 2015, the Canadian Rheumatology Association conducted a national workforce survey of rheumatologists across Canada. The survey found there is a current shortage of rheumatologists across the country that may worsen over the next 10 years because a third of the workforce reported plans to retire in the near future. This will occur at the same time as an expected increase in the number of arthritis patients within the next generation.
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ACR News 2 – October 22, 2018

newspaper in mail slotACE is attending this week’s American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals 2018 Annual Meeting, the largest international gathering of arthritis researchers, clinicians, academics, patient advocates and arthritis health professionals. Here are some of today’s highlights:

Improving osteoarthritis management

There are currently more than 4.4 million Canadians living with osteoarthritis (OA). Within a generation (in 30 years), more than 10 million (or one in four) Canadians are expected to have OA. A 2017 study, “Productivity costs of work loss associated with osteoarthritis in Canada from 2010 to 2013,” found the rising rates of OA will cost the Canadian economy an estimated $17.5 billion a year in lost productivity by 2031 as the disease forces greater numbers of people to stop working or work less.

ACE and other members of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada have helped raise awareness with health care policy makers that OA is the leading cause of disability in older adults. One of Canada’s leading osteoarthritis researchers, Dr. Gillian Hawker, Sir John and Lady Eaton Professor and Chair of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto has stated: “the highest rates of OA are increasing fastest among young people (20-59 years), due largely to childhood obesity and knee injury. While effective therapies exist, the high prevalence of comorbidity in people with OA makes management challenging (as many of 90% of people with OA have at least one additional chronic condition – most often diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure).”
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ACR News 1 – October 21, 2018

newspaper in mail slotMore than 15,000 clinicians, researchers, academics, patient advocates and arthritis health professionals from more than 100 countries are expected to gather at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals 2018 Annual Meeting over the next six days in Chicago to exchange scientific and clinical information.

This year’s ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting will include 450 educational sessions. More than 700 speakers hailing from more than 20 countries will present as many as 3,000 abstracts to gain firsthand knowledge and access to new scientific and clinical findings.

Session topics will include newly proposed treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus and osteoarthritis, updated classification criteria for large vessel vasculitis and a look at current controversies regarding arthritis diseases and bone.
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Arthritis Consumer Experts Awards Government of Yukon and Université de Montréal as Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis

Best Arthritis Workplaces Winner Banner

After its fourth annual search across Canada, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) today announced the winners of Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis award: the Government of Yukon and Université de Montréal.

ACE is highly supportive of Canadian employers’ efforts to develop policies to ensure high quality health benefits and flexible work arrangements for Canadian workers living with arthritis. For workers with chronic diseases such as arthritis, the challenge involves balancing the demands of managing their disease and of working ‘around’ symptoms such as daily pain, fatigue, joint dysfunction and immobility.

“Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of work disability in Canada,” said Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President, Arthritis Consumer Experts. “Managing challenges at work is an important element of disease management for employees living with arthritis. We’re calling on all plan sponsors in Canada to look carefully at their health benefit plans from the perspective of employees living with arthritis.”

Based on workplace insights shared by employees and company managers, the Government of Yukon and Université de Montréal stood out for their supportive work environments highlighted by chronic disease awareness, high quality benefits, wellness programs and prevention practices.

“Supporting all our employees to fully participate in the workplace makes for a more engaged workforce and ultimately better service to the Yukon public. That is why the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees is of paramount importance. We provide flexible working hours, a robust benefits program, and workplace accommodations to help our employees safely stay at work and maintain a healthy work-life balance,” said Ms. Pamela Muir, Public Service Commissioner, the Government of Yukon.
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Osteoarthritis, insomnia, and depression

Close up head shot of a woman sleepingOn World Suicide Prevention Day, learn more about the connection between osteoarthritis, insomnia, and depression. According to a recent study published in Arthritis Care & Research, pain, insomnia and depression were the main reasons for people living with osteoarthritis (OA) to schedule a visit with their doctor.

The study consisted of 2,976 people and half the participants had at least one of three symptoms: pain, insomnia, and depression. An estimated 34 percent of the patients studied experienced insomnia and 29 percent had depression, in addition to moderate to severe pain.

Dr. Minhui Liu is the lead author of the study and a research fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore. His team found that among patients with osteoarthritis, about 47 percent of them reported moderate to severe pain, 17 percent clinical insomnia, and 21 percent clinical depression. In addition, about 13 percent of participants experienced moderate to severe pain and clinical insomnia at the same time, and 13 percent experienced moderate to severe pain and clinical depression at the same time.  Continue reading

JointHealth™ insight – September 2018: Where is Arthritis? – Everywhere!

Cover photo for JointHealth insightArthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) releases a special edition of JointHealth™ insight for Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada: “Where is arthritis? – Everywhere.” Arthritis is everywhere and can affect patients’ jobs, financial resources, academic studies or relationships with family and friends. There are now more than 6 million people of all ages, living with more than 100 separate types of arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases in Canada. Arthritis can generally be categorized into two types: osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. This issue of JointHealth™ insight provides evidence-based information on strategies to help change, overcome or manage the challenges arthritis patients face, including:

  • A guide to living well with osteoarthritis including information on the disease, diagnosis and self-care
  • Back-to-school tips for students living with inflammatory arthritis
  • How to participate in our #WhereIsArthritis social media campaign

Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada: Arthritis Consumer Experts’ #WhereIsArthritis social media campaign

#WhereIsArthritis Banner graphicArthritis Consumer Experts is celebrating Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada with the #WhereIsArthritis social media campaign. #WhereIsArthritis is a fun way for you to familiarize yourself with Arthritis Consumer Experts’ online resources, which are designed to help you live a better life with arthritis. By participating, you are creating awareness about arthritis while educating yourself and others about the many different types of diseases, and showing your support for people living with it.

Every day from Saturday, September 1 to Sunday, September 30, 2018, you will:

  • Find a #WhereIsArthritis question and hint on ACE’s Twitter (@ACEJointHealth) and Facebook (@ACEJointHealth) account
  • Find and tweet, Facebook post or email the answer to us – Be sure to include the #WhereIsArthritis hashtag!

Sample #WhereIsArthritis question and answer:

Question: Q1: What are four non-medication treatments listed on the ACE website? Hint: See “About Arthritis” http://bit.ly/2xs5Ik5 #WhereIsArthritis
Answer: Hey @ACEJointHealth, the answer is: vitamins and minerals, diet and nutrition, physiotherapy, occupational therapy! #WhereIsArthritis

To participate, please follow #WhereIsArthritis on our Twitter account @ACEJointHealth and Facebook account Arthritis Consumer Experts. Help us drive arthritis awareness in September:

  • like, retweet, and reply on Twitter using #WhereIsArthritis; or,
  • like, comment, and share on Facebook using #WhereIsArthritis; or,
  • email your answers to feedback@jointhealth.org with subject heading #WhereIsArthritis

Each time you do any of the above from your personal social media account, your name will be entered into a draw for a $50 Amazon gift card. The draw will take place on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 and the winner will be notified by direct message or email.

Let’s find #WhereIsArthritis resources together!

Reminder: Call for nominations – Help us celebrate community leaders living with arthritis!

Do you know a person with arthritis who has, or is, providing leadership in the community and deserves recognition for their valuable volunteer work? We encourage you to help us celebrate their contributions by nominating them for the Qualman-Davies Arthritis Consumer Community Leadership Award.

Qualman-Davies Award SlideThe Qualman-Davies Arthritis Consumer Community Leadership Award was created in 2014 to recognize one person’s contributions to helping Canadians living with the disease to be heard in decision-making processes that affect millions. That’s what Ann Qualman and Jim Davies did as early pioneers in arthritis advocacy in Canada. Their tireless and selfless efforts helped millions of Canadians.

To submit a nomination, please follow the steps listed below:

  1. Obtain the prospective nominee’s consent to be nominated prior to submitting this form
  2. Click here for the nomination form. If you create a separate nomination document, please use the headings provided on the Nomination Form PDF for ease of review by the award adjudication committee.
  3. Provide the completed nomination form to the nominee for their review for accuracy and obtain their signature on the document
  4. Submit the form to feedback@jointhealth.org

The application deadline is September 20, 2018. Each submission will be reviewed by the award adjudication committee and scored using a points system. The winner and their nominator will be notified by October 2, 2018. The award will be announced at the Arthritis Alliance of Canada’s 2018 Annual Meeting Reception taking place on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario.

JointHealth™ insight – Summer 2018

English JointHealth insight front cover pageSmart Design for People Living with Arthritis

In this issue of JointHealth™ insight, we look at how smart choices in our living environments can make your arthritis experience easier, safer, and less painful, providing you solutions on how to modify your home or work environment.

In this issue, you will learn about:

  • Smart design solutions for home: Around the house, bedroom, dressing, kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, dining room, living room, and foyer
  • Smart design solutions for work: Desk and work schedule
  • The importance of educating co-workers and employers about arthritis

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