Mental Health and arthritis: a complex relationship
In the latest issue of JointHealth™ insight, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) reports on the important relationship between mental health and arthritis. People with inflammatory arthritis are more likely to experience mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and “brain fog” than the general population.
This issue of JointHealth™ insight will cover the following:
Relationships between depression, “brain fog” and inflammatory arthritis
Burden of depression
Recognizing and managing depression and anxiety
Prevent depression and anxiety
Love, sex, and arthritis*
*Please be advised that the content in this section contain graphics of “joint friendly” positions during sex and may not be appropriate for you or others in your household. The graphics are excerpted from the book, “Rheumatoid Arthritis: Plan to Win”, by Cheryl Koehn, Dr. John Esdaile and Taysha Palmer published by Oxford University Press, 2002.
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.
EQUIP-ing OA Patients and Health Care Providers Through Patient Engagement in Research with Marie Westby and Cheryl Koehn
The OA Action Alliance Lunch & Learn webinars keep you up-to-date on the latest osteoarthritis research, news and activities. This particular webinar will feature Marie Westby and Cheryl Koehn and will take place on November 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm ET. Webinars are free and open to the public. Webinars are archived on the events page on the OA Action Alliance’s website and on their YouTube channel in case you missed one or can’t get enough!
Marie Westby, PT, PhD is the Physical Therapy Teaching Supervisor in the Mary Pack Arthritis Program in Vancouver, BC and holds a Clinician Scientist position in the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, Vancouver. Continue reading →
The most recent EULAR recommendations for pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA) include physical activity and exercise as a part of a patient’s treatment plan. Physical activity has been shown to significantly ease joint pain and increase mobility, for this reason, exercise is increasingly being prescribed by physicians and other healthcare providers.
Some examples of well-known and effective exercises for people with arthritis include walking, biking and swimming. These are low-impact aerobic exercises, meaning they will generally be easier on the joints and cause your heart rate to increase. Are there other activities that could also benefit people living with arthritis, such as yoga?
Despite the lack of scientific proof, stem cell therapy is becoming increasingly popular, with dozens of clinics open across Canada and hundreds in the United States. These clinics are offering treatment for a wide range of diseases including asthma, multiple sclerosis, crohn’s, osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. A recent study found that Canadian businesses are making strong and unproven claims about the benefits of stem cell therapy. Advertisements intentionally use scientific language which can mislead consumers into thinking they are science-based therapies. While there are credible facilities that do stem cell transplants for conditions such as cancers of the blood, there isn’t sufficient research to support the safety and efficacy for treating other diseases such as osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis. As stated by researcher Leigh Turner on CTV news, “you have a lot of companies and clinics setting up shop and there’s this pretty big gap between the marketing claims they make and the current state of stem cell research.” A different article exploring the boom of stem cell clinics in America, found that advertisements use patient testimonial to appeal to consumers, which may just be a result of the placebo effect.
ACE 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).” Continue reading →
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association describes the profession as “anchored in movement sciences and aims to enhance or restore function of multiple body systems. The profession is committed to health, lifestyle and quality of life. This holistic approach incorporates a broad range of physical and physiological therapeutic interventions and aids”.
Unlike inflammatory arthritis, there are currently no medications to treat the underlying disease process of OA. For this reason, non-medication therapies such as those provided by a physical therapist are important to help slow or stop the progression of OA and help maintain function.
On 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 →
Arthritis 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
Participate in a new study that will use wearable activity trackers, paired with a new web application, and physical activity counselling to help you get more active!
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of chronic pain and disability. Physical activity can help to decrease pain and disability in joints affected by OA while benefiting your overall health.
If you are a person living with knee pain or knee OA, and interested in getting more active, we invite YOU to participate in the SuPRA study. Through participating in SuPRA you will learn how to get active with knee OA. You will be asked to attend an education session, use a Fitbit Flex activity tracker with the new web application, and receive counselling from a registered physiotherapist. The total time commitment for the study is 9 months. There will be an in-person education session which takes place in the Greater Vancouver Area.
If you are interested, please fill out a 3-minute screening questionnaire. All responses will remain confidential, and you will be contacted by a research staff member within 48 hours to discuss your eligibility further.