All posts related to "physical activity"

High-intensity interval walk training associated with decreased disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

A recent study has shown exciting new benefits associated with exercise for people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina found that 10 weeks of high-intensity interval walk training was associated with decreased disease activity and improved immune function for adults with RA. High-intensity interval walk training refers to a popular form of exercise that includes short bursts of fast-paced walking at maximum effort followed by less intense recovery periods.


The study included twelve physically inactive adults over the age of 55, with a confirmed diagnosis of RA. Participants completed a 10-week program consisting of 3x 30-minute sessions a week of supervised treadmill walking. This Included a 5-minute warm up and 5-minute cool down. Within the training session, participants walked at 80-90% of their maximum effort in intervals of 60 to 90 seconds. These high-intensity intervals were followed by recovery intervals at 50-60% maximum effort. Speed and interval times varied for each person based on a cardiorespitory fitness test, but none exceeded walking pace. 

Disease activity was assessed by a rheumatologist through a count of swollen and tender joints, perceived general health and blood tests to measure inflammation. Cardiovascular fitness and immune functions were assessed using a variety of clinical and laboratory tests, as well as standardized questionnaires. At the end of the 10 weeks, the following outcomes were observed:

  • RA disease activity reduced by 38%, with a significant decrease in swollen joints, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and improved self-perceived health. An ESR blood test measures the rate at which red blood cells settle in the period of one hour, revealing inflammatory activity in the body. 
  • Improved immune functions suggesting a reduced infection risk and inflammatory potential 
  • Cardiorespitory fitness increased by 9%
  • Resting blood pressure and heart rate both reduced 

 There is a substantial amount of research on exercise and rheumatoid arthritis, but few studies have reported the actual lowering of disease activity scores. As stated by the researchers, this study suggests that,

“High intensity interval walking could be an efficient, tolerable, and highly effective intervention to augment disease activity and improve overall health in patients with RA.”

There are certain limitations to the study such as the small sample size and no control group, but the findings will hopefully encourage more research in the area. In addition, these findings add to a growing body of research on the benefits of exercise for people with arthritis. To learn more about the study, click here.


To learn more about physical activity and arthritis visit the following pages:

The 1-minute survey to help launch the Physical Activity Support Kit Initiative website

Share your favourite “go to websites for physical activity information and guidance

A team of health and fitness professionals, researchers and patients partners from throughout BC have worked together to create a repository of online resources to guide and motivate people living with chronic health conditions to be physically active. To help them finalize their soon to be launched Physical Activity Support Kit Initiative (PASKI) website, they’re asking people with arthritis and other chronic conditions to take their 1-minute survey. Share your favourite “go to websites” for physical activity information and guidance. Survey closes February 8, 2019.

Please take the survey here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/8NRWCGR

Follow the conversation online:
Twitter: @PASKI_toolkit
Facebook: www.facebook.com/paski.toolkit.3

Yoga & Arthritis

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?

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Knee pain? Join the SuPRA study and get active!

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!

image of a woman holding a Fitbit Flex regarding osetoarthritis studyKnee 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.

Survey Link:
http://open.arthritisresearch.ca/survey/index.php?r=survey/index/sid/143586/lang/en

For more information, contact Johnathan Tam, Research Coordinator at 604-207-4027 or 1-844-707-4053, or via email at supra.activity@arthritisresearch.ca.

Do you have Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus? Join the OPAM-IA study and get active!

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! 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are types of inflammatory arthritis that causes inflammation and deformity of the joints, and affects your immune system. Physical activity can help to decrease pain and disability in joints affected by RA and SLE while benefiting your overall health.

If you are a person living with RA or SLE, and are interested in getting more active, we invite YOU to participate in the OPAM-IA study. Through participating in the OPAM-IA study, you will learn how to get active with RA or SLE. 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 6 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 2-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.

Survey Link: http://open.arthritisresearch.ca/survey/index.php?r=survey/index/sid/455398/lang/en

For more information, contact Juliane Chien, study coordinator at 604-207-4032 or 1-844-707-4053 (toll free), or via email at opam.activity@arthritisresearch.ca.

Virtual reality as pain management for workplace injuries

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Samsung, Travelers Insurance, Bayer and AppliedVR have teamed up in a new 16-month study to evaluate virtual reality (VR) for pain reduction and therapeutic purposes. The belief is that VR can potentially be a drug-free tool for pain management. Similar VR studies are happening in Canada. Earlier this year, researchers from Simon Fraser University’s Pain Studies Lab recruited people with and without arthritis to play their VR game. Their goal is to understand how VR can be used as a tool for enhancing physical activity, which can help reduce pain.

Image of a man wearing virtual reality VR glasses

 

According to Dr. Brennan Spiegel, director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai, the study will use technology from Samsung, Bayer and AppliedVR as a supplement to manage pain in patients with acute orthopaedic injuries of the lower back and extremities. The study will be funded by Travelers and Samsung. Dr. Spiegel added: “We need to find ways to stem the tide without relying entirely on medicines. Health technology, like virtual reality, has tremendous potential to improve outcomes while saving costs, which is why we’re so excited about this collaboration among academia and industry.”

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Exercise, arthritis and osteoporosis

Girl Stretching

Photo Credit: By marin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The research literature on exercise is growing, and it is now generally accepted that there are many benefits of exercise for arthritis and osteoporosis. General benefits of exercise include improved heart and lung function, weight control, and improvement of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Before starting an exercise program, at home or at a gym, it is important to speak to a health professional trained in exercise for arthritis and osteoporosis. They can help you to design an exercise program that will be both safe and effective.

Before, during and after exercise:

  • It is important to warm-up and cool down before and after exercising. Use range of motion or heat.
  • If you are still experiencing pain more than two hours after exercise – you may have done too much.
  • Use slow, planned movements when doing ROM and strengthening exercises.
  • Practice in front of a mirror until you feel confident you are doing the exercise as demonstrated by your health professional.

Types of Exercise
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Do you have Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus? Join the OPAM-IA study!

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!

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are types of inflammatory arthritis that causes inflammation and> deformity of the joints, and affects your immune system. Physical activity can help to decrease pain and disability in joints affected by RA and SLE while benefiting your overall health.

woman with rheumatoid arthritis looking at physical activity trackerIf you are a person living with RA or SLE, and are interested in getting more active, we invite YOU to participate in the OPAM-IA study. Through participating in the OPAM-IA study, you will learn how to get active with RA or SLE. You will be asked to attend an education session in Metro Vancouver, 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 6 months. Enrol now to start in January 2018!

If you are interested, please fill out a 2-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.

Survey Link: http://open.arthritisresearch.ca/survey/index.php?r=survey/index/sid/455398/lang/en.

For more information, contact Halima Elmi, study coordinator at 604-207-4053 or 1-844-707-4053 (toll free), or via email at opam.activity@arthritisresearch.ca.

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Knee pain? Join the SuPRA study and get active!

Knee pain? Join the SuPRA study and get active!

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!

Picture of runner's leg from knee to feet 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. Enrol now to start in January 2018!

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.

Survey Link: http://open.arthritisresearch.ca/survey/index.php?r=survey/index/sid/143586/lang/en.

For more information, contact Halima Elmi, Research Coordinator at 604-207-4053 or 1-844-707-4053, or via email at supra.activity@arthritisresearch.ca.

Working with your physiotherapist to treat your arthritis pain and symptoms

Physiotherapist helping patient with arthritis

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Working with your physiotherapist to treat your arthritis pain and symptoms

Physiotherapy is often part of a well-balanced treatment plan for many of the more than 100 types of arthritis. It focuses on maintaining, restoring or improving physical function as well as preventing and managing pain, through the use of non-medication treatments.

When choosing a physiotherapist, it is important to look for someone who has experience treating your type of arthritis, if possible. As well, it is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist, and that you relate well on a personal level.

A physiotherapist will examine your body, and assess things like joint range-of-motion, muscle strength, and swelling or instability in affected joints. A physiotherapist will also likely look at any diagnostic imaging-like x-rays-that you have had done, as well as results from any laboratory testing-for example, blood tests or joint aspirations. Finally, the therapist will want to hear from you about your symptoms, mobility, and changes in your body. Then, using the assessment above, the physiotherapist develops a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to the client’s needs. Some of the treatments used by physiotherapists include:
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