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.
Physiotherapy as a part of your osteoarthritis treatment plan
Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) recently published a special edition of JointHealth™ insight for Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada. This issue featured a guide to living well with osteoarthritis and included information on the disease, diagnosis and self-care. We have created this supplemental article to highlight the importance of physiotherapy in osteoarthritis (OA) treatment.
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.
How can a physiotherapist benefit you?
JointHealth™ Education Advanced Therapies for Inflammatory Arthritis – “Knowledge is power!”
In Arthritis Consumer Experts’ (ACE) June JointHealth™ insight, they introduce their newest JointHealth™ education course, Advanced Therapies for Inflammatory Arthritis.
This edition of JointHealth™ insight covers the following topics:
- The inspiration behind JointHealth™ education, and other courses offered through the program
- Conventional and advanced therapies for inflammatory arthritis
- The importance of understanding therapy choices
- A lesson plan for JointHealth™ Education Advanced Therapies for Inflammatory Arthritis
- A rheumatologist’s perspective on the new course
- A patient “graduate’s” perspective on the new course
- Other resources related to advanced medications and therapy changes in Canada
To sign up for the JointHealth™ Education Advanced Therapies for Inflammatory Arthritis course, please click here.
Getting “Patient Satisfaction” from Arthritis Health Care: What You Told ACE
In Arthritis Consumer Experts’ (ACE) first JointHealth™ insight of 2018, we share the results of three member surveys conducted at the end of 2017 and learn from you, the person with arthritis (or family member or caregiver), what your disease experiences are like and your journey through the health care system. Are you getting “patient satisfaction”?
In this issue, read about:
- Living with arthritis – a personal look
- Setting treatment goals and discussing therapy preferences with your health professional
- Ins and outs of “self-care” – it’s all about you
The BC provincial election is on May 9, 2017 – Vote for arthritis!
Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) asked British Columbia’s political parties, leaders and candidates to share their views on how to improve arthritis prevention, treatment and care.
Arthritis affects 1 in 5 British Columbia residents and is the leading cause of disability in the province. The economic burden of arthritis is expected to double within a generation and strain the BC health system’s ability to provide quality care to BC patients with arthritis.
ACE sent an open letter and survey to all candidates and political parties running in the upcoming May 9th British Columbia provincial election. ACE has received party responses from the BC Liberal Party, BC NDP, BC Green Party, BC Citizens First Party and the BC New Republican Party to questions regarding models of care, osteoarthritis education, aboriginal arthritis care, reimbursement for inflammatory arthritis medications and flexible work arrangements. To view a political party’s response, click on the links below.
- BC Citizens First Party
- BC Liberal Party
- BC New Democrat Party
- BC New Republican Party
- Green Party Political Association of BC
To view all candidate and party responses, please visit ACE’s BC Election 2017 page and please vote on May 9th. We encourage you to:
Sarilumab (Kevzara®) is now approved in Canada to treat moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis
Health Canada has approved a new treatment for Canadians with moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. Sarilumab (Kevzara®) was issued its Notice of Compliance on January 12, 2017. Click here to view Health Canada’s Summary Basis of Decision.
Sarilumab (Kevzara®), an interleukin-6 receptor antagonist, has been approved for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate reponse or intolerance to one or more biologic or non-biologic Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs).
Now that psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is viewed as its own disease entity and no longer as a relative of rheumatoid arthritis, trends in PsA care have started to change. Methotrexate has become a first-line treatment for PsA patients, and at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting this week, the spotlight was on new disease modifying antirheumatic agents (DMARDs) for PsA. According to Dr. Laura Coates, National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer in Rheumatology at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom: “It is quite an exciting time for psoriatic arthritis because we are getting new drugs that are specific for PsA. A lot of the newer drugs focus on the Il-17 pathway, which is a different part of the patient’s immune system (than what previous medications targeted) and which seems to be particularly important for psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and spondylitis 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.
Dr. 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.
An arthritis ‘pacemaker’ is on the horizon. The device is a tiny electronic implant fitted under the skin near the collarbone. It works by sending electrical pulses to the vagus nerve. When the vagus nerve is stimulated by the electric pulse, it sends a signal from the brain to key organs such as the spleen and triggers a decrease in the production of cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that help regulate the immune system and can cause inflammation in joints.
The arthritis ‘pacemaker’ is currently being tested in the Netherlands with people who live with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Scientists found that the use of electrical pulse can have a similar positive effect on RA without the side effects of medications. The medical device should be available in the United Kingdom by 2020. A patient who took part in the pilot study said: “I have my life back, like before I got arthritis.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Clare Jacklin of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society cautions: “The disease is different in different people. This new device may well be impactful for some patients dependent on their disease profile.”
What are your thoughts? Would you use the arthritis ‘pacemaker’? Continue reading
The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has published updated recommendations on the management of fibromyalgia. The detailed recommendations can be found in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized primarily by chronic widespread pain (CWP) in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, and a heightened sensitivity to touch resulting in pain that can last for months.
Common signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia include: Continue reading