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Bring on the Heat for Joint Pain Relief

Bring on the Heat for Joint Pain Relief

If your joints start to ache after a long day, try warming them up instead of popping a pill. Heat relaxes the muscles around painful joints and increases blood circulation, which can help you feel better fast. When a hot bath or shower isn’t convenient, try one of these options. Electric Heating Pad How It Works: Plug it in, wrap in cloth, apply for 20 minutes. Best For: “They’re one of the best ways to heat a large body part – a hip, back, shoulder, knee – especially before activities like stretching,” says Doreen M. Stiskal, PhD, department of physical therapy chair at ...more
Morning Workout for Arthritis

Morning Workout for Arthritis

Rise and shine – and get moving for the good of your joints! If you work out before your day distracts you, your chances of exercising regularly go way up, and you know that’s important to keep your arthritis pain at bay. What’s more, studies show that working out in the morning can boost mental acuity and burn up to three times more fat than exercising at other times of the day. There’s just one catch: Morning is often the most hectic time of the day. Try these tips to fit your fitness into your mornings: Plan ahead: Take a few minutes ...more
Meditation for Arthritis Pain? A Beginner’s Guide

Meditation for Arthritis Pain? A Beginner’s Guide

Meditation includes many different practices of focused thinking and relaxation and studies show it can help people with arthritis. No matter what technique you choose, the goal is to improve coping strategies for pain and reduce symptoms like stress and anxiety. Maybe you’ve even tried it – but two minutes felt like two hours and after each 20-minute session, the result was the same: You created a mental to-do list and had a sore behind. You’re not alone. “We are so used to multitasking that we find it difficult to sit down and turn off our thoughts,” explains Scott Zashin, MD, a ...more
Which Arthritis Diet Plan Should You Try?

Which Arthritis Diet Plan Should You Try?

Keeping excess pounds at bay and eating the right foods are critical to keeping joint pain in check. But not all weight-loss plans are effective and not every diet is a good choice for someone with arthritis. We asked three dietitians for the skinny on five headline-grabbing plans. PALEO This plan recommends eating like a “caveman,” so anything that could be hunted or gathered is fair game. Anything else is on the chopping block. Pros: The paleo diet prohibits processed foods while pushing nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies. Meats are free-range and grass-fed, and fish are wild. Cons: The paleo diet doesn’t limit meats ...more
Studies Suggest Botox May Ease Osteoarthritis Pain

Studies Suggest Botox May Ease Osteoarthritis Pain

Widely used by doctors to soften forehead wrinkles and reduce uncontrollably sweaty armpits, researchers are exploring botulinum toxin as a potential therapy for osteoarthritis (OA) pain. “The Botox story is very intriguing,” says David Felson, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine. “It isn’t just muscles. It can paralyze nerves. Just like celebrities injecting it into wrinkles, it could have the same effect on a hip muscle. Botox could paralyze the muscle that is transmitting pain.” This toxin may eventually be used to treat OA patients whose pain is not sufficiently controlled by traditional medicines like NSAIDs ...more
Can Managing Stress Keep RA Symptoms in Check?

Can Managing Stress Keep RA Symptoms in Check?

A link between stress and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is commonly acknowledged. However, scientists continue to explore the connection between the nervous and immune systems and the effect on RA onset and progression.  People with RA commonly report experiencing physical or emotional stress when first diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder like RA. However in a 2010 editorial in Arthritis Research & Therapy, Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Michigan (who has expertise in rheumatology and pain), commented on a review of 16 studies on the stress-arthritis link. In his editorial, Dr. Clauw highlighted the verified link ...more
A Big Win For Arthritis Foundation Advocates: FDA Proposal Would Require Unique Names for Biosimilars

A Big Win For Arthritis Foundation Advocates: FDA Proposal Would Require Unique Names for Biosimilars

Today, we celebrate our tremendous Advocates and a fantastic victory! The FDA has issued proposed guidance to require unique names for biosimilar products that have submitted applications to the FDA. The Arthritis Foundation and our team of 125,000 advocates have advocated for distinguishable names to ensure patient safety is given the highest priority. Unlike generic medications, biosimilars are not necessarily exact copies of brand name biologics. The change will lessen confusion among prescribers, allow for transparency in notification and drug substitution, strengthen patient adverse reaction tracking and make data collection easier. In the last year alone, the Arthritis Foundation and our advocates have ...more
Hands On: Massage Helps Keep Laurie Active with her Grandchildren

Hands On: Massage Helps Keep Laurie Active with her Grandchildren

Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in her 30s and then osteoarthritis (OA) in her 50s, pain has been a pretty consistent factor in Laurie Steiner’s adult life. But, as an active grandmother and frequent caretaker of seven grandchildren, Laurie doesn’t have the time to let the pain keep her down. “I have a busy life, like most women,” says Laurie. “I watch several of my grandkids, which involves a lot of lifting, as well as getting down and dirty with them when we play together. I may have fibromyalgia and arthritis, but I can't let it keep me from the things I love.” In ...more
How Exercise Helps Your Joints

How Exercise Helps Your Joints

Physical activity helps people with arthritis reduce pain and increase range of motion. But how does movement work in your body to help your joints? Synovial fluid lubricates the joint. The joint is surrounded by soft tissue called the synovial membrane, which produces a fluid that acts like oil in an engine, allowing your bones to move past one another more smoothly. Physical activity encourages circulation of the fluid, says Susan Sterling, an instructor at the Cooper Institute, a preventive medicine research and education nonprofit in Dallas. Blood flow increases. Exercise gets the heart pumping, which increases blood circulation throughout your body – including ...more
5 Ways to Build an Arthritis-friendly Salad

5 Ways to Build an Arthritis-friendly Salad

Crafting an arthritis-friendly diet? Not all salads are created equal. What starts as a healthy foundation of vegetables often winds up suffocated in condiments and high-fat toppings. Be picky about what you put on your salad, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, professor and Guthrie chair in nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. "When you cut down on calorie-dense ingredients, you can ultimately eat more salad," she says. Build a healthier salad with these tips: Load up on greens: Dark green, leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce and field greens are high in fiber and nutrients. Baby spinach is a great choice. One cup ...more