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Chronic Pain and Insomnia- Here's Why You're Tossing and Turning

Chronic Pain and Insomnia- Here's Why You're Tossing and Turning

Tammy Applegate dreams of sleep – when she dreams, that is. Most nights, she can’t sleep soundly; pain rousts her four or five times. She turns over, repositions the pillow under one shoulder – the only position that offers some relief – and waits for slumber to overpower her discomfort. “Sometimes it takes me so long to get comfortable that I stay awake anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours,” says the Fort Worth, Tex., mother of four, who has mixed connective tissue disease and requires sleep treatments to resolve her issues with pain and sleep. She’s got plenty ...more
The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Arthritis

The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Arthritis

You’ve probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids, especially if you have an inflammatory type of arthritis. They help reduce inflammation throughout the body, and some studies have shown benefits for heart health, brain function and diabetes. There are two major types of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets. One type is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the other type is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The body partially converts ALA to EPA and DHA. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fish oil (EPA and DHA) is the most commonly used dietary supplement in the United States. A study published in ...more

Future Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy: Nerve Stimulation

New research suggests that electrical impulses may one day be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Neurosurgeon Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y., discovered that stimulating the vagus nerve, which extends from the brain stem to the stomach, could control the inflammation that is central to RA. In healthy people, the nervous system, including the vagus nerve, maintains key bodily functions within a safe zone. One of the vagus nerve’s jobs is to control the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a molecule that triggers inflammation. But in people with RA, ...more
Hope Grows Here: Highlights from the 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference

Hope Grows Here: Highlights from the 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference

That’s a wrap, folks! After four incredible days of educational sessions, networking opportunities, tears, joy and tears of joy, the 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference is officially in the books! The Opening Dinner was truly spectacular, as the room filled with 1,700 parents, kids and caregivers eager to greet old friends and meet new ones.  When Ana Villafañe took the stage, she wowed everybody in the room – her amazing talent and true passion for kids with JA were spellbinding. The official programming kicked off Friday morning in grand style, with an overview of the new Arthritis Foundation brand and some amazing JA success ...more
2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference: Highlights From Day 3

2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference: Highlights From Day 3

Day 3 in the books! Another full day of informative breakout sessions for parents and our YA groups. Thank you to all of our great speakers and volunteer leadership for so many great sessions. The Food Truck Rally was an awesome opportunity to hang out with new friends and families and sample some of Orlando's finest. Have you added your message of hope to the tree? And have you, your child and/or your family snapped your Green Shirt Selfie?! Don't forget to tag us and ‪#‎yes4hope‬! We are LOVING all the selfies so far! You could win registration to next year's ...more
2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference: Highlights of the Young Adult Program

2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference: Highlights of the Young Adult Program

Each year as the Juvenile Arthritis Conference commences; another group also comes together at the conference. While there are over 700 kids in attendance with their families, the Young Adult Program, or “YA” as it’s affectionately known, are for attendees 18 and older. Many YA participants previously attended JA Conferences as a kid, while some are coming for the first time this year! Young Adults face a completely new set of challenges as they grow up with juvenile arthritis. Going off to college, living on their own and starting a new career are a few of the topics often talked about ...more
2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference: Highlights From Day 2

2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference: Highlights From Day 2

Day 2 of the 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference was jam-packed full of informational breakout sessions for parents and care givers. The morning featured disease-specific round tables, while the afternoon got into other topics such as educational rights and seeing JA through siblings' eyes. Kids and teens enjoyed their first full day of program activities that included a visit from the Orlando Zoo, Canine Companions and arts and crafts. Family Fun Night for everyone kicked off simultaneously - babies through 3rd grades enjoyed a Pajama Party; Tweens and Teens had their own Glow Party, the Young Adult hung by the pool and even ...more
2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference: Highlights From Day 1

2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference: Highlights From Day 1

The 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference is off to a great start! On Thursday, we had a busy day of registration, orientation, and a bustling hall full of informational booths. Later that evening, families dressed in their finest gear to champion their state. 47 states were represented! Arthritis Foundation President and CEO Ann Palmer, along with Board Chairman Michael Ortman, welcomed over 1,700 attendees. Ana Villafañe wowed the crowd and sang a medley of songs while talking about her experiences growing up going to JA Camps, Walks and other Arthritis Foundation activities. Ana was amazing and so inspiring to all of the ...more
1,400 Miles for 300,000 Children - The Final Ride

1,400 Miles for 300,000 Children - The Final Ride

A grateful crowd cheered this morning as Jen and Keegan wheeled into Orlando for the Juvenile Arthritis Conference. This final ride marked the end of a 1,400-mile journey from New York City to Orlando by tandem bike. “It was so wonderful to ride in with so many people cheering us on,” says Jen. “To have the kids who are attending the conference -- some of them who have been following our journey all along --  there supporting us we finished was symbolic of the meaning of our whole ride.” Jen, who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) as a toddler, is an ...more
If You Have Osteoarthritis, Take Care of Your Knees To Avoid Surgery

If You Have Osteoarthritis, Take Care of Your Knees To Avoid Surgery

If you have osteoarthritis, surgery is rarely a first resort. There are plenty of things you can do to avoid (or at least postpone) heading into the operating room. Take care of your knees with these solutions. Weight loss. For many, weight loss is a basic but crucial way to help avoid knee surgery. Shedding just 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half. And should you need arthritis knee surgery later, you’ll decrease your risk of complications and reduce strain on your knees, which will make your rehabilitation go more smoothly. Physical activity. The health of your knees depends on movement. Strong ...more