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Making Progress: Arthritis Foundation and FDA Meet to Make a Difference for Those with OA

Making Progress: Arthritis Foundation and FDA Meet to Make a Difference for Those with OA

With several years gone by since the last drug for osteoarthritis (OA) was approved, the 27 million Americans with OA are ready to hear Yes when it comes to new therapies and diagnostic tests for OA. Fortunately, this past May, Arthritis Foundation met with Janet Woodcock, the Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and her colleagues. A representative from the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) also attended the meeting. The goal of the meeting was to discuss how the organizations can work together to design and implement new ...more
Being a Champion of Yes Sometimes Means Shouting -Yes!

Being a Champion of Yes Sometimes Means Shouting -Yes!

By now, news of the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the King v. Burwell ruling has resonated throughout the media and permeated our daily conversations with friends, co-workers and family. As an organization focused on the mission of leading the fight for the arthritis community, we prefer to direct our efforts and energies toward issues that will improve the lives of people living with arthritis and steer clear of polarizing political issues that serve only to divide us and slow progress. However, this ruling is not a political issue for the Arthritis ...more
1,400 miles for 300,000 Children : Jen Bikes Down the Coast to Juvenile Arthritis Conference

1,400 miles for 300,000 Children : Jen Bikes Down the Coast to Juvenile Arthritis Conference

Like many people, Jen Horonjeff is traveling this summer. Don’t look for her on any planes or trains, though. Jen is making the trip from New York City to Orlando -- all on her bike. Diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) when she was just 11 months old, Jen is finalizing plans to ride on a tandem bike with her partner from her home in New York City to the Arthritis Foundation’s Juvenile Arthritis Conference in Orlando. The trip, more than 1,400 miles, will take approximately 17 days. Jen plans to travel along the east coast for the duration of the trip. ...more
Classical Music Eases Arthritis Symptoms

Classical Music Eases Arthritis Symptoms

Can classical music soothe aching limbs and decrease your stress? “Yes!” says sing researchers and music therapists alike. By listening to slow-tempo classical music, pain from chronic arthritis may ease, research indicates. Researchers at the Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing, Boca Raton, found that participants’ pain levels decreased because they were distracted by the music. Stress levels did, too. Music therapists have also found that heart muscles synchronize to the beat of music, as does breathing. When classical music rhythms mimic the average resting heart – approximately 70 beats per minute – the soothing sounds actually helped to slow ...more
What is the Best Exercise for Knee OA?

What is the Best Exercise for Knee OA?

Focusing on either aerobic conditioning or resistance training – especially moves that target the quadriceps muscles, which help support the knee – is the most effective exercise approach for reducing pain from knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to a 2014 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism. Experts have long known that exercise can help reduce pain and improve function for people with knee OA. But what type of exercise is best, and how much, are subject to debate. The new study, an analysis of 48 previously published trials, aimed to provide answers. The researchers looked at randomized controlled trials (the highest-quality type of ...more

One Story Can Change Everything: Visit Gives an Inside Look of the NIH

“Totally amazing!” says 17-year-old Lexi Narotzky. She’s not talking about her recent prom or even her summer plans to study in California. She’s talking about last week’s visit to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Lexi, who was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at three years old, found her way to the NIH after she shared her story with Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R – NJ) at the Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Summit back in March. Struck by her narrative, Frelinghuysen invited Lexi and her entire group to visit the NIH and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) ...more
Benefits of Hand Massage for Arthritis

Benefits of Hand Massage for Arthritis

For many of us, getting a massage can seem like a luxury reserved for special occasions. However, for those with hand pain (including pain associated with arthritis), regular hand massage has been proven to decrease anxiety, improve strength and reduce pain. Research conducted at the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine found that a combination of hand massage from a therapist and self–hand massage is likely to be effective in the easing of hand pain caused by arthritis and other conditions. The study analyzed adults who received a massage on their affected hand(s) by a therapist once ...more
When Failure Isn’t an Option

When Failure Isn’t an Option

Social media is great for a lot of things -- reconnecting with old friends, finding that next job, catching up on the news and perhaps even wasting a little (a lot of!) time. But when Anna Legassie logged on back in May, she wasn’t doing any of those things. She was just trying to get her medicine. From Excitement to Disappointment Anna, now 31 years old, was diagnosed with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when she was 11 years old. She has endured six hip surgeries, multiple hospital stays and a constantly changing cocktail of medications to keep her arthritis at bay. ...more

Advocates Keep Arthritis Research Funding From Being Eliminated!

Thanks to the efforts of Arthritis Foundation Advocates, an amendment that could cut vital arthritis research in the Senate Defense Authorization bill will not go to the floor of the Senate for a vote! Over 58 letters and phone calls were made to senators last week by Arthritis Foundation Advocates to preserve the research program.  Last week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act asking that all research not directly related to deployment, combat, recovery and rehabilitation be defunded.  The amendment could have cut some of the arthritis research currently being conducted by the ...more
Can Lifestyle Factors Influence Osteoarthritis Outcomes?

Can Lifestyle Factors Influence Osteoarthritis Outcomes?

Can cracking your knuckles cause cartilage breakdown?  Can texting trigger hand OA?  Will wearing high heels damage your knee joints? Osteoarthritis (OA), sometimes called “wear and tear” arthritis, occurs when the cartilage or cushion between joints breaks down leading to pain, stiffness and swelling. So it’s often thought that if you engage in repetitive activity and put added stress on your joints, it can affect how quickly you get OA or how fast it progresses. Can these five lifestyle factors – knuckle cracking, texting, diet, high-impact exercise and high-heeled shoes – affect your joint health and possibly cause osteoarthritis? Here’s what ...more