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Beat the Chill

Beat the Chill

When the temperature drops, wearing the right clothing when you head out into the elements can ease the ache in your joints. “The best way to beat the chill is by wearing layers,” says Heidi V. Freeman, PhD, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Layering lightweight fabrics can keep you toasty with less bulk. Here’s how.  Begin With the Base A wicking layer comes first. Instead of cotton, which holds moisture, opt for long underwear made of silk or a polyester or nylon blend.   Add Insulation Your second layer should provide warmth. Wear a fleece or lightweight down jacket or a ...more
Keep Your Grandkids Busy Without the Fatigue of Arthritis

Keep Your Grandkids Busy Without the Fatigue of Arthritis

Entertaining kids and keeping up with their energy can be a challenge, especially when you have arthritis. But with planning, a positive attitude and some help from others, you can enjoy your time with them without paying for it later in joint pain and fatigue.   Bob Richardson, a physical therapist with Duke LifePoint Hospital in Henderson, North Carolina, and grandfather of seven, offers these suggestions.   TAKE A TEAM APPROACH. Follow the old adage: the more the merrier. Keeping up with children is easier when other family members or friends join in the fun and give you a break when you need to stop and rest.   BRING OUT THE BOARD GAMES. Whether it’s Candy Land for the little ones or Monopoly or chess for older kids, almost everyone likes board games. Richardson’s favorite: Jenga, a block-stacking game that involves ...more
World Juvenile Arthritis Day: Help Shine a Light on JA

World Juvenile Arthritis Day: Help Shine a Light on JA

Right now, somewhere nearby, there’s a child who longs to run and play and have the same kind of fun other kids his age are having. Who dreams about being pain-free without having to swallow a cocktail of pills, or feel the sting of injections, or go through hours of infusions at the doctor’s office. A kid who longs for an end to the trial-and-error approach of treating juvenile arthritis (JA) – seeing what works and what doesn’t, often with unpleasant side effects along the way. Multiply that child by nearly 300,000, and you start to get the picture of how ...more
Advocates Share Their Stories to Empower Change

Advocates Share Their Stories to Empower Change

The final day of the Arthritis Foundation’s 2019 Advocacy Summit is also the most exciting for Advocates. It’s a day filled with energy, focus and a little bit of nervousness – but those jitters were quickly funneled into fuel for a long day of meetings. After a full day of training and preparation, approximately 300 Arthritis Foundation Advocates from 37 states were ready to share their stories and implement their skills on Capitol Hill. State delegations gathered at the hotel for the short ride to the Hill, but once there, they headed in different directions toward scheduled meetings with lawmakers from ...more
2019 Advocacy Summit – A Busy First Day Readies Advocates for a Day on Capitol Hill

2019 Advocacy Summit – A Busy First Day Readies Advocates for a Day on Capitol Hill

2019 Advocacy Summit – A Busy First Day Readies Advocates for a Day on Capitol Hill Yesterday, more than 300 Advocates from all parts of the United States came together in Washington, DC, filled with fire as they get ready to voice their personal stories to make real and meaningful changes for the arthritis community. The Arthritis Foundation’s 2019 Advocacy Summit kicked off on Monday, March 11, 2019, with an exciting welcome by Foundation President and CEO Ann M. Palmer. The day included motivational and educational breakout sessions where Advocates learned about key legislative asks to support top issues affecting the arthritis ...more
RA Research Briefs: Methotrexate, Cholesterol, Corticosteroids and More

RA Research Briefs: Methotrexate, Cholesterol, Corticosteroids and More

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries.  Factors Predict Methotrexate Response  Finding the best RA treatment for an individual is typically a process of trial and error; however, a new study shows certain clinical and psychological factors may predict who will respond well to methotrexate. The study, which examined the responses of 1,050 patients starting methotrexate, found negative rheumatoid factor, higher tender joint counts and, high anxiety scores – all were associated with a poorer response to the drug six months later.  Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy, July 13, 2018  Cholesterol Screenings Lacking  New research suggests people with RA are not screened adequately for a common cardiovascular risk ...more
2019 Arthritis by the Numbers - Did You Know?

2019 Arthritis by the Numbers - Did You Know?

It’s a fact that more than 54 million Americans have some form of doctor-diagnosed arthritis. But it’s estimated that almost twice that number may suffer from the disease – when you include those who have symptoms consistent with arthritis but haven’t been diagnosed. We are proud to present the third annual edition of Arthritis by the Numbers! 2017: We started publishing Arthritis by the Numbers in March three years ago as part of the 2017 Advocacy Summit. That year, we collected over 200 facts about eight of the more than 100 forms of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. Additionally, the advocacy team contributed ...more
JA Camps Make a Life-changing Difference for Kids With Arthritis

JA Camps Make a Life-changing Difference for Kids With Arthritis

From Cooper Landing, Alaska, to the beaches of West Palm Beach, Florida, the Arthritis Foundation is proud to host camp programs for kids and teens with juvenile arthritis and related childhood rheumatic diseases. Besides providing a safe and secure camping experience for children and teens, some locations also offer family camps – an opportunity for the entire family to attend together. Arthritis Foundation juvenile arthritis (JA) camps are sponsored nationally by AbbVie; Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity and Foundation; and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. All camps are staffed by volunteers who include medical professionals and former campers. Thanks to sponsorship and ...more

Emotional Eating Can Sabotage Your Arthritis Diet

When you’re sad, stressed or your joints are aching, it might seem like digging into a pint (or half-gallon) of ice cream and not stopping till you reach the bottom will make you feel better. But that’s going to undermine your efforts to avoid inflammatory foods and weight gain. Breaking this kind of pattern may take physical or mental interventions – or both. We asked a registered dietitian and a psychologist how to break the cycle of emotional eating. Know what’s driving your hunger. “Physical hunger develops gradually and almost any food sounds good, including a chicken breast and steamed broccoli. ...more
Hot Tips for Cold Hands

Hot Tips for Cold Hands

Winter weather usually means two things for hands: pain and stiffness. Simply running your hands under warm water can jumpstart relief. But for longer-lasting effects, try these hot ideas.   At home. Dip sore, dry hands – even elbows and feet – in a warm paraffin bath. Not only does it ease pain, but it also helps maintain muscle strength in people with hand osteoarthritis, according to a study in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Bonus: It also leaves skin moisturized.   Try the Homedics ParaSpa Plus Paraffin Bath, (homedics.com) or use a microwavable mitt (hotcoldcomfort.com), which doesn’t require a lengthy heating-up period, as paraffin baths do.   On the go. When a microwaveable mitt or paraffin bath is impractical, try hand warmers like HotHands Hand Warmers (available at ...more