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Mood Boosters for Coping With Arthritis Pain

Mood Boosters for Coping With Arthritis Pain

When arthritis pain strikes, it may be tempting to withdraw and crawl back into bed. But giving in to this feeling may worsen the pain, says Marni Amsellem, PhD, a Connecticut and New York-based clinical health psychologist. Instead, having a list of mood boosters is a better way to cope with arthritis pain, she says. A fun activity can take your mind off the pain and brighten your outlook. Here’s some suggestions to help get you started: Look at Old Photos Looking at old photos can spark happy memories and brighten your day. Favorite digital photos of your family, friends, past vacations or ...more
Best Approach to Managing Osteoarthritis

Best Approach to Managing Osteoarthritis

According to a study in Arthritis Care & Research, people with hip and knee OA use oral pain medications far more than nondrug alternatives. Of the nearly 1,200 patients in the study, 70 to 82 percent took pain relievers; fewer than half tried physical therapy or other nondrug options. Most were overweight, and none got the minimum 150 minutes of physical activity a week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for good health. That’s a problem, says Laith Jazrawi, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and chief of sports medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “We know ...more
Crafting with Arthritis

Crafting with Arthritis

Needleworkers, papercrafters and woodworkers know the satisfaction of taking their visions to reality in their very hands. Yet crafters also know their temptation to overstay in the creative zone can lead to cramped fingers and aching shoulders. Our experts share crafting tips to keep your creative spark ignited.  Hone Blades Sharp blades on rotary cutters, scissors or knives cut more accurately with less pressure, reducing grip pain. Use blades only on materials for which they are designed, such as rotary cutters on self-healing mats. Keep blades clean and use new blades for fresh projects. Once you’ve used a blade to cut fabric, demote it to cutting paper and then plastic.   Minimize Repetitive Motions For example, when sanding wood or pressing fabric, work with, not against, ...more
5 Ways to Save on Arthritis Medications

5 Ways to Save on Arthritis Medications

Reducing the costs of your arthritis medications can make it easier to stay on your recommended regimen. Here are some cost-cutting tips. Shop Around Websites like GoodRx.com let you compare local retailer prices. They can filter by location, dosage amounts and quantities. Look for Manufacturer Coupons Many pharmaceutical companies offer rebate programs or coupons for certain medications. Review the restrictions and call the toll-free number on their site if you have questions. Seek Patient Assistance Programs Many manufacturers help to defray the cost of medications with co-pay cards and assistance programs. Eligibility for these programs is usually based on income, insurance and other factors. Check Available Government ...more
Don’t Miss Live Yes! Online Discussion Forums About Arthritis

Don’t Miss Live Yes! Online Discussion Forums About Arthritis

Want to know what other patients have experienced from a specific treatment? Dealing with issues your child with arthritis is having in school? Has someone else faced a certain insurance issue you’re struggling with? What if you just have a tip to share you think others might benefit from? Those are just some examples of the kind of discussion forum topics you’ll find through the new Live Yes! Arthritis Network. Live Yes! is a hub for the arthritis community. It’s a community where large and small groups gather, to share resources and opportunities that can help everyone live their best ...more
Liz Morasso: Support Networks Helped Her Adjust to a New Life

Liz Morasso: Support Networks Helped Her Adjust to a New Life

As part of our vetting process for Arthritis by the Numbers – a collection of verified arthritis facts and figures – we invited patients to comment on the disease section that most affected their lives. After all, they are the experts on how the disease changes and challenges everyday living. Meet Liz Morasso, a licensed clinical social worker at UCLA’s department of radiation oncology who has volunteered for the Arthritis Foundation since 2002. That’s when, at age 16, she was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Over the years, she has immersed herself in leadership roles with ...more
Congress Said Yes! to Transparency at the Pharmacy Counter

Congress Said Yes! to Transparency at the Pharmacy Counter

In a strong show of bipartisanship, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed two pieces of legislation at the end of September that would make it easier for pharmacists to tell patients about their payment options at the pharmacy counter. Beginning last spring, the Arthritis Foundation led the charge by building support in Congress and among other patient and provider organizations about the importance of this legislation. The bills moved quickly through the legislative process thanks to the strength of Arthritis Foundation Advocates and Ambassadors, who called on their members of Congress to vote in favor of the ...more
Add Video Games to Your Arthritis Workout Plan

Add Video Games to Your Arthritis Workout Plan

Think video games are just for kids and couch potatoes? Think again. Some games incorporate exercise, getting players up and moving. Called “exergaming,” this trend is on the rise in homes, gyms, physical therapy offices and rehabilitation centers. Made popular by the Nintendo Wii, these interactive games use a handheld controller or sensors to track your body’s movement. That puts you in the game: You swing your arm to hit a baseball, jab in a boxing match or dance to earn points. Scoring Benefits “Exergaming is a fun way to get up and moving,” says Rachel Proffitt, an occupational therapist and assistant professor ...more
RA Research Briefs: Vitamin D, Shingles, Jobs

RA Research Briefs: Vitamin D, Shingles, Jobs

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries.  Vitamin D Deficiency Associ­ated with Neuropathic Pain People with RA who suffer from neuro­pathic pain – or, understandably, are try­ing to avoid it – may do well to have their vitamin D levels checked. A study examined neuropathic pain indicators as well as blood samples of 93 patients with RA. The researchers found the prevalence of neuro­pathic pain was almost six times higher in patients with serum vitamin D levels below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) than in patients with vitamin D levels ≥ 30 ng/mL. Anything below ...more
100 State Advocacy Victories….and Counting!

100 State Advocacy Victories….and Counting!

The Arthritis Foundation reached a milestone in September, securing our 100th state legislative victory since 2014! Congratulations Advocates!! All of these victories were made possible due to all of you! Our victories occurred in 47 states plus Washington, DC, impacting more than 50 million people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and have focused on many patient access to care issues like: Step Therapy: Requires a patient to try a lower cost drug for a specific period of time before a higher cost drug is considered. Prior Authorization: Requires a provider to obtain approval before prescribing a new drug. Biosimilar Substitution: Requires that communication ...more