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5 Reasons to Soak in the Great Outdoors

5 Reasons to Soak in the Great Outdoors

Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” is a traditional Japanese practice of immersing oneself in nature by mindfully using all five senses. But you don’t have to lose yourself in a forest to reap the health benefits of being in nature. Something as simple as a walk through a park or by a lake can pay off for your well-being, says Frances Kuo, PhD, founder and director of the Landscape and Human Health Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   “Even just looking at a rooftop garden for 40 seconds helps you sustain attention during mentally fatiguing tasks,” she says, citing a 2015 study. Here are more reasons to embrace the outdoors.   More positive outlook. Participants in a small study who took a 90-minute nature ...more
Squash Your Risk of Tick- and Mosquito-borne Infections

Squash Your Risk of Tick- and Mosquito-borne Infections

More than 30,000 cases of Lyme occur each year across the country, the CDC estimates. To the summer hazards of too much sun and heat, add the perils of tiny pests carrying infections, such as Lyme disease and chikungunya, that cause joint pain.   The number of people sickened by tick and mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. has risen to record levels recently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Tick Risks By far the most common tick-borne illness is Lyme disease – transmitted by the deer tick, which grows to about the size of a sesame seed. In up to 80 percent of those infected, Lyme causes a round, red skin lesion that can grow as large as 12 inches wide ...more
It’s Not in Your Head

It’s Not in Your Head

“The pain is just in your head.”  That’s what doctors and family members told Renee Cafaro most of her life. “No one understood how I could be involved in so many activities one day and unable to walk the next. I was accused of making up my pain. I didn’t even feel my parents supported me.” Renee, 35 — a fashion magazine editor now living in New York City — has been in chronic pain since she was 11. Her mom would take her to the pediatrician where everyone agreed she was experiencing growing pains. Renee recalls struggling to walk and experiencing searing ...more
It Doesn’t Have to Be Visible to Be Real

It Doesn’t Have to Be Visible to Be Real

“I don’t know anyone with arthritis.” This is the most common answer we heard when we recently asked Americans: How many people do you know who are living with arthritis ? Ten years ago, Raquel Masco didn’t think she knew anyone with arthritis either. That’s when she began experiencing unusual symptoms. Searching for Answers “First, something happened to my skin. Then, my hair fell out. I had trouble swallowing. I thought maybe it was allergies, maybe it was just from being active. Then I started feeling tingling in the bottoms of my feet, my hands and pain in my back and legs. “I come from ...more
Providing a Consistent Message for OA Disease Management

Providing a Consistent Message for OA Disease Management

The Arthritis Foundation is partnering globally with other osteoarthritis (OA)-related patient advocacy organizations to develop consistent treatment management messaging for all health care providers (HCPs) who interact with OA patients. Currently, an OA patient may see different types of HCPs, depending on the stage of their disease and their location. It’s important that primary care doctors become familiar with all OA treatment options so they can work with patients to develop the best care plans. For instance, a person may go to their primary care doctor complaining of joint pain. Depending on the severity, that doctor might suggest an over-the-counter or ...more
New Georgia Law to Prevent Unnecessary Step Therapy Actions

New Georgia Law to Prevent Unnecessary Step Therapy Actions

The Arthritis Foundation is happy to announce that the Georgia legislature passed a new law this month that will protect Georgians who are living with arthritis. The new GA law will reform step therapy. Also known as “fail first,” step therapy is a process that forces patients to try and fail drugs that insurance companies choose before the patient gets to use the medicine their doctor originally prescribed. This may occur even if you are already taking a medication and doing well on it. Our Advocates’ stories powered this success and helped Georgians like the Nealy family. They have had to endure burdensome step ...more
New Step Therapy Reform Law in Oklahoma

New Step Therapy Reform Law in Oklahoma

The Arthritis Foundation is happy to announce that the Oklahoma legislature passed a new law this month that will protect Oklahomans who are living with arthritis. The new OK law will reform step therapy. Also known as “fail first,” step therapy is a process that forces patients to try and fail drugs that insurance companies choose before the patient gets to use the medicine their doctor originally prescribed. This may occur even if you are already taking a medication and doing well on it. Oklahoma Junior Ambassador and AFJROTC member, Brianna Sommers, attended the Arthritis Foundation’s February Legislative Day and was instrumental in passing ...more
Defying Gravity: Athlete and Dancer Reesa Partida Takes RA in Stride

Defying Gravity: Athlete and Dancer Reesa Partida Takes RA in Stride

Reesa Partida grasps and loops a dangling swath of fabric, places her foot against it and lithely climbs up before swooping into an aerobatic dance of twists, splits and perfectly pointed toes – a demonstration of grace and strength. “I think I was inspired by Cirque du Soleil,” Reesa says with a laugh. “I thought it looked like a lot of fun, so I started by taking a class three and a half years ago.” Performing these ballet-like dances while hanging from streams of fabric – called aerial silks – is a hobby she took up about a year after she ...more
Coming Soon to a City Near You: The 35th Annual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference

Coming Soon to a City Near You: The 35th Annual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference

IN A WORLD… where everyday kids become WARRIORS and battle arthritis as the JA League! All kids and young adults with juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are heroes —members of our JA League. Every day, these Warriors battle the challenges that try to hold them back. But in the end, WE WIN! Don’t miss the latest, greatest blockbuster, starring YOU — connecting with other JA superstars. In the United States, nearly 300,000 children, teens, young adults and their families deal with the pain and other difficulties of JA and related childhood rheumatic diseases. The Arthritis Foundation is here to empower them ...more
Taking Steps toward Patient Centered Reforms | Safe Step Act Introduced Today!

Taking Steps toward Patient Centered Reforms | Safe Step Act Introduced Today!

My name is Katie Roberts and I’ve lived with a severe and debilitating form of psoriatic arthritis for nearly 40 years, and psoriasis, a painful skin condition, for nearly 30 years. I’m an Advocate for Arthritis and the Chair of the Maryland Advocacy committee because I’m passionate about sharing my story to break down barriers to care, especially step therapy. Katie Roberts At an appointment with a rheumatologist at age 17, I was told I would likely not live long enough to see my 21st birthday – my body was slowly shutting down from years with an autoimmune disease. It was ...more