All posts by Arthritis Foundation

Arthritis Friendly Freezer Meals

Arthritis-Friendly Freezer Meals

When you are tired and achy from your arthritis, a hot, nutritious meal at the end of the day may be just what you need – but preparing it can create even more pain and exhaustion.

Instead of toiling to prepare a meal full of anti-inflammatory foods every night, registered dietitian Sara Haas, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends making meals in bulk and freezing them. At the end of a long day, all you have to do is reheat and serve.

Freezing meals, Haas says, “Is a great way to get balanced, more healthful meals in the comfort of your home.”
Continue reading Arthritis-Friendly Freezer Meals

Beating Arthritis Burnout

Battling Arthritis Burnout

Worn out from dealing with your disease? Never-ending appointments, medication refills, insurance paperwork, and diet and exercise worries can take a toll. Living with a chronic disease can be exhausting, even without the fatigue that comes with being ill.

Chronically ill people often feel burdened and burned out from coping with pain and illness while also managing their treatment and daily work-life demands, says Mary Anderson, a specialist in health psychology at Commonwealth Psychology Associates in Boston.
Continue reading Battling Arthritis Burnout

Helping Your Partner Cope with Arthritis

Help Your Partner Cope with Your Arthritis

Does your partner cope with the ups and downs of your arthritis by keeping his or her frustrations and fears on lockdown? Does he or she try to micromanage problems away? Understanding your partner’s coping style can make you both happier and healthier.

Understanding what’s behind your partner’s behavior can be an important step toward a stronger relationship, says Nancy Ruddy, PhD, a clinical psychologist at McCann Health in Mountain Lakes, N.J.
Continue reading Help Your Partner Cope with Your Arthritis

Aging and Arthritis Pain

Aging and Arthritis Pain: Should Treatment Plans Change as We Age?

Pain and aging—it’s an unfortunate fact of life. As we increase in age, so does our risk for painful health conditions. Research also suggests the experience of pain changes as we age; the treatments for it must often change as well.

More Painful Problems

“As we get older we are more likely to experience pain because of the kinds of health problems that go with getting older,” says Patricia A. Parmelee, PhD, director of the Alabama Research Institute on Aging at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. “There are a number of disorders linked with the aging body that are painful,” she says. Of these, one of the most common is osteoarthritis (OA).

The likelihood of developing arthritis increases with age. The CDC reports that 7% of people between the ages of 18 and 44 say they have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Among people 65 and older, that number is 50%.
Continue reading Aging and Arthritis Pain: Should Treatment Plans Change as We Age?

Fibromyalgia Lyrica Cymbalta

Combining Meds for Fibromyalgia May Offer Added Benefits

Treating fibromyalgia with both pregabalin (Lyrica) and duloxetine (Cymbalta) is more effective that using either drug alone, according to a new study out of Canada.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic health condition characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, memory problems, sleep disturbance and mood changes. If non-drug treatments such as exercise and avoiding triggers (which can include physical and psychological stress) don’t provide enough relief, medication may be prescribed. Common choices in the United States include pregabalin, duloxetine and milnacipran (Savella).
Continue reading Combining Meds for Fibromyalgia May Offer Added Benefits

Meditation Options for Arthritis Pain

Easy Meditation Options for Pain

Researchers agree – meditation can help with a host of health problems. “Relaxing and quieting your mind by focusing on your breathing can reduce stress – even the stress that comes with arthritis flares,” says David E. Yocum, MD, director of the Arizona Arthritis Center in Tucson. His studies, as well as others, found that patients who meditated responded to stress with lower heart rates and improved immune function; and that meditation, in combination with traditional medicines, appears to help patients with chronic pain. Studies have shown that meditation inhibits or relieves pain perception. And in a study published in the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s scientific journal in April 2015, 43 patients who used a mindfulness meditation program as part of their pain management experienced lower general anxiety and depression, better mental quality of life (psychological well-being), a greater feeling of control of the pain, and higher pain acceptance.
Continue reading Easy Meditation Options for Pain

Arthritis Facts and Myths

Debunking Common Myths About Arthritis

Arthritis is much more than a disease plaguing the elderly – it’s the No. 1 cause of disability in the U.S. and impacts more than 50 million Americans, including 300,000 children. It’s smart to learn about this common but painful disease. Do you think you know about arthritis? Test yourself with these arthritis myths and learn the facts.
Continue reading Debunking Common Myths About Arthritis