Pearls of wisdom, encouragement, perspective, no-nonsense tough love. Sometimes when living with a chronic disease like arthritis and searching for a treatment that works, you need some advice. It may come from a dear friend or even a stranger, but many times your arthritis doctor tells you what you need to hear. We asked our readers and followers, “What is the best advice your rheumatologist or arthritis doctor gave you?”
When it comes to exercise, sometimes less is more. Research suggests a workout that’s just 15 minutes can pay off – if you do it right. These workouts often involve high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – short bursts of hard effort, which have been shown to burn more calories than the slow and steady approach, says Matt Likins, an orthopedic physical therapist and partner of 1st Choice Physical Therapy in Michigan.
Some days you experience a symptom and wonder if it’s part of your arthritis. Sometimes an arthritis-related question pops into your head. You may not want to wait until your next doctor appointment to ask. So, we asked our readers and followers, “What or who is your go-to source for everyday or spur of the moment arthritis questions?”
It’s no secret, looking good can help you feel good. However, achieving your best look – especially in the face of ever-present pain and inflammation – can be beset with challenges. Our experts share how to put your best beauty and fashion foot forward.
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:
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.
Reducing the costs of your arthritis medications can make it easier to stay on your recommended regimen. Here are some cost-cutting tips.
Websites like GoodRx.com let you compare local retailer prices. They can filter by location, dosage amounts and quantities.
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.
If you feel that your friends and family don’t understand how arthritis really affects you, you’re not alone. Not only are arthritis symptoms often invisible, but they can come and go. Some days, you may feel great and energetic; other days, you might be too tired or sore to be active. People who don’t have a chronic condition may not get how different your experience can be from one day to the next, says rheumatologist J. Michael Finley, DO, an associate professor of internal medicine at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, California.
Use these tips to help friends and family understand what you’re dealing with – and possibly improve your relationships.
Turmeric has moved to the top of the healthy food chain. The 4,000-year-old staple of Southeast Asian cooking is showing up everywhere, including ballpark snacks and Starbucks lattes. It’s easy to understand why; turmeric’s most active component, curcumin, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that may help treat or prevent diseases ranging from arthritis to ulcerative colitis and cancer. But does adding turmeric to your latte or plate of chicken masala do these things?
Not likely, says Randy Horowitz, MD, medical director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson.
“Turmeric only contains about 2 to 6 percent curcumin, so you’re not getting much [of the anti-inflammatory effect],” he says.
Ground turmeric has other strikes against it. Ezra Bejar, PhD, a San Diego-based expert in botanical research, warns that with turmeric’s increasing popularity, unscrupulous manufacturers are adding synthetic turmeric to the real thing. Some additives, like vibrantly yellow lead chromate, are toxic. In the last few years, 13 brands of turmeric have been recalled for lead contamination.