All posts by Arthritis Foundation

mood booster 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:

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arthritis video game workout

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.

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telling your loved ones you have arthritis

How to Share Your Feelings About Arthritis with Loved Ones

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.

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tumeric and curcumin

Turmeric Probably Won’t Help Your Arthritis (But Curcumin Might)

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.

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fall walking workout for arthritis

Make Your Arthritis Workout More Social This Fall

The air is crisp. The leaves are changing colors. You’re in a great walking groove. But the days are getting shorter. The temps are getting colder. Don’t let the changing seasons get you off track. Nothing’s worth compromising your health.

“We know that walking is important for people with arthritis for a number of reasons, from reducing pain and fatigue to preventing weight gain and boosting your mood,” says Michael Mantell, PhD, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. Try these strategies to keep your feet moving this fall:

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healthy pumpkin spice

Healthy Pumpkin Spice? Reach for the Real Thing

It’s fall, which means pumpkin spice season is upon us. The craze has spilled over from Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte to everything from yogurt to beer to doughnuts. But for all their flavorful goodness, many of these seasonal treats aren’t good for you. If you enjoy the flavor but want a healthier alternative, try real pumpkin.

“The fact that it’s a low-calorie food makes it a great option for people who might be trying to lose weight,” says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian in Atlanta. Pumpkin is high in fiber, so it helps you feel full longer. Plus, it’s packed with inflammation fighters beta carotene and vitamins B6 and C, as well as bone-healthy magnesium – all great nutrients for people with arthritis.

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