Whether by plane, train or car, travel can be a pain – literally. Especially if you have inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis. Less oxygen and nutrients reach your joints, which contributes to pain and stiffness. “Sitting for long stretches slows your circulation,” says Lisa M. Higginbotham, an occupational therapist and clinical rehab manager at a Cleveland Clinic hospital in Ohio.
Sluggish circulation also raises the risk for swelling and potentially dangerous blood clots, she adds. Moving at least every hour keeps joints mobile. Plus, “contracting your muscles pumps blood back to the heart,” says Eric Robertson, PT, director of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Graduate Physical Therapy Education. These moves done while seated can also help:
Continue reading Arthritis Workout Moves On-the-Go
Meats, soups, fruits or vegetables, the canned variety offers many benefits. You’ll still get the inflammation-fighting omega 3 fatty acids in canned salmon, sardines and tuna. Canned vegetables and fruits are often processed shortly after they are picked, and nutrient losses don’t occur during shipping, on the grocer’s shelf, or in your home. Their portability makes them great for an arthritis diet on the go. They last longer and can save you money.
And there are some veggies that may be more beneficial in canned form rather than fresh. Canned tomatoes, for example, are a better source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, because cooking makes them easier for the body to absorb. According to a comparative analysis of canned, fresh, and frozen fruits and vegetables by the University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, fiber content is as high in canned products as in their fresh counterparts and the canning process may actually increase calcium levels in fish as compared to its freshly cooked variety.
Continue reading Arthritis Diet Power Shopping: Canned Foods
If you’re feeling chronically tired, it could be due to arthritis pain disrupting your sleep or the fatigue that often accompanies inflammatory arthritis. Or it could be a result of one of these culprits that may be linked to your disease.
Continue reading Is Arthritis Zapping Your Energy?
Ever left a family holiday gathering churning with tension and swearing that, next year, you’re going somewhere far, far away? These events sometimes ratchet up anxiety and stress, which are not only unpleasant but also can undermine your health and well-being. Take heart. Here, three experts offer different approaches to help you keep the peace and ward off stress.
Continue reading Peace Talk: Preserving Family Harmony During the Holidays
Family gatherings can be occasions to celebrate – or to dread. You look forward to seeing some relatives, but others leave you stressed.
The first step is to take care of yourself, says clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles.
“Protect your time and space,” she says. “Get your own room at a hotel or Airbnb [if you’re traveling]. Explain that you can’t stay up late.” When you’re rested and in control of your arthritis, you can more easily deal with annoyances and enjoy this “most wonderful time of the year.”
Continue reading Home for The Holidays?
A personal health record (PHR) is an app or computer program you can use to maintain and manage your health information privately, securely and confidentially. Keeping a PHR can help you coordinate care among your rheumatologist, dermatologist, physical therapist, cardiologist and any other providers you see.
You can get a PHR through your doctor or employer, or find one on the internet or in the app store of your phone. If you’re not comfortable having your information out on the cloud, you can keep your data in a loose leaf binder or a journal, or store it on a flash drive.
There are two types of PHR: standalone and tethered/connected.
Continue reading Keeping A Personal Health Record for Arthritis
Our readers share their do’s and don’ts for holiday decorating!
Continue reading Do’s and Don’ts for Holiday Decorating
Wrapping gifts and baking cookies can be a real challenge with arthritis pain and fatigue. We asked some experts for ways to make these time-honored holiday traditions easier and healthier.
Continue reading Helpful Hints for the Holidays
Until recently, spondyloarthritis (spon-di-low-ar-THRI-tis) didn’t receive much attention. It’s now generating more interest, in part because it’s diagnosed more often and there are better ways to treat it, says rheumatologist Philip Mease, MD, a professor at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
Continue reading Spondyloarthritis Explained
The pressure of coping with arthritis can ratchet up stress and anxiety – a condition that affects as many as 1 in 3 people with arthritis. And that, in turn, can worsen the symptoms of chronic diseases and contribute to a host of other problems.
“When we are stressed or perceive a threat, our body responds with physiologic responses that prepare us to fight or escape the enemy,” says Rudy Nydegger, PhD, a clinical psychologist and professor emeritus at Union Graduate College in Schenectady, N.Y. “Our heart rate and breathing speed up, our muscles tense and blood flow to the brain increases, putting us in a state of high awareness.” That can help protect you if the enemy is an attacking tiger and the threat ends quickly. But when ongoing stress leads to anxiety (excessive worry), it can result in a heightened awareness of symptoms – for instance, pain feels worse – as well as increased susceptibility to infection and risk of other health problems, including heart disease. Anxiety can have indirect health impacts, too, if it leads to inactivity, interferes with sleep or leads you to eat unhealthy foods for comfort.
Continue reading Four Tips for Managing Anxiety If You Have Arthritis