MAKING LIFE EASIER WHEN YOU SUFFER FROM ARTHRITIS…

Last Saturday, the 12th October was the 22nd World Arthritis Day.

It is a day designed to raise global awareness about all facets of the disease.

Arthritis affects approximately 350 million people worldwide.

Among the long list of diseases considered to be in the arthritic family are ankylosing spondylitis, gout, lupus, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is an inflammation of the joints and can affect one or multiple joints. The symptoms usually develop over time but the Arthritis Foundation say that early treatment is the best treatment. Finding things to make your life easier is important to any sufferer. It is not a condition just for the elderly, children as young as 3 can be diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

The theme for 2019 is Time2Work , which was part of the EULAR Campaign Don’t Delay, Connect Today to highlight the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

On the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society site they said that Professor Dane Carol Black wrote these words in her report to Tony Blair’s government “Working for a healthier tomorrow” in 2008. ”Work is central to human existence and the motive force for all economics. For individuals, it provides structure and meaning and is good for people’s health and well being as well as their financial health and prosperity. Moreover, work benefits families and is socially inclusive.”

Almost a decade later, the report which the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society published in collaboration with the University of Manchester at the end of 2017 entitled “Work Matters” is a very important survey of more than 1000 people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Despite a number of government initiatives, the survey suggests that many people with inflammatory arthritis are struggling to find the type of work that they want.

However, just being able to travel to work and get around the environment can be a real worry to some sufferers. Where do you begin in finding out about the different types of mobility aids and wheelchairs to help you get around? Well, one such company called Pro Rider Mobility is a great place to start. They have a vast choice of mobility scooters, wheelchairs and other mobility aids to choose from. A Pro Rider Mobility Motorised Wheelchair could turn your life around in an instant, allowing you to get from a to b easily.  

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society also have a great video on this year’s ‘Time2Work’ event which focuses on how and why employers should provide better support for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other long term conditions in the workplace as this benefits not only the employee but the employers as well.

Although I was always under the impression that most of my spinal pain was mechanical, disc related and failed back surgery an MRI I had a done eighteen months ago showed my spine also had some arthritis in it. I’ve still not had a discussion about this nor been given any different type of medication for it but after reading more on this disease I think it is something I will bring up in the future.

There are a number of sites you can find on the internet with all the information on the different types of arthritis but leading on from the recent Awareness Day and campaign some have more details about the Time2Work which I will list here for you.

The Arthritis Foundation

The National Rheumatoid Arthritic Society

The Global Rheumatoid Arthritis Network

Arthritis Care UK –

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CANNABIS/CBD THE LATEST BUZZ WORD IN HEALTH AND IN FOOD…

 

According to Food Dive, both consumers and manufacturers have been buzzing about including cannabis in food and beverage in the last several years. And with President Trump’s signature on the 2018 Farm Bill, items made from the plants known for their psychoactive and relaxation qualities are getting closer to being a part of everyday grocery carts.

Under the Farm Bill, cultivation of hemp — a plant in the cannabis family — becomes legal. And derivatives from hemp — including the cannabinoid CBD, which is known as an aid for relaxation, anxiety and pain — are no longer considered Schedule I narcotics.

Whatever seems to happen in the USA, Great Britain seems to catch up in the end. On a daily basis now I seem to get in the region of around 20-30 emails promoting CBD and its benefits for health. I’ve been approached by a number of companies asking me if I would be willing to try a course of CBD and then review it. But, I guess I am still old school and I just don’t feel comfortable about trying something I have always been told is illegal in this country.

The Guardian Newspaper only wrote an article in July saying ‘Don’t fall out for the CBD scam’, so where do you really start with this drug? They say that ‘Sellers in the UK are careful not to claim any specific medical benefits for the products because of a lack of clinical evidence, so they are instead marketed as food supplements. In this, they are supported by breathless, uncritical media reports on CBD use for airily unspecified “wellbeing” purposes.

Britain is poorly prepared for the wide-ranging changes to cannabis law that are flowering worldwide. British hemp farmers face serious commercial disadvantage as CBD may be legally extracted only from the stem and leaves of hemp crops, not from the flower, where the cannabinoids are produced in the greatest profusion. Most CBD is therefore imported: a wasted opportunity to create and control – and tax – a new industry.

What is clear is that legal reform on cannabis, while welcome, is not moving anywhere near quickly enough to benefit millions of patients.

The CBD market urgently needs proper regulation and more broadly, both the THC and CBD sectors demand the creation of a new medical model that accommodates the complexity of a plant that has been used as a medicine by humans for thousands of years.

 Mike Power is a freelance journalist specialising in drugs, science and technology

I guess it’s like many other pain relief medications it’s a case of watch and wait and see what happens in the not too distant future.

 

THE RIGHT CARE FOR FIBROMYALGIA AND MYOFASCIAL PAIN BOOK REVIEW…

Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome: A self-help guide

Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome written by Dr Chris Jenner, one of the UK’s leading consultants on pain control, who works as a consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia at St. Mary’s Hospital, London.

The book gives you advice on managing your Fibromyalgia by becoming an expert patient.

The lack of knowledge which Dr Jenner says surrounds two of the most prevalent illnesses in the world today means that you can often go undiagnosed for years. But with the right care, there is much that can be done to help anyone with these conditions to improve their quality of life dramatically.

This book will help educate you about the conditions and explain how to deal with them, in a clear and down-to-earth way. It explains how these conditions might affect different aspects of your life, what your options are and how you can get on with your life.

Another book also was written by Dr Chris Jenner in 2014 – Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome: How to manage this painful condition and improve the quality of your life.

This book explains that with the right care, there is much that can be done to help anyone with fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome to improve their quality of life dramatically. This book is an easy-to-read and practical guide to dealing with these conditions. It takes a straightforward and down-to-earth look at what these conditions are about; how they might affect different aspects of sufferers’ lives; what their options are; and how they can get on with their lives.

This is an excellent read for any Fibromyalgia and/or Myofascial Pain sufferer like myself.

Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome: How to manage this painful condition and improve the quality of your life

 

THE SALI STUDY (SIGNIFICANT ANKLE LIGAMENT INJURY)& DAY FOUR AFTER INJURY…

It’s four days since I went over on my foot and sprained my ankle. Even with crutches the effort of getting up and downstairs on my back side was playing havoc with my low back but today I think I’ve turned the corner.

I’ve managed on one crutch for most of today and could walk down one step at a time on the stairs and got a fairly good nights sleep last night. I knew the crutches would bother my arm and neck but I forgot about the crawling I had done after I went over on my foot and what trouble the stairs could cause me.

I’ve been religiously doing exercises I found online for a sprained ankle as it soon goes stiff but it’s no where near as swollen as I have been using one of my five a day vegetables to freeze the ankle and reduce the swelling 🙂

Over the past 48 hours I’ve kept myself busy by making some new handmade cards. I’ve created some new styles to my usual ones using needlecraft and painting some of them. Do let me know what you think of them?

After I’d seen the nurse at A&E she asked me if I would mind joining a study which is researching the recovery from significant ankle ligament injury’s. The purpose of the study called SALI, is all about Osteoarthritis. I will be sent a questionnaires to fill in shortly after my injury, 3 months, 1 Year, 3 Years, 5 Years, 10 Years and 15 years. The study will help them understand why some people who have an ankle injury go on to develop osteoarthritis, and why others don’t.

Of course I said I was happy to take part as this study will mean I am part of and contributing to a large body of research being conducted within The Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis. They said I will be sent updates on the SALI study with a newsletter, and kept up to date with any developments regarding the study, ankle injury prevention and recovery from it, and other news of interest which I can then post on here for others to benefit from.

I really hope I don’t end up developing Osteoarthritis due to this ankle injury and I am now keeping my fingers crossed that my appointment with a spinal consultant on Tuesday will mean that I will soon be booked in for an injection.

CERVICAL DISC PROTRUSION AND ARTHRITIS…

After the brilliant guest post from Neil Velleman on ‘All you need to know about a slipped discI found myself being diagnosed with yet another disc problem in my cervical spine.

For the last six months, I have been having constant pain going down my arm from my neck as well as pins and needles down to my little finger.  Initially, we thought it may have been my ulnar nerve again. I say ‘again’ as I had surgery last year for a trapped ulnar nerve which was a total success but they said it can come back even after surgery.

After a 2 hour consultation with a physiotherapist, it was decided that it could be one of two things. Either the ulnar nerve or a disc in my cervical spine so the first port of call was a nerve conduction test.

The nerve conduction test showed no problem with the ulnar nerve so I was then sent to have an MRI scan. Those results have shown that I have another disc bulge which is compressing a nerve and giving me the pins and needles and pain and it also showed that I have arthritis in that area.

Neil Velleman explained that ‘the spinal discs act as shock absorbers and through a variety of causes, including injury, poor posture and general “wear and tear” (meaning gradual deterioration), the walls of the disc can become weaker. If the centre of the disc pushes out, this can cause the disc wall to bulge and that can be when pain strikes!’

Mine is definitely in the ‘wear and tear’ category as I have had two previous surgeries on the C3/4 area of my spine which has meant the disc below it has had to do all the work. I have now been told I will need to see a consultant about the sort of treatment they can give me for the pain which could be IDD Therapy, Injections, Manual Therapy or Surgery.

Back in 1996 when I had my second surgery on the C3/4 discs they gave me traction first but IDD Therapy seems to have taken over from that method but I shall just have to wait and see what they suggest.

The worst pain is doing the simplest of things like cleaning my teeth or drying my hair so I am just hoping an appointment comes through sooner rather than later.