Saturday, July 6, 2013

Guest Blog - Drug Watch

Arthritis and Helpful Tips to Relieve Pain
If you’ve got arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, you know that joint pain is an unavoidable fact of everyday life. At times, it can seem overwhelming to deal with the aching and inflammation. But even though there’s really no easy way to beat arthritis pain, there are a few things you can do to at least give yourself a fighting chance.
Take Care of Yourself
·         Protect your joints. Don’t overuse them if you don’t have to—slide heavy objects instead of lifting them or push doors open with your shoulders, for example.
·         Exercise. Gentle exercises that don’t require force, such as swimming or walking, can help improve the function of your joints and keep them from deteriorating further.
·         Try heat. A warm bath, sauna or paraffin wax treatment can work warmth into your joints, especially fingers and toes. The heat can help ease the inflammation.
·         Use a walking aid. You might not think a cane or walker is the most stylish accessory, but if it keeps weight off of your knees and hips, then it’s definitely worth it. The less weight you put on your joints, the less pain they’ll give back to you.
·         Lose weight. Just like a walking stick can help take pressure off aching joints, losing weight can mean an even bigger relief for your overworked hips and knees.
Mental Tips and Tricks
Using your mind to fight pain is definitely not a magic bullet, but it can’t hurt. Here are a few ways you can combat arthritis with brainpower:
·         Meditation. A study in 2011 found that breathing exercises and meditation can reduce the intensity of pain by anywhere from 11 percent to 70 percent. It’s also a good technique to start off your day in a positive way.
·         Distract yourself. Think of something other than the pain to get your mind away from what’s hurting you. Fantasizing about food or getting deep into a book can make your joint pain fade into the background.
·         Listen to music. Like the distraction technique, music is a way to keep your mind off of your pain. One study found that an hour of listening to music in the course of a week subdued pain and depression related to rheumatoid arthritis. Other artistic pursuits, such as writing or painting, can also be a great way to lose yourself in something distracting—just be careful not to strain your joints in whatever activity suits you.

Be Cautious about Joint Replacement
Although medication and joint replacements may play an important part in the fight against arthritis, and especially rheumatoid arthritis, you want to be very careful about what treatment options you choose. Some drugs can be addicting or have dangerous side effects. And joint replacements have been linked to many problems, including failure and fractures in some patients.
The Biomet M2a Magnum line of hip replacements, for example, has had problems because of its metal-on-metal design. Metal flakes from the implant can cause blood poisoning, pain, swelling and tissue damage. Bad reactions to Biomet M2a Magnum implants have resulted in lawsuits from patients who were harmed by their new hips.

Jennifer Mesko is a writer and editor for, a consumer advocacy website. For more up to date news, follow Drugwatch on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Social stresses

Scientific study proves social stresses make Rheumatoid Arthritis worse.

Wow, this article totally confirms through science that just because people can't see our pain, their attitudes actually make us worse!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Arthritis Walk 2010

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month.  Strap on your walking shoes and join Team Vicbo at the Detroit Zoo for free when you participate in the Arthritis Walk.

21st century medicine

Interesting article about how technology will improve patient care.  I can't wait to start to see these things implemented.  Sounds so much more organized for patients with chronic conditions of all kinds.

High Price of Arthritis

This article explains the difficulty with getting a diagnoses of Rheumatoid Arthritis and the sky-rocketing costs associated with this disease (and related arthritic conditions).  Personally I have had to give up on taking Enbrel because of the costs associated with it.  I am now on sulfasalazine instead.  If you have similar circumstances, please read this article and get involved with the Arthritis Foundation in your state.  We have legislation being considered in the House of Representatives. It's called the Affordable Access to Prescription Medications Act of 2009.  It's new legislation that hopes to establish a $500 monthly out-of-pocket spending limit on prescription drugs regardless whether you have private insurance or Medicare Part D.  The bill is H.R. 3799  Please call your representative and let them know the high price of Arthritis is causing medical bankruptcy, especially for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.  

Arthritis Today - high medical cost of Arthritis

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Arthritis Walk 2010

I'm one of the thousands of people who are joining together in communities across America to get moving to help prevent arthritis. We are a diverse group of people who share at least one thing in common - we all know how serious and debilitating arthritis is.

You may have arthritis or probably know someone who does, but what you may NOT know is that there are over 100 forms of arthritis and related diseases. Or that 1 in 5 adults and over 300,000 children suffer with arthritis pain every day.

I'm lacing up my walking shoes and moving this year in the Arthritis Walk. The event is only one day, but the impact of the money will continue to help millions of people for years. More than ever, I'm determined to reach my fundraising goal. Please lend me your support. Just click on the link below to visit my personal web page and make a donation.   Team Vicbo donation page

I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at 18 months old.  This disease has done permanent damage to my joints that cannot be fixed.  I have already had a bilateral hip replacement, 4 reconstructive surgeries on my feet and last year I had double knee synovectomies and a torn miniscus.  I have also developed Degenerative Osteoarthritis in my neck and spine and Fibromyalgia which causes severe pain in my muscles.  I also have Osteoporosis and Colitis.  So far, I have 5 of the 106 different forms of Arthritis.  These diseases cause extreme pain, fatigue and mental stress which is sometimes unbearable.  I am 36 years old now.  I fought through school to get honor roll grades and became a certified public accountant.  About 5 years ago, I had to stop working due to all my medical problems.    My spirit keeps me fighting for a cure even when my body tells me to quit.  I will have to keep fighting to conquer these diseases for the rest of my life and that's OK. I am not my body, I am my spirit.  Please join me in my fight by joining "Team Vicbo" and walk for a cure at the Detroit Zoo on May 1, 2010.  All walk participants who arrive before 8:30 am get free admission to the zoo.  This is a family friendly event but the zoo does not allow dogs for obvious reasons so we have to leave them home this year.  Please join my fight.