Arthritis Awareness Month Wrap-Up
Welcome to a brand-new month! May was Arthritis Awareness Month and as always, that meant things got very busy and exciting around here. The RAHealthCentral team produced numerous informative and interesting posts about various topics related to awareness and we were also joined by writers from other HealthCentral sites.
Our big project this year was the RA and Exercise video and infographic. We all know that exercise is important for RA, but when you are in a lot of pain and feel sick, it can be difficult to figure out how to move. To help illustrate different levels of exercise for different levels of RA, members of the RAHealthCentral team took video of how they stay active. We hope that showing how real people with RA exercise would be helpful to others. We're very proud of the result and are happy to say that the video was very well received by our readers and the wider RA community!
Two members of the team followed up the video writing posts with more detail on how to stay active. Leslie lives with mild-moderate RA and Lupus and wrote about her exercise routine and I wrote about staying active when you have severe RA.
Physical activity is a key factor in managing not just RA, but also different kinds of arthritis. To kick off our Arthritis Awareness Month activities, I interviewed Dr. Patience White, VP of Public Health of The Arthritis Foundation. She talked about the Foundation's efforts to debunk the myths of arthritis, which includes raising awareness about how physical activity can prevent the development of osteoarthritis, as well as play a significant role in preventing disability in RA.
Did you know that losing 1 pound takes 4 pounds of strain off your knees? Maintaining a healthy weight can help you experience less pain and enable you to move more. In May, writers from all over HealthCentral explored the topic of diet and its impact on health. If you're looking for help in changing your lifestyle, all these posts are collected on a special page. Two writers explored the relationship between significant weight loss and the easing of osteoarthritis knee pain. The HealthGal wrote about helping an overweight woman change her lifestyle, lose weight and experience less pain. My Bariatric Life wrote about the impact of bariatric surgery on osteoarthritis knee pain.
Raising awareness about RA is an essential factor in us living better with the disease, continuing to work and not having to struggle against misconceptions and stereotypes. The community is united in hoping that someday soon, a celebrity will be willing to the spokesperson for RA. We don't just need someone famous, though. We also try to profile less-famous interesting and inspiring people who live with inflammatory arthritis and work to advocate for the cause. This year, I interviewed Joy Ross, who’s lived with juvenile arthritis since early childhood and lost her sight because of it. Joy has two daughters, both of whom also have juvenile arthritis. She's a hopeful, positive woman and I recommend you read her story. V wrote a profile of Michelle Jackson, who is a nurse with RA and several other types of inflammatory arthritis, as well as diabetes. She’s also a wonderful person and tells us about her attitude towards life and how she stays positive.
Another crucial part of our work here on RAHealthCentral is to raise awareness about other types of inflammatory arthritis, as well as other medical conditions and complications that may occur with RA. This May, Leslie wrote about what it's like to live with the combination of Lupus and RA. Lisa posted about the connection between anxiety and depression and living with RA. She also contributed a two-part series about Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML), a very rare, but very serious possible side effect of some of the Biologics. In Part One, she tells is about what PML is any in Part Two, she explains more about the relationship between PML and rheumatic diseases.
We have collected all the posts written for this May on our special 2013 Arthritis Awareness page. We also included a number of posts from past awareness months. There's lots of useful and interesting material to dive into!
What did you do for Arthritis Awareness Month?
Lene is the author of Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain