STUDY OF ARTHRITIS IN YOUR COMMUNITY Arthritis Study Update Spring 2007 This newsletter provides regular updates on Upcoming Research Projects in
the Study of Arthritis in Your Community and Osteoarthritis Pain
related topics. It is provided to past and present study participants as well as individuals who have expressed an interest in our research. During the last couple of years, we have asked lots of questions about osteoarthritis (OA) pain. Advancing Surveillance of
What does the pain feel like? Where does it hurt? How does it change over time? How does Arthritis in Primary Care
it affect your life? It seems that the more we learn about OA pain, the more questions we According to the 2001 Canadian Community have! Is it similar to other painful conditions? Health Survey, approximately 91% of How does it vary over the course of the day? We Canadians have seen a primary care physician are interested in exploring all of these questions in the prior year. It has been estimated that 1 in in an effort to better understand OA pain and 5 visits to primary care physicians is for ultimately improve treatment options. The more arthritis. Dr. Hawker and her colleagues believe information we have about OA pain, the greater that since primary care physicians follow their our ability will be to find ways to manage OA. patients for many years and play a key role in health promotion and disease prevention, the We have several new studies planned for 2007 primary care setting is the best environment for that will explore the arthritis pain experience characteristics of OA pain in more detail. We are just about to start a new project, Historically, OA pain has been presumed to be the result of tissue damage in the joint. More Canada, that will create an arthritis recently however, OA pain is being attributed surveillance registry using the Women’s not only to joint-tissue damage but to possible College Hospital Family Health Team, one of neurological (nerve-related) mechanisms. Pain the largest primary care provider teams in that results from nervous system problems is Canada. This registry will provide called neuropathic pain. Dr. Jackie Hochman, a comprehensive data on the nature and rheumatologist and MSc candidate at the impact of arthritis at a primary care level that University of Toronto, is studying the link would be too costly to collect on a national between OA pain and the nervous system. Her basis. The surveillance data will be used to research will take an important first step toward raise awareness of arthritis among identifying the relationship of pain symptoms to Canadians. It is hoped that this information nervous system signs in patients with knee OA. will inform policy development, on issues As effective medications exist for the treatment such as reimbursement for physical therapy, of neuropathic pain, the identification of this type of pain in patients with OA could lead to improved treatment and quality of life, and reduced disability among people with OA. Interviews for the Study of
Arthritis in Your Community
We are also just beginning a new clinical research study. This 16 week long study will assess the effectiveness of duloxetine for phase of The Study of Arthritis In Your Community is focusing on the pain and fibromyalgia, depression and pain associated with peripheral diabetic neuropathy. There is have contacted us to let us know that you evidence to suggest that it may be an effective haven’t heard from our study interviewer in way of helping to reduce OA knee pain. This effectiveness and safety of duloxetine for We know that one can experience pain and treating OA pain among men and women aged people tell us that they find it difficult to If you are interested in learning more about any of these projects, please contact the study fatigue from that of other conditions. As a office at (416) 323-6218 and we would be New Consumer’s Guide
In order to meet our study goals, it is very to Arthritis Medication
important that we clearly document the experience and consequences of living with OA. As a result, in the past two years, we have not been interviewing individuals guide reviews the continued interest in the study and look medications and therapies that are currently available for treating osteoarthritis and This 44-page guide is designed to answer interviewed in the past year, we would like common questions about arthritis to thank you again for contributing your medications. It is not intended to replace your time and for sharing your experiences with speak with your doctor for a proper diagnosis questionnaire, so you can expect to hear and to discuss the treatment that is best for If you have any questions about The Study of Arthritis in Your Community, or anything Canadian Rheumatology Association and can please feel free to contact us at: (416) 323- be accessed on the Arthritis Society’s website at www.arthritis.ca/publications.
Are you a Martha or a Henry?
medication regularly, take less than the amount prescribed, or sometimes don’t take it at all! People like Martha and Henry often belittle their pain saying it comes with age, or they state they have a high pain tolerance. They make fun of their pain. They personify it and fight it. They avoid social outings and exercise because of it. They fear they may become addicted to pain medication. They say they are not as badly off as they could be while they don’t think their friends should have to suffer any pain. They feel that their pain is not life- threatening so it becomes part of their life. They feel proud if they have not given in to it. They say there is nothing they can do about it even though they have not experienced the possible pain relief that might be forthcoming highlights arthritis research being done across by taking their pain medication (prescription or Canada. Copies of previous issues of “OA and You” can be accessed on our website Because of the pain, Martha and Henry can’t tie their shoelaces, can’t comb their hair, can’t Martha and Henry grew up in the 1930’s and walk more than a few steps and can’t get 1940’s, so they’re in their 70’s now. People like enough sleep. OA pain has affected their social Martha and Henry have been the subject of life and makes it difficult for them to exercise. many studies by the researchers of the Pain As a result, they are unable to take advantage and Fatigue in OA - New Emerging Team at of the physical, psychological and social Dr. Gillian Hawker’s Canadian Osteoarthritis benefits that are often realized if pain is pression years, those years when you didn’t culturally diverse groups is necessary, but to buy things you didn’t need, when you saved benefit the current Martha and Henry subjects, new clothes for “Sunday Best”, when you ate researchers conclude that it is necessary to all that was on your plate and wished for more, when you looked out for others who might be prescribed. The “take as needed” instruction suffering, and when you would spend an hour may be one of the reasons that Martha and to pick up a dropped penny through a crack in Henry don’t take pain prescriptions or over-the- the wooden sidewalk. In the depression years, counter pain medicine efficiently. Researchers Martha and Henry saved and saved, they were think that people with OA should be more self-reliant and they “made-do”! These habits closely observed for disabling pain by their served them well through the years, but now that Martha and Henry have OA, some of those habits may not always serve them so well. Henry is that failure to adhere to treatment recommendations for pain medication means that they are achieving less-than-satisfactory arthritis Research Program shows that Martha pain relief. This results in significant loss in and Henry may suffer needlessly from OA pain quality of life to themselves and their families, and costs to the Canadian health care system. Japanese or Mexican – often just as cheap and In order to provide an appropriate level of pain better for them than ‘fast food’. Cooking relief, people living with OA, like Martha and together could ignite a child’s life-long interest Henry, and the clinicians that treat them need in feeding him or herself well. Pick a recipe and to address the reasons why pain medications shop together, but make sure you’re not rushed are not taken in the ways recommended to together: let the child pick the seeds and it Spring Fun
with the Kids in Your Life!
Many kids these days lead lives just as hectic and as tightly scheduled as their parents’. But with the arrival of spring, and summer coming up quick, the children in your life will be looking something their parents don’t have much of – free time! Here are some tips on ways to have appropriate to the child’s level, one that appeals fun that may fit your lifestyle and your budget. to their imagination, or invent your own games. Excursions & Events: Information on free Reading & Learning: Approach it in a relaxed, activities in your community is available on the unstructured way and kids may delight in Internet, in the newspaper, at the local picking up some sign language, foreign community centre, library or bookstore. phrases, or learning about astronomy, plants, Museums and galleries often have one insects, you name it. Once you’ve found afternoon or night a week that is free, and with something of interest, get a few books from the a membership (often available at reduced rates for seniors or families), you frequently gain admission to affiliated institutions, attractions A Few Final Tips: Be prepared to improvise. A and events. Go on a discovery walk in a park, visit with a grandparent, favourite aunt, uncle, or family friend, shouldn’t be just another different animals or types of leaves can you scheduled appointment. Having time to relax is spot? Or, take them to the dog park. Children part of what makes time shared between you often enjoy seeing the wide variety of dog special. And remember, kids have limits to their breeds, watching them interact, and asking energy too. Plan your activities around their regular nap times (especially with younger children), as this will help keep the peace Cooking & Gardening: Eating on the go tends between you, the kids, and their parents too. to mean eating a limited range of easy, quick foods. Go out for Chinese, Greek, Indian, Thai, Study of Arthritis In Your Community
Dr. Gillian Hawker, Principal Investigator Canadian Osteoarthritis Research Program Division of Rheumatology, Women’s College Hospital, 76 Grenville Street, 8th Floor East Toronto, Ontario M5S 1B2 Toll Free: 1 (877) 437 - 1591 In Toronto: (416) 323 - 6218

Source: http://www.osteoarthritisresearch.ca/pdf/SAYC-2007spring.pdf


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