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The Inconvenient Truths About Life with Arthritis and Chronic Illness – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

I’ll admit it. I, like many of you, have, at times, grown weary of hearing, “You need to exercise. You need to eat well. You need to think positive thoughts. Sleep is important. You can’t give up,” and so on. But, I recently had a lot of health crises that led me to have a … Continue reading

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Practice Good Posture to Reduce Arthritis Pain and Promote Joint Health – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

“Sit up straight!” “Put your shoulders back!” Your elders likely critiqued your posture when you were a youngster, but turned out, posture is important even for those of us who aren’t walking the runway or attending a fancy tea party. If you have any form of chronic pain or arthritis, using good posture is essential … Continue reading

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Self Esteem, Body Image, and Chronic Illness – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Many of us who live with chronic illness – especially rheumatic and autoimmune illnesses, or conditions that cause chronic pain – can get frustrated at our body at times for seemingly working against us. However, there are other body issues that can come along with being chronically ill. Many medications cause appearance-related side effects: skin … Continue reading

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Music Therapy for Chronic Pain – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

 With the Grammy awards upon us and Whitney Houston’s recent passing, it seems appropriate to discuss the physiological effects of music on our bodies. Can music positively affect our perception of pain? Sure, we all love to sing our favorite song in the shower, rock out in the car or as we work out, or … Continue reading

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Can Love Conquer All – Even Arthritis Pain? – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Just in time for the steadfastly approaching Valentine’s Day, a recent Arthritis Today article claimed that love maybe can conquer all….even arthritis pain! But, how true is it? According to the article, “a study of 15 people (8 women and 7 men) in the first stages of romance found that love activates the same reward … Continue reading

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What Came First: Arthritis or Inactivity? ~ by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Of course, being inactive cannot cause autoimmune forms of arthritis or rheumatic diseases. However, it can exacerbate symptoms and can also contribute to the onset of osteoarthritis, also known as OA, as many studies have shown. OA is the “wear-and-tear” form of arthritis, often caused by old sports injuries or just aging in general. Exercise … Continue reading

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The Difficulty of Explaining RA Pain: Can it Be Done? ~ by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Lately, I’ve been coming across some blog posts that try to describe a rheumatoid arthritis flare.  It is a great notion – but is it even possible to do? I’ve tried taking photos of bad flares, and, in that case, pictures are NOT worth a thousand words, because there’s just no way to “show” that … Continue reading

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Potential Good News for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Last weekend was the annual American College of Rheumatology Conference, and though I was not in attendance, I learned that some intriguing information was revealed. Much news, information, and research was shared, but there were a few key elements that could mean good things for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Though the information has been “out … Continue reading

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Arthritis and Chronic Illness: Stripping Away Labels and Stigma – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

When I was in graduate school, I took one psychology course that was oriented towards special education. One important thing that I took away from it was that we should always use, “people-first” language. At the time, I only thought of it in the realm of dealing with children with special needs, but, now, I … Continue reading

Advocacy / Arthritis / Arthritis Foundation / Awareness / Fibromyalgia / Juvenile Arthritis / Uncategorized / Wellness

Parenthood, Arthritis, and Chronic Pain – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

 Parenting is a difficult task for anyone, but particularly of those with chronic illness or a disability. How can you care for your children when there are days that you can barely care for yourself? I don’t have kids of my own but I posed the question to the arthritis community on Facebook and Twitter, … Continue reading