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December 2012

Arthritis awards recognise special New Zealanders

and is a great example of what people
can do if they have the right attitude.
The Distinguished Service Award
acknowledges volunteers who have
made an outstanding contribution
to the work of Arthritis New Zealand
and was awarded to Professor Colin
Green, who has been a valuable
member of the Arthritis New Zealand
Research Grants Committee for over
six years, providing expert advice on
research grant proposals.
There were two recipients of the
Business Development Award, which
recognises significant financial
contributions that have had a major
(From left) Nicholas Leach (Abbott); Professor Colin Green; Clare Richards; Alan Henwood; Lt Gen The
impact on raising awareness of
Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae; Sandra Kirby; Martin Cheer (Pub Charity); Els Dutton; and Matt Lockwood. arthritis.
Photo by Woolf Photography
Abbott Laboratories NZ Ltd (Abbott)
The incredible efforts of four now 24 and is a professional racing has supported Arthritis New Zealand
individuals and two businesses were driver. He recently won the inaugural in a variety of different ways over a
acknowledged by the Governor- V8 Challenge Cup at Pukekohe. And number of years. Abbott supported
General of New Zealand Lt Gen for the past two years he has been the ankylosing spondylitis awareness
The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae at an extraordinary ambassador for campaign, which generated hundreds
Government House on Saturday 3 Arthritis New Zealand. of calls to Arthritis New Zealand as
November, as he hosted the Arthritis well as thousands of visits to our website.
The Premier Award recognises
New Zealand biennial awards. This resulted in increased referrals
those who have been diagnosed
to rheumatologists for previously
Arthritis is the leading cause of as having arthritis and have been
undiagnosed ankylosing spondylitis.
disability in New Zealand and the able to achieve goals and act as a
awardees have contributed in a role model for others. This year it Pub Charity Inc supported the
major way to raise awareness of this was awarded to Clare Richards of Arthritis New Zealand osteoarthritis
chronic condition. Christchurch. Since the diagnosis awareness campaign, as they
of her own arthritis back in 1980, believed this would make a real
The Young Achievers Award, which
she has demonstrated considerable difference to the lives of many
identifies the achievements and
courage and determination to New Zealanders. The financial
potential of a young person affected
manage her home, family and run a contribution from Pub Charity and
by arthritis, was awarded to Matt
variety of support groups. Despite their interest and commitment to the
Lockwood, who was first diagnosed
numerous joint replacements she has work of Arthritis New Zealand over
with arthritis at the age of 8. He is
maintained a positive outlook on life many years is recognised in this award.
From the President
Arthritis New Zealand started helped us raise public awareness
with a group of committed people and challenge the myth that arthritis
volunteering their time and energy. is just part of ageing. Professor
Many things have changed over the Colin Greens award recognised the
intervening years but our reliance years of support he has given us
on the commitment of volunteers through his role on our Research
has remained. At every level in our Grants Committee. For many years
organisation from the Governing Colin has carefully and thoughtfully
Body to those people who offer us an reviewed research grant applications
hour or two at the time of our Appeal, and considered the best use of
volunteers make a difference. To all the research funds so that Arthritis
In this issue: of you who have helped this year, my New Zealand can make the biggest
1 Arthritis Awards thanks and good wishes. Your efforts impact in research nationally and
2 From the President are noticed we couldnt do this work internationally. He has done that
3 From the Chief Executive without you. without fuss and without publicity
4 Arthritis doesnt hold him and his award recognises the debt
In that vein, it was a pleasure to be
back; Levin Arthritis Support of gratitude that we owe to Colin
Group celebrates 25 years invited to attend the Levin Support
and the many others like him. To
5 Horses for courses
Groups anniversary celebrations in
Matt, Colin and the other award
September, and to see the numbers
6 Arthritis New Zealand Annual recipients once again I extend my
Appeal there. It is clear that there is a need
congratulations and thanks.
8 Annual Appeal launched at and a role to play for such groups in
Parliament; Finitre Forte Plus providing community support. Then, At the AGM in November we also
9 Arthritis causes huge smile; a few days later, I was at Parliament acknowledged Kathie Smiths
MabThera funding for the launch of our Awareness Week: years of service to Arthritis New
10 Milk, cherries, vitamin C & a different group but the same passion Zealand. Kathie has stepped down
gout - Fact or fiction?
for Arthritis New Zealand and equally from the Governing Body after 31
11 Key facts about gout (MGAG) vital. years continuous service to the
12 Honorary life memberships organisation. Kathie has been an
awarded It is always an honour to be part of the
inspiring volunteer and a role model.
13 Fit For Work report released
national volunteer awards ceremony.
Her contribution in the then Auckland
This year the Awards have been
14 Living with two forms of division; at the National Board and
arthritis; Exploring the particularly special as they were held
as Governing Body Member and
benefits of hydrotherapy at Government House in Wellington
President has been immense and
15 Rheumatoid arthritis and with our Patron Lt Gen The Rt Hon
smoking she will be at missed at the board
Sir Jerry Mateparae, the Governor-
General of New Zealand. Our award
recipients will remember this day for With Christmas upon us, I would like
many years. The photos show what a to wish you and your family a happy
great event we had. and safe festive season.
Editor: Darryl Ward
Email: The awards recognise the hard work
Phone: 0800 663 463 of our volunteers people like Matt
Official magazine of Arthritis New Zealand Lockwood, our Young Achiever, who
ISSN 2324-1357 (Print) shared his experience of living with Alan Henwood
ISSN 2324-1365 (Online) arthritis to all of New Zealand and President

Products advertised and information provided in

editorial in Joint Support do not imply endorsement
by Arthritis New Zealand.

From the Chief Executive
Kia ora tatou last few months. Almost all our sister
organisations are challenged by the
One of the fundamental principles that
same issues we face membership
our Arthritis Educators teach is that
numbers are declining, younger people
of self management. There is good
are not joining organisations even
evidence that for chronic conditions
where they are active supporters;
like arthritis that improvement in a
providing services in a tight
persons quality of life comes from
economy; raising public awareness
changes in the day to day activities.
and challenging government policy
The people who attend the Living
effectively are shared across
a Healthy Life courses around the
country testify to this on a daily basis.
continents. Ironically some of the Contact us
challenges are those created by the
At an organisational level we huge advances in treatment options for Regional Offices
have done the equivalent of a self people with arthritis people can now Northern (Auckland) 09 523 8900
management programme. We have continue to work and have less need of
reviewed and made changes. We are Midland/Central (Wellington) 04 472 1427
the social supports that many groups
doing things differently. The past year set up to meet. There is however an Southern (Christchurch) 03 366 8383
has shown us that the new ways of increased need for advocacy such as
delivering services are working. The the Fit for Work programmes, and the
number of people receiving services ongoing pressures on health budgets. National Office
has not changed and this is great Level 2, 166 Featherston Street
I have been humbled by the interest
news. The savings we have made
shown in the way Arthritis New PO Box 10 020, The Terrace
from reducing our overhead costs
Zealand has responded to these
have made an impact. We have freed Wellington 6143
challenges. Our actions have been
up some resources so that we can
noted internationally. I am particularly Phone 04 472 1427
implement other effective strategies
grateful to Abbott Laboratories and
the awareness campaigns; Fax 04 472 7066
the Bone and Joint Decade who have
the conference and the renewed
funded my travel.
advocacy programme have all been
highlights this year. As we come to the end of another year Toll free 0800 663 463

I once again thank all of you who work

Making changes, however necessary,
with and for us paid and voluntary;
is hard. I know this at a personal To donate $20 phone 0900 333 20
new and long standing your practical
level and I am sure you do too. And
help and moral support sustains
we can all share the challenges of
Arthritis New Zealand.
making changes for Arthritis New
Zealand. As we look towards 2013 we will
Arthritis New Zealand is grateful to be
again be watching the wind and
Country music singer Jimmy Dean supported by:
adjusting our sails to maintain the
once said I cant change the direction
of the wind, but I can adjust my sails
to always reach my destination. Nga mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau
That, to me, is the essence of change. Hou.
We cant fight against the elements
but we can work with them.
I have been privileged to be able to
spend time with arthritis organisations Sandra Kirby
from a range of countries over the Chief Executive

Arthritis doesnt hold him back
Tyler Stevens of Lower Hutt is a swim The perception that arthritis is an
coach, but the active nineteen year older persons condition is one that
olds life was forever changed when needs to be broken down. In fact,
he was diagnosed with arthritis. arthritis can occur to any one at any
age, and there are more than 1,000
When he was 17, he developed
children in New Zealand living with
pain and discomfort that impacted
the condition.
greatly on his life. Tyler says he was
stopped from doing everything. So far Tylers arthritis has been
Some nights, his pain was so bad he controlled by drugs, including steroid
couldnt get out of bed, and his ability injections and he has not yet required
to swim was greatly affected. any surgery. His treatment enables
him to continue to lead an active life:
Tylers GP recognised that he had
as well as being a swim coach, Tyler
arthritis, and referred him to a
works in a caf and is a student.
rheumatologist, who diagnosed him
as having ankylosing spondylitis. In the Wellington Region, there are
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a about 75,000 people living with one
form of arthritis that mainly affects of the more than 140 different forms
Photo courtesy of The Hutt News
the spine and causes ongoing of arthritis.
inflammation of soft tissues around
the vertebrae.

Levin Arthritis Support Group celebrates 25 years

Everyone was entertained by the Levin
Intermediate School ukulele group The
Mandarins, which also had some very
talented singers. This was followed by
cutting of a cake, which was a three way
affair with Janet Tillson, the groups first
President; original member Mary Robb;
and Arthritis New Zealand President
Alan Henwood all holding the knife.
In its 25 year history the support group
has only had six Presidents, and the two
past presidents are still involved with the
support group.
Its current president Yvonne Mabey has
held the position for the last 10 years
and says the groups real strength is
Mary Robb, Alan Henwood (obscured) & Janet Tillson cutting the birthday cake. its members. Without members there
simply wouldnt be a group, and there
On 10 September 2012, the Levin District Council Mayor Brendan Duffy is definitely a real need for groups
Arthritis Support Group celebrated and other invited guests. like ours. It gives us a chance to get
its 25th anniversary with more than together for a few hours, have some
Janet Tillson, who first formed the group
40 support group members. They fun and not think too much about our
back in 1987, gave a brief history on the
were joined by Arthritis New Zealand arthritis.
support group.
President Alan Henwood, Horowhenua

Horses for courses

Abby Letteri on her horse Fly Me to the Mooon at the Waikanae Spring Show in September

Abby Letteri and her daughter have Abby has made a pledge, in honour her 25 year old horse - who has
six horses, which they compete at of Team Letteri, to donate money osteoarthritis in his knees - at a
local and regional shows. Abby also to Arthritis New Zealand for every recent show!
has Rheumatoid Arthritis, and had ribbon, rosette or sash earned by
Arthritis New Zealand is delighted at
her first debilitating flare-up last year. members of Team Letteri this season
the creative new ideas for fundraising
(August 2012 - May 2013). She will
At the time, while she was sorting that are thought up by its members
donate $5 for every ribbon or rosette
herself out and making a plan to and supporters. We are grateful
and $10 for every sash. Because
manage her condition and the to Abby and Team Letteri for their
horses are so unpredictable, she also
associated pain, several friends support and we wish them all the
offered to donate $1 for every time a
joined together to help her care for best for the rest of the season.
horse bucked during a competition.
her horses. They formed Team Letteri
Its a way of encouraging her friends If you have an interesting idea for
and took turns riding, exercising and
as well as acknowledging how much fundraising, please dont hesitate to
grooming Abbys horses. They even
they have encouraged her. tell us, no matter how unusual it may
took her horses out to a few shows
for her. For Christmas, they surprised In the first month, Team Letteri,
her with hats and t-shirts with a earned $54 including $5 for
beautiful Team Letteri logo. a ribbon Abby received riding

Arthritis New Zealand Annual Appeal

Kate Conner with John and Dame Elizabeth Harper from Mayfield Lions collecting in
Geraldine (photo by John Hobbs/Fairfax NZ)

Simon from Abbot Laboratories (NZ) Ltd collecting in Wellington

Arthritis New Zealand is grateful

to the many volunteers, members,
businesses and donors who
contributed to the success of our
recent annual appeal. Members
and supporters came out in force
and helped turn the country orange
for a week to raise awareness
Students from Lincoln University and St Margarets College in Christchurch collecting outside the
of arthritis and to raise funds to
Re:START Mall support the more than 530,000

Hamilton s Victoria Bridge turned orange for the week. A street day was held in Rotorua.

Staff from Pfizer

Sport Wairarapa collecting in Masterton

New Zealanders who are living

with arthritis. Here is a small
selection of images from our
annual appeal.
While our street collection has
finished, you can still support
our work with a $20 donation by Collectors in Hamilton
phoning 0900 333 20. Or you can
donate through our website: .

Westport South School held a cupcake sale and mufti day to raise funds for us. Shirley Primary School in Christchurch held a mufti day to raise funds for us.

Annual Appeal launched at Parliament

Arthritis New Zealands Annual Appeal launched at Parliament

Arthritis New Zealands Annual Appeal was launched at Parliament at a function hosted by Michael Woodhouse, MP, and
the Parliamentary Friends of Arthritis. Members of Parliament, representatives of Arthritis New Zealand, and a group of
people with arthritis attended. Joanne Wakelin and Paul Baker, both of whom have arthritis, captivated and inspired all
who attended, with their personal stories of living with arthritis. Two young women who are living with arthritis also shared
their stories quietly with MPs at the table.

Finitro Forte Plus

Arthritis New Zealand urges caution to people considering buying the health supplement Finitro Forte Plus, which claims
it is ...the most effective cure worldwide for arthritis. The products advertising makes some strong claims about its
effectiveness, which it claims are backed up by independent research.
Both the Commerce Commission and the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority have advised they consider this
advertising is potentially misleading, and Arthritis New Zealand agrees with this. Arthritis New Zealand is not aware of any
health supplement or other product that can cure arthritis.
People who are living with arthritis are warned to be wary of Finitro Forte Plus, or any other product that claims to cure
arthritis, because any such claims will almost certainly be misleading.

Arthritis causes huge smile Arthritis
New Zealand
would love to hear
YOUR story!

Brigitte Barker was the lucky winner The lottery is an important fundraiser
of the Arthritis New Zealand Lottery, for Arthritis New Zealand, which
and was handed the keys to her Red heavily relies on donations and
Toyota RAV4 Limited by Arthritis grants to raise awareness of arthritis,
New Zealand Chief Executive Sandra advocate for the 530,000 people
Kirby. in New Zealand living with arthritis, Please email
and provide education and support.
Ms Barker, who lives near Geraldine,
couldnt believe her luck when
Ms Barker had previously bought
a lottery ticket from Arthritis New
Sandra called to give her the news.
Zealand, but this is the first time she
I purchased tickets thinking I was
has won a major prize in any lottery.
giving a well deserved donation
to Arthritis New Zealand. I never I was delighted to be able to present
expected to win. It really hasnt sunk this prize to Brigitte, just a week
in yet. before our next major fundraising
event, our annual appeal, said

MabThera funding
Arthritis New Zealand is delighted investing in more biologic options.
with the announcement from This is very good news for people
PHARMAC that District Health who have not responded to other
Boards will be funded to provide treatments.
rituximab (MabThera) from 1 July Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of
2013. This will overcome the post the most severe of the chronic
code funding that those with progressive diseases, characterised
Rheumatoid Arthritis have faced. by inflammation and joint damage
Sandra Kirby, Chief Executive affecting all aspects of patients lives,
of Arthritis New Zealand, has from education and employment
highlighted the importance of through to family and social life.

Milk, cherries, vitamin C and gout
Fact or fiction?
Gout is a common and painful form obtained through the diet has been
of arthritis caused by a build up of suggested to lower blood uric acid
uric acid in the body. Because many levels and reduce the risk of gout.
foods are broken down by the body We have recently undertaken a study
to uric acid, gout has long been in patients with gout comparing
associated with dietary excess, in vitamin C 500mg daily and
particular rich food and alcohol. A allopurinol, the standard treatment for
resurgence in interest in gout over gout. The reduction in blood uric acid
the last 5-10 years has led to new levels in those who received vitamin
insights into foods the can contribute C was much less than in those who
to as well as help protect against received allopurinol. The blood uric
gout. Low Fat Dairy and gout: The Health acid reduction in those who received
Professionals Follow-up Study of vitamin C was insufficient to have
Foods that can trigger gout: The
more than 47,000 men in the USA any beneficial effect on the long term
more widely recognised dietary
reported a 21% reduction in the management of gout. This suggests
triggers for gout remain important.
risk of gout for every additional that while cherries may have
These include alcohol, red meat and
daily serving of total dairy products beneficial effects in patients with gout
seafood. Over recent years the role
over a 12-year period. This effect this is unlikely to be due to vitamin C.
of fructose has been highlighted.
Fructose is a sugar found in fruits was greatest with low fat and skim Further research into the diet and
and many sugar sweetened fruit milk. Furthermore studies have vitamin C is continuing in New
drinks which has recently been shown that the higher the low fat Zealand and overseas and new
associated with the risk of higher uric dairy intake the lower the blood uric insights into triggering foods and
acid levels and gout. For patients acid levels. Research undertaken protective foods will emerge. Patients
with gout, intake of these foods that at the University of Auckland by with gout should avoid foods they
can trigger gout should be minimised. Associate Professor Nicola Dalbeth know trigger their gout and consider
has confirmed that consumption of increasing foods known to be
Foods that can protect against gout:
certain low fat dairy products of a protective.
Of more interest recently has been
three month period can reduce the
recognition of certain foods or food Lisa Stamp
number of gout attacks.
groups that can protect against gout.
University of Otago Arthritis
The two of most interest are low fat Cherries, vitamin C and gout:
Research Theme
dairy products and vitamin C. The beneficial effects of cherries
in patients with gout has been
recognised since the 1950s when Dr. research/arthritis/
Ludwig Blau reported that cherries
could help control attacks of gout
and lowering uric acid levels. A study
published this month confirmed the
finding that in patients with gout
eating cherries was associated
with a reduced risk of gout attacks.
Cherries contain vitamin C - 1 cup
of cherries has ~10mg of vitamin
C. This vitamin which can only be

Key facts about gout (MGAG) STOP PRESS!
Things for everyone to know, especially if you have a family history of gout
Gout is a form of arthritis (painful joints). Whanganui Garden Amble
Wellington Anniversary Day
Gout is caused first by a high uric acid level in the blood, which forms
Monday 21 January 2013
crystals in the joints.
Tickets are $10 and will be available
Its not just your kai (food) that gives you gout; having a high level of from December from local garden
uric acid is also in your genes. shops and some shops in Victoria
Avenue. For further information
Gout is very treatable. The safest treatment is allopurinol tablets taken
please phone David Orr on 06 345 0428
every day - it will lower the uric acid to the target level (0.36) and help
prevent further gout attacks.
Charity Golf Event
Pain medicine will treat an attack of gout, but allopurinol will stop it Thursday 21 February 2013
coming back. Paraparaumu Beach Golf Course
Getting gout also means you have a higher chance of getting heart Watch our website for updates. For
disease, diabetes and kidney disease, so a regular check-up is further information, please contact
important for people who get gout. Lani Taulapapa on (04) 472 5642 or
0800 663 463.
To prevent gout and gout attacks
o be active Gerbera Club
Arthritis New Zealand was delighted
o avoid food and drink which make gout more likely (sugary fizzy
to be able to host guests at thank you
drinks, fruit juice, beer, too much meat or seafood)
functions in the Sharp Corporations
o try to lose weight. premises in Auckland and Wellington.
Things to know if you get gout There was lots of envy from our
guests about the size of the flat
The target level of uric acid in the blood is below 0.36, under this level screens and other Sharp products on
you wont get gout. If you have gout, find out what your uric acid level is. display.
If you have had two or more attacks of gout in 12 months, ask your
doctor for allopurinol.
If you take allopurinol for gout, make sure you have regular blood tests
to be sure your uric acid is below 0.36, so you dont get gout flares.
Allopurinol only works when you are taking it every day. Make sure you
get a new prescription before your pills run out - if you stop allopurinol,
the uric acid will go back to the high level within 2 days.
Keep taking allopurinol even if you have a gout attack, and see your
doctor you might have to increase your dose to get your uric acid
level down.
Once your uric acid level is below 0.36, you will be able to eat and
drink small amounts of the things you enjoy even if they used to trigger Arthritis New Zealand now
your gout. publishes monthly e-letters
If you or anyone in your whnau (family) suffer from gout arthritis and to keep you up to date with
arent getting treatment to keep your uric acid level down, you may be whats happening in your
suffering unnecessary pain, time off work, limited activities, and limited
region. If we dont already
have your email address,
If you require any further information about gout, please phone
please tell us, so we can
0800 663 463 and speak with one of our Arthritis Educators.
add you to the list.

Honorary life memberships awarded
Els Dutton and Phil Donnelly were
elected Honorary Life Members
of Arthritis New Zealand at its
AGM in November. Honorary Life
Memberships identify individuals who
have rendered outstanding service to
Arthritis New Zealand.
Els had her life membership certificate
presented at the Arthritis Awards
ceremony at Government House.
Els first became involved with the then
Northland Division of Arthritis New
Zealand in 1981, when she took on the
position of volunteer adviser, and she
has widely contributed to all aspects of
our services in Northland. After being
an active and enthusiastic volunteer
and providing local leadership (Left to right) Arthritis New Zealand President Alan Henwood, Els Dutton, Governor-General Lt
through organisational changes, life Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae. Photo by Woolf Photography
membership is a fitting tribute to her
dedication and commitment.

Phil was unable to be at the AGM or

Awards Ceremony, so his award will
be presented at a later date.
Phil was a key member of the
original support group for parents
and children with arthritis, The
Joint Connection, which started
in 1996. He has worked tirelessly
and passionately over many years
to support Kids with Arthritis New
Zealand (KWANZ) and Arthritis New
Zealand, and drawing on his own
experience as a parent of a child with
arthritis, has often provided emotional
support to children with arthritis
and their parents. Phil became the
National Secretary/Treasurer of Kids
with Arthritis New Zealand, when it
formed in 2011.
His life membership is a worthy
Phil Donnelly with Arthritis New Zealand Chief Executive Sandra Kirby recognition of the time and energy
he has spent promoting awareness
and advocacy of arthritis within our


Fit for Work report released
The Fit for Work report, which was In 2010, 15.2%, of New
released in September, has found Zealanders aged 15 and over Look No Hooks
Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs), were living with at least one
such as arthritis, affect one in six type of arthritis
New Zealanders and are reducing the It is forecast that 16.9%,
productivity of thousands of workers or more than 650,000, New
at huge cost to the health and welfare Zealanders aged 15 and over
system. MSDs comprise 25% of total will be living with at least one
annual health care costs and are the type of arthritis by 2020
second largest cause of Sickness
and Invalid benefit payments due to Currently, the odds of
both direct and indirect effects of ill participating in the
health. labour force are 31.5% lower The original comfort bra
for those with a chronic without fiddly hooks
The report also revealed that the condition, such as most
individual and economic burden of MSDs The Fastener Free Bra
work-related ill health in New Zealand
Workplace participation stretches so it is easy to get on
is set to expand unless coordinated
and productivity is crucial and off, step through or
and prompt action is taken.
to New Zealands economy, overhead. No hooks and no
The Fit for Work report was particularly as the country wires. It is an easy fitting
developed by The Work Foundation, rebuilds after the Canterbury comfort bra.
a renowned global institute earthquakes.
specialising in policy issues around
work, calls for a collaborative Arthritis New Zealand Chief
Executive Sandra Kirby said the
Call 0800 170 015
approach from Government, For your free brochure
clinicians and employers to support report was well timed, due to recent
discussions about keeping people
people with MSDs and help them
return to work as soon as possible. in work and encouraging those on
benefits to return to the workforce.
Fastener Free Bra
Findings include:
It is a holistic look into a significant
MSDs and the associated national health issue with a wider The high percentage of people
expenses are estimated to reaching impact on society. Fit for affected demonstrates the size of
cost New Zealand more than Work illustrates a need to focus on the challenge. Changes will need to
$5.57 billion each year early detection of MSDs such as be made on all levels to overcome
In 2010, 14.5% of sickness arthritis and effective intervention to an obstacle of this size. We all
benefit claims and 11.7% significantly improve outcomes both have a role to play Government,
of invalid benefit claims were for the individual people involved and healthcare providers and employers
for MSDs, making it the also for the society as a whole. The - in supporting workers and ensuring
second largest category of best outcomes will have people with they are effectively equipped to
conditions resulting in such arthritis and other MSDs being able manage their condition, perform their
claims. This means 17,940 to stay in work or have the earliest work duties and live well.
people were receiving possible return to work.
For people with arthritis there are
sickness or invalid She added that chances are also adjustments we know people
benefits as a result of workplaces with more than six want to work making it happen is
musculoskeletal conditions, employees are likely to have at the shared challenge.
the bulk of which will be least one person with a diagnosis of
arthritis arthritis.

Living with two forms of arthritis
Karen Browne (61) of Dunedin is kept Her arthritis affects both knees,
busy by her work as an administrator hips, her lower back, the base of her
at the Faculty of Medicine at Otago thumbs and, at times, her shoulders.
University. Her work is about 60%
Karen has not yet had any surgery
physical and 40% sedentary, and she
for her arthritis, but she finds wearing
manages this while living with two
supportive splints for her wrists and
forms of arthritis.
thumbs especially helpful, but she
Fifteen years ago, an orthopaedic usually only wears these at nights,
surgeon diagnosed Karen as having because they limit her movement.
osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is often
Arthritis has had a considerable
referred to as wear and tear of the
impact on Karens life. She used to
joints, and is the most common form
enjoy windsurfing and skiing, but she
of arthritis. It affects almost half of
can no longer participate in these
all people over the age of 60, and
activities. She used to be a voluntary
virtually all over the age of 80 will
ambulance officer with the Wellington
have osteoarthritis. Then, four years
Free Ambulance, but she had to give
ago, Karen was told she probably
this up because of knee pain and
had Calcium Pyrophosphate
instability. Housework and gardening Karen was referred to Arthritis New
Dihydrate Crystal Deposition Disease
are now very difficult, and Karen Zealand by her GP and she found it
(CPPD), which is sometimes known
cant garden for more than an hour or very helpful to speak with an Arthritis
as pseudo-gout. This diagnosis was
two now. She also now finds herself Educator and she attends our
confirmed by a joint aspiration earlier
asking people to slow down so she seminars from time to time.
this year.
can keep up.

Exploring the benefits of hydrotherapy

Exercise has long been the benefits of hydrotherapy. Fifteen Social
recommended for people with participants were recruited (twelve
Participants, particularly in the AUT
arthritis, and different forms of females, three males) from Auckland
focus group, frequently described
exercise have been found to have in January 2011.
socialising and interacting with others
various benefits for arthritic hip and
The participants commented on the in their hydrotherapy group as a
knee patients, including decrease in
benefits of having an opportunity to benefit.
pain and stiffness, and improvement
exercise in a hydrotherapy pool with
of function. Psychological
the instructor. For some participants
Clinical experience suggests the instructor made the experience Participants described psychological
hydrotherapy has a number of enjoyable and created a supportive benefits from going to hydrotherapy.
benefits when compared to land- atmosphere, while others found that Maintenance
based exercises. The warm the knowledge the instructor was able
temperature of hydrotherapy pools to provide was important. Maintaining a certain level of function
may decrease pain and stiffness and was seen as an important benefit by
The findings of this project identified participants. Many stated they did not
promote relaxation, and buoyancy
the following benefits: know how their osteoarthritis would
reduces the amount of load going
through a joint. But few studies have Strength be affecting them if they werent
been able to demonstrate water- coming to hydrotherapy. Participants
Gaining strength through
based exercises are superior to other also stated that when the pool was
hydrotherapy was described by
forms of exercise. closed over a summer period or for
re-furbishing they really noticed a
Jordyn Dangen, supervised by negative difference. As osteoarthritis
Dr Peter Larmer & Associate is a progressive, degenerative
Professor Paula Kersten, School of Participants described feeling less
disease maintenance is potentially a
Physiotherapy, AUT conducted a stiff afterwards, or feeling more
very important factor.
research project under an Arthritis limber, mobile and flexible.
New Zealand summer scholarship on

Rheumatoid arthritis and smoking
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a In addition, smoking is a recognised support for the experimental group
common, chronic disease affecting risk factor for cardio vascular of patients with RA who smoke to
1-2% of the population. RA has disease, which was shown to be help them to adhere to the smoke
significant social, medical and significantly increased in patients cessation programme.
economic costs to both the individual with RA. Smoking results in higher
Arthritis New Zealand and the Health
and the health care system. It is mortality in patients with RA.
Research Council co-funded this
characterised by inflammation of the Since smoking predisposes to research.
joint synovial membrane, cartilage developing RA a higher proportion of
degradation and bone erosion. patients with RA are smokers. Recent
Smoking remains a major health studies have reported that 20-28% of
problem in New Zealand. It is well RA patients are current smokers.
known that smoking increases the Arthritis New Zealand is participating
risk of developing chronic conditions. in a very interesting project working
There is increasing evidence that with a PhD student Pip Aimer
smoking has a direct impact on RA in supervised by Associate Professor
a variety of ways. It increases the risk Lisa Stamp from Otago University in
of developing RA, results in greater Christchurch.
severity of the disease and reduces
efficacy of medications used to treat Arthritis Educators Alexe Hewitt and
RA. Suzanne Croft in Christchurch will
be providing education (clinics) and

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