Today we have another guest blogger who is definitely a familiar face around the IBJR: Professor David Hunter, our Chairman. You will be hearing more from David in the coming month on All Over the Joint while he is taking a step for he is passionate about : Bone and Joint Health.
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For years I have been telling my patients they need to change their behaviour to help their joints. One major piece of advice I frequently give is to increase their physical activity. Needless to say sometimes their behaviour changes and sometimes it doesn’t. Not infrequently my patients will come back to me and say “I found it hard to increase my physical activity”, “I didn’t have time” or they call my bluff and say “how much activity do YOU do”?

Well as we step into September it is time for me to “put up or shut up”. In an effort to raise awareness about the role of physical activity in arthritis and to raise funds for research into bone and joint diseases (http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/ibjr/index.php) I have set myself a goal.

I regularly tell others to walk 10,000 steps a day so I commit to walk at least 300,000 steps in September i.e. 10,000 steps a day. Like you I am time poor but the burden of disability from bone and joint diseases is pressing so it is time for me to mobilize.

How can you help?

Go to the fundraising link on donate planet and commit some funds (all donations over $2 are tax deductible (Au)). For those challenging my ability to do this who want to see my progress I will post a weekly update on this blog of my step count from my Jawbone UP (an activity monitor I wear) and tweet about my activity regularly. You can make a commitment per step (yes if you want to pay me a $1 per step that will be gratefully received) or just contribute to the grand total. Either way the intent is to draw awareness to the role of physical activity in arthritis and raise some much needed research funds for bone and joint research.

Join me in Stepping UP in September for Bone and Joint Research. Make a donation at: https://donateplanet.com/charities/read/institute-of-bone-and-joint-research/

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Congratulations to our very own Dr Marita Cross, Dr Emma Smith and Professor Lyn March for making publication of the day!

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Last week at the IBJR, we had a very interesting community seminar planned for everyone; Sporting Injuries and Osteoarthritis. Our speakers were our very own Professor David Hunter, who ExpertScape ( http://expertscape.com/ex/osteoarthritis) has listed as the world’s leading specialist in Osteoarthritis for June 2014, and Professor Chris Little, Director of the Raymond Purves Laboratory in IBJR. Together they delivered our audience with information about research that’s done in clinics and in a laboratory.

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Here are some key messages from both the talks!

Key messages from Professor Hunter’s talk:
1. ACL reconstructions are most common in young people in the 15-34 age group, and more common in males
2. Regardless of surgical invention or non-surgical methods, large proportions (~70%) of people with ACL injuries tend to develop Osteoarthritis within 5-10 years.
3. The two largest risk factors for OA are Injury and Obesity
4. Prevention is important and one way is to engage in neuromuscular training. This is essentially a series of exercises to train athletes in the right way to move without injuring themselves (e.g. http://f-marc.com/11plus/exercises/). This is also helpful after injury to prevent re-injury.
5. While the pains of OA can be inconsistent and unstable, the management of activities that can cause an increase in pain such as proper footwear, pain relieving medications and physical activity can improve life with OA.

Key messages from Professor Little’s talk:
1. There are many elements to the development of OA after an injury. Experiments have shown that if mechanisms that cause inflammation in the joint are prevented, OA may not develop.
2. The cause of OA, be it age or injury, affects the outcome and what treatments may work.
3. The timing of treatment will matter. This is because different things happen in joint at different stages of the injury.
4. The joint may not be the only target to treat OA. When happens outside the joint such as muscle strength, obesity and hormonal status can affect what goes on in the joint. Hence the need to “think outside the joint”.
5. While we have brilliant laboratory research now, it will take 10 – 15 years for it to actually affect OA treatment.

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Today, we have a guest post from the Osteoporosis Re-Fracture Prevention Project Officer at Royal North Shore Hospital, Christine Collins giving us some tips on preventing falls. Christine comes from a physiotherapy background and works in the Osteoporosis Clinic at Royal North Shore Hospital.
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Falls are no laughing matter – just ask Humpty Dumpty. Whilst medicine has come a long way and we no longer rely on “all the kings horses and all the kings men” to remedy fall related injuries, prevention remains key…particularly if you are an egg.

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Falls are one of the main reasons that older people are admitted to hospital. Each year, one in every three people over the age of 65 will fall. Falls can be associated with serious injuries including hip fracture and head injury. But we’re not only talking about people up ladders (or up on walls for that matter) – the most common type of fall resulting in a hospital stay is a fall on the same level, meaning a simple trip, slip or stumble.

So how do you know if you are at risk of falls? If you answer yes to any of these, you may be at increased risk of falling:
1. Have you had any previous falls (including trips, slips and stumbles)?
2. Do you suffer from any changes in your memory?
3. Do you wear glasses or have poor vision?
4. Do you take more than 4 prescription medications?
5. Are you afraid that you may fall?
6. Do you suffer from incontinence?

If you answered NO to all of these questions, then your falls risk is relatively low. But don’t stop reading. Anything you can do now to protect you from falls in the future is a bonus.

If you answered YES to any of these questions, read on to find out how you could address these problems.

Stay Active

Adult should engage in regular physical activity of moderate intensity, on most days of the week, ideally reaching a total of 300 minutes per week. This includes activities such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, dancing or organised sport. Balance should also be incorporated into a regular exercise program. Examples include dance, Tai Chi, Yoga, or a home exercise program designed specifically to challenge your balance. Advice can be sought from a Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist or accredited Personal Trainer.

Here are my top tips for Staying Active:
• Physical Activity doesn’t have to be the same all the time – if it’s a nice day make the most of it and get outside for a walk, do some gardening, or go for a swim. On other days you might find it more pleasant to take part in an indoor activity such as a gym class or do some exercise on your own at home
• Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing a small amount, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
• Involve others – you may find it more encouraging and enjoyable to exercise with others.
• Everyone is different – although there are guidelines for exercise, everyone will have their own challenges. Yours may be painful arthritic knees or back. This doesn’t mean you can’t exercise – it just means you may have to choose wisely and modify your program on days when your pain is worse. Speak to a health professional to get advice. But remember, something is better than nothing!

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Information on community exercise programs in NSW can be found at www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au

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Hi Everyone,

The IBJR is proud to present the Osteoarthritis Summit 2014. this summit will have a scientific day open to everyone in the community. To learn more click here!

The Osteoarthritis summit is a two day event intended to be an ideal platform for scientific exchanges and networking within the Australian Osteoarthritis community.

The outcomes of the OA Summit 2014 will strongly encourage clinicians and industry stakeholders to invest more in appropriate management strategies where possible.

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It has been a little quiet on this blog! To tide you over while we work on some new material, here is a interview on ABC with the Institute of Bone and Joint Research's chairman, Professor David Hunter.

Click here to hear Professor Hunter and Damian Smith chat about the cost of Osteoarthritis!!

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Good old calcium; it keeps our teeth and bones strong, keeps our hearts healthy and helps us have healthy muscle function. Sadly we cannot produce calcium in our bodies and have to consume it (and enough of it) to stay healthy. When calcium levels are low, our body turns to our calcium bank (also known as our bones) and withdraws calcium for the rest of the body to use. However, this becomes a problem when the amount of calcium extracted exceeds the amount deposited making our bones more brittle and prone to fractures. In women, this is seen predominantly during and post menopause when there is a rapid decline in estrogen (which leads to more rapid calcium loss from bones).

Now, we all know to drink our glass of milk everyday but is it really enough? The answer is no. A cup of milk (250ml) only provides 30% of an adult’s daily recommended intake. Adults over the age of 19 are recommended to have 1000mg per day, women over 50 and men over 70 are recommended 1300mg by Osteoporosis Australia. That is equivalent to about 4 cups of milk which we may not want to drink every single day!

Myth busting: While it is commonly thought that full cream milk is better for calcium absorption due to the fat content compared to skim milk, it is not true! Fat does not actually affect calcium uptake by our bodies! So drink away whichever you prefer.

Here are some tips on how to increase your daily calcium intake:

1) Try to consume 3 – 5 servings of calcium rich food. Foods like milk (a cup), yoghurt (a tub) and cheese (a slice) have high calcium levels
2) Your can incorporate milk powder into soups and casseroles
3) Yoghurt also makes a very tasty salad dressing
4) Almonds, figs, apricots, and rhubarb are high in calcium and can be a great snack
5) Canned fishes like salmon and sardines are rich in calcium
6) Include more green leafy vegetables as part of your daily diet

**My favourite is having Babybel light! It provides you with 20% of your recommended calcium intake in a yummy little package.

As amazing as calcium is, it has a sidekick that it needs to be effectively absorbed: Vitamin D. Vitamin D can be sourced from supplements or more naturally from the Sun! Depending on where in Australia you live, the season and your skin type (fair or dark), the amount of time you need to spend in the sun varies differently. Thankfully Osteoporosis Australia has a map to show you how much sunlight your skin needs and when you need it for all over the country. !

If you are spending longer times out in the sun, don’t forget your sunscreen!

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