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Ana_Villafane arthritis

For Ana Villafañe, the Stage is a Passion, a Career – and Arthritis Therapy

On NBC’s TV dramaNew Amsterdam, Dr. Valentina Castro diagnoses a patient withlupus, an autoimmune disease that causes chronic pain and fatigue. After the cameras stop rolling, Ana Villafañe, who plays Dr. Castro, becomes teary-eyed; the scene cuts close to home, reminding Ana of her ownjuvenile arthritis7岁时被确诊。

As a child, Ana often felt like an outsider, fighting an invisible illness her peers didn’t understand. But when she was 9, she found her happy place and her calling – singing in talent shows at the Arthritis Foundation’s Camp Funrise in Miami, Florida.

“When I’m performing on stage, I go into a different realm,” she says. “It’s not just a distraction from my arthritis, it also serves as a form of self-healing.”

A Star on the Rise

表演很快成为她的爱好。She majored in music in college and landed her first professional acting role at age 19 in the movieDostana. Other TV and movie roles quickly followed, including the female lead in the superhero movieMax Steel.

She made her Broadway debut in 2014 in你的脚!, a musical about Emilio and Gloria Estefan – who handpicked Ana to play her. “When performing on Broadway, I would spend two to six hours a day dancing. Doing what I love for work adds to my fuel,” Ana says.

Now 30, Ana co-stars not only inNew Amsterdam, a medical drama, but also as New York City Councilwoman Diana Barea in the NBC sitcomSunnyside.

Active Self-Care

Despite her busy schedule, Ana starts each day with a morning trip to the gym for strength training. Dance andyogaare also part of her regular routine.

“My right hip is my most degenerated joint and sometimes I have to modify yoga poses due to my arthritis. I’ve been very upfront about acknowledging my limitations with my yoga instructor,” Ana says. “I have a love/hate relationship with yoga,” she adds with a laugh. But certain poses “help to straighten my posture while also improving my flexibility and reducing joint pain.”


“There are days that can be very frustrating because of pain and stiffness or a flare, but my goal is to work to feel good in my body every day and manage my arthritis in a way that goes beyond taking medication,” Ana says. “Having arthritis forces me to take care of myself.”

Plus, she adds, “Maintaining this level of discipline also helps me stay focused in my career.”

Growing Up With JA


Now she owns her RA. When she is on set, standing for hours at a time, she doesn’t hesitate to get comfortable shoes or do stretches to ease her hip pain.

“When I was younger, I would just grin and bear any discomfort, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized everyone has limitations and boundaries, and I’m very open about having arthritis,” Ana says.

She has a lot of young fans with arthritis who follow her on social media, and Ana tries to respond to all of their questions.

“I remember how hard it was to be a child in the hospital for several months or to feel isolated in school because no one wants to sit with you at lunchtime,” Ana says. “I want to let kids know their arthritis doesn’t need to define them, and to encourage them to discover their own passions in life.”

Ana’s Tips for Arthritis Pain Relief

In addition to medications, Ana found these techniques ease her arthritis. “It’s a process of trial and error and finding out what works best for you,” she says.

Acupuncture –While performing on Broadway, Ana started getting weekly treatments, which have been “incredibly helpful” in relieving pain and stiffness.

Bubble baths and Epsom salts –“Sometimes, it can be difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, so immersing myself in warm water [before bedtime] can help,” she says.

Diet modifications –Ana has eliminated gluten, coffee and sugar from her diet. “It’s a constant process of working to see if certain foods might aggravate or alleviate pain and inflammation,” she says.

Travel tips –An ergonomic travel pillow keeps her shoulders back and helps Ana sleep better during long flights. She also walks around the cabin and stretches at the back of the plane.

Author: Linda Childers

Your voice counts too!In just ten minutes you canparticipate in我们的生活是的!洞察评估,使您分享您的经验,并向决策者展示现实的生活与关节炎。这项正在进行的科学研究利用一系列经过验证的评估来揭示关节炎的现实。为了在自家后院获得更好的治疗、更好的政策和更好的服务。

Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast: Episode 4 – You Want Me to Exercise?

You shouldexercise.Sound familiar? I know. I hear you loud and clear. You woke up this morning in pain. Trying to muster enough energy to even get out of bed felt impossible. And getting ready for your day felt like you just ran a 5K. I get it. I have arthritis, too, and I know what you’re thinking. “Wait, didn’t I just wake up? I should have more energy than this! What did I do in my sleep to feelthisexhausted? Oh, that’s right. I didn’t sleep well. My ‘pain-somnia’ kept me from getting any good sleep. So now you’re telling me to go exercise? Ugh.That’s能缓解我的关节炎疼痛吗?”简短的回答是:是的!事实是,越来越多的研究表明,锻炼是治疗关节炎的最佳方法之一。但对于我们这些每天24小时都在忍受它的人来说,它可能是我们最不想做的事情之一,甚至是我们觉得自己不能做的事情之一。经历过,经历过,再经历一遍。作为一名病人,我知道当我感到疼痛时很难移动。作为一名职业治疗师,我知道让一个人有动力去运动是多么困难,我也明白保持身体活动对我们的健康有多么重要。

Continue readingLive Yes! With Arthritis Podcast: Episode 4 – You Want Me to Exercise?

Best Foods to Eat Before, During and After Your Exercise Routine

Want to make the most of yourworkout? Fuel up with the right foods.“What you eat and drink can affect howyou feel and how quickly you recover,”says SonyaAngelone, a San Franciscobasedregistered dietitian who works withathletes. Here’s her advice on what to havebefore, during and afterexercise.Continue readingBest Foods to Eat Before, During and After Your Exercise Routine

What You Should Know About the Latest Fitness Fad: Stretching Gyms

While stretching is an important part of any workout, fitness studiosknown as stretching gyms make it the focus. Stretching instructors helplengthen and loosen muscles, either working one-on-one with clients andphysically adding gentle pressure to deepen stretches, or by guiding a classthrough a series of stretches with props, such as foam rollers and bands.

“There’s no question that stretching benefits people with arthritis,”says CoryFeger, a physical therapist in Louisville, Kentucky. “Itimproves range of motion, lubricates joints and increases blood flowto muscles.” But are these new gyms and classes safe for people witharthritis? While they can be useful,Fegerrecommends proceedingwith caution. Here’s how:

  1. ASK INSTRUCTORSABOUT THEIR QUALIFICATIONS.What’s theirbackground and experienceworking with peoplewho have arthritis? Manyinstructors are personaltrainers, massage therapistsor yoga instructors butmay not have experiencewith arthritis or chronicpain patients.
  2. ALWAYS WARMUP FIRST.This allowsdeeper stretches for alongerperiod of timeand decreases the risk ofinjury. Get moving withlight exercise, such aswalking. Or do dynamicstretches, such as legswings and arm circles,which prepare your bodyfor specific movements.
  3. GO AT YOUROWN PACE.Don’t tryto keep up with everyoneelse in a class. “Youdon’t want to overdo it,”says JulieJasontek, aphysical therapist andsupervisor of rehabilitationservices atMercy Healthin Cincinnati. This maylead to an injury, such asa strained muscle.
  4. AVOID BOUNCING.To lengthen muscle fibersand increase flexibility,hold each stretch for 10 to30 seconds, then releaseand repeat. These are称为静态伸展。
  5. DO STATICSTRETCHES AFTERWORKING OUT.After exercise, musclesare warmed up.Stretchingalso boosts circulation.As part of a cooldown,it also lowers your heartrate, which may helpaid recovery.
  6. DON’T PUSH TOOHARD.Mild discomfort isnormal, butstop if you feela sharp or intense pain.
  7. MAKE IT A REGULARHABIT.To increaseflexibility, stretch at leastfive times a week.

Related Resources:

Emotional Eating Can Sabotage Your Arthritis Diet

When you’re sad, stressed or your joints are aching, it might seem like digging into a pint (or half-gallon) of ice cream and not stopping till you reach the bottom will make you feel better. But that’s going to undermine your efforts to avoid inflammatory foods and weight gain. Breaking this kind of pattern may take physical or mental interventions – or both. We asked a registered dietitian and a psychologist how to break the cycle of emotional eating.Continue readingEmotional Eating Can Sabotage Your Arthritis Diet

arthritis video game workout

Add Video Games to Your Arthritis Workout Plan

Think video games are just for kids and couch potatoes? Think again. Some games incorporate exercise, getting players up and moving. Called “exergaming,” this trend is on the rise in homes, gyms, physical therapy offices and rehabilitation centers.

Made popular by the Nintendo Wii, these interactive games use a handheld controller or sensors to track your body’s movement. That puts you in the game: You swing your arm to hit a baseball, jab in a boxing match or dance to earn points.

Continue readingAdd Video Games to Your Arthritis Workout Plan

trampoline workouts


Mini-trampoline classes, also called “rebounding,” have gotten buzz lately. During class, each person jumps and runs in place, often to music, on his own trampoline. Fans say these fast-paced workouts torch calories and strengthen muscles with less impact than on a hard surface, says physical therapist Scott Euype, education director at Cleveland Clinic’s Rehabilitation & Sports Therapy.

However, you should be cautious before hopping on this bandwagon. If you jump too high or fast, the force may harm an already inflamed or damaged joint. Plus, “the landing surface is unstable, so you could turn an ankle or hurt your knee,” says Mary Ann Wilmarth, owner of Back2Back Physical Therapy in Andover, Massachusetts, and a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. Check with your doctor before you try rebounding. (Avoid it if you’ve hadjoint replacementin your feet, ankles, knees or hips unless your doctor has given the OK.)

Continue reading蹦床运动对关节炎安全吗?