For Clinicians


CArE believes that active engagement in the disease management process is essential for best outcomes. We also believe that medication compliance is optimized when it is supported by a thorough understanding of its role and impact, and a collaborative decision-making process. In addition to medications, we know that modifiable lifestyle factors can have a significant impact on the successful management of chronic arthritis conditions. The Centre of Arthritis Excellence (CArE) offers many group treatment sessions combining education and exercise in order to equip our patients with the tools that they need to be active partners in the management of their disease processes.

Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis used to describe a collection of symptoms including chronic and widespread body pain, stiffness and fatigue. The exact causes of this disease are not yet well understood, but we do know that lifestyle changes and education are important tools to manage its symptoms. The CArE Fibromyalgia education session includes information about medications, healthy eating and sleep, managing stress, conserving energy and managing thinking changes associated with fibromyalgia. Treatment sessions combine education and exercise, and provide tangible strategies to manage the diverse constellation of symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and is often called “wear and tear arthritis”. It is often associated with aging, and may be found in one joint or in multiple joints. Medications can help to manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis but cannot reverse damage to the joint. Because of this, exercise and stretching, protecting painful joints, and a healthy diet that helps to promote a healthy weight are important strategies to manage symptoms. CArE Osteoarthritis education sessions focus on all of these potential treatments to allow participants to remain active despite the pain that may be associated with osteoarthritis. Treatment sessions combine education and exercise, and occur weekly in a series.

A diagnosis of osteoporosis often occurs in the wake of a fragility fracture. Due to the lack of overt symptomology associated with a diagnosis of osteoporosis, medication compliance is often inadequate for lasting disease management. Appropriate medication use combined with relevant changes to nutrition and exercise habits can profoundly impact the successful management of an osteoporosis diagnosis. Education and collaboration with each individual is essential for optimal osteoporosis management. Treatment sessions combine education and exercise, and are completed over two half days.

Inflammatory arthritis classes provide in-depth education and treatment sessions for individuals with a myriad of diagnoses under the inflammatory arthritis umbrella including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, anklosying spondylitis and many others. These sessions focus on education about auto-immune illnesses and the numerous pharmacological agents used to treat these conditions. In addition, there is specific focus on the systemic nature of these diagnoses, and the importance of a variety of lifestyle factors on symptom control and management. We focus on early intervention to avoid complications and damage associated with prolonged inflammation, which has been well-supported in the literature. Treatment sessions are intensive and combine education, exercise, and independent-study elements.

CArE group treatment sessions provide a vast amount of information to help people cope with new arthritis diagnoses. In order to facilitate integration and carry-over of new learning, each group treatment session is followed by a summary or consolidation class 3-6 months after completion of the session. Participants are also encouraged to reach out to team members with any questions or concerns as they arise.

CArE team members are able to provide individualized assessment and treatment sessions in addition to the group treatment sessions described above. Our clinicians are able to provide discipline-specific one on one interventions to address any concerns including those related to medications, pain and symptom management, joint protection, nutrition, exercise, or social support.

The social and relationship impacts of chronic diseases like arthritis are well-documented. Role loss, mood changes, and changes in relationship dynamics all affect the ability of the individual to access effective support from their social networks. Our staff offers education targeting family and friends, as well as caring and compassionate spaces for exploring the changes associated with a chronic disease. Participants are encouraged to include their loved ones in treatment sessions when appropriate. Individualized support for families, or to address specific social issues is available.

At CArE, we strive to contribute to arthritis care through expertise and innovation. CArE believes strongly in the importance of research. We are involved in a number of long-term observational studies, as well as shorter, more specific research activities. We encourage our patients to consider participation in observational and research studies where appropriate. Some of our current projects include enrolment in the prospective, observational study the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort (CATCH), and various studies through the Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada (SPARCC). Please reach out to us if you have questions about these or any of our research undertakings.

Referral Forms

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Clinician Resources

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