World Arthritis Day
"Embrace the pain, let courage light your way,
On this Arthritis Day, let hope be your ray."
Greetings on world arthritis day, where we stand together against the pain in every joint and the stiffness in every step! Arthritis is an inflammation of the joint that causes pain and stiffness, which worsen with age. Today, we unite to spread awareness to lend a hand and a heart to those battling this discomfort. Join us in making this day a beacon of understanding and support, where empathy triumphs over ache, and together, we create a world where arthritis is just a word, not a barrier!
History Of World Arthritis Day
World arthritis day is celebrated every year globally on the 12th of October. Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) initiated world arthritis day for the first time in 1996. This day is observed to create and raise awareness about the condition and symptoms of arthritis and to mark the importance of getting it diagnosed promptly to enable early and proper treatment as soon as possible.
Arthritis Rheumatism International (ARI)
Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) was founded in 1988. It is a group of national organizations comprised mostly of people dealing with arthritis and rheumatism. ARI's goals are to raise awareness about the needs of those with arthritis/rheumatism, provide education and self-help programs, and support research on these conditions.
Significance Of World Arthritis Day
Arthritis affects over 210 million people in India, surpassing the prevalence of well-known diseases like diabetes, AIDS, and cancer. Rheumatology, a specialized field within internal medicine, addresses arthritis and related musculoskeletal issues. Despite its impact, insufficient awareness about these conditions leads to a shortage of rheumatologists in India. With more than 20,000 rheumatologists needed, countless patients suffer due to the lack of available services.
8 General Facts About Arthritis
- The World Health Organisation classifies more than 100 types of arthritis.
- Depending on the type of arthritis, specific symptoms can vary, although stiffness and joint pain are often present.
- The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It usually affects the hands, hips, and knees.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune-mediated condition where the immune system harms the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and potential joint damage.
- In 2019, 18 million people globally had rheumatoid arthritis, while approximately 528 million were living with osteoarthritis, marking a 113% increase since 1990.
- About 70% of people with rheumatoid arthritis are women, and 55% are older than 55 around the world.
- Certain risk factors enhance your chances of developing arthritis.
- Arthritis cannot be cured, but it can be controlled and treated.
Know about the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis here.
Myth: Arthritis affects only the elderly.
Fact: Although arthritis is common in older individuals, it can affect anyone regardless of age. For example, Juvenile arthritis is a common condition seen in children.
Myth: All pain in the joints is called arthritis.
Fact: Not every joint pain is related to arthritis. Certain conditions like tendonitis, bursitis, or injuries may also lead to joint pain. However, getting the pain properly diagnosed by a doctor is essential.
Myth: If you have arthritis, then exercise is a big no.
Fact: Exercising with arthritis can improve strength, motion, and flexibility. People with arthritis should indulge in various exercises like stretching or walking. But, before beginning any workout routine, it is important to take advice from your doctor.
5 Special Care Tips
- Acquire new self-management skills: Participate in a self-management education workshop to gain essential skills in arthritis management and inform health decisions. These workshops empower you to take control of your health, effectively manage pain, engage in meaningful activities, reduce stress, enhance your mood, and improve communication with healthcare providers, ensuring a holistic approach to your well-being.
- Stay physically active: Physical activity, even in small doses, provides drug-free relief for arthritis pain, improving function, mood, and quality of life while supporting overall health and eliminating the risk of chronic disorders.
- Have regular conversations with your doctor: Promptly consult your doctor for accurate diagnosis and early treatment of arthritis symptoms to reduce pain, prevent joint damage, and maintain your quality of life; active involvement in your healthcare plan, particularly if you have other chronic conditions, is essential for effective management.
- Manage your weight effectively: Keeping a healthy weight is vital for arthritis. Even losing a few pounds reduces joint stress, easing pain and boosting movement. Try gentle exercises like walking and make healthy food choices to manage your weight and arthritis better.
- Protect your joints: By preventing joint injuries, you can minimize arthritis risks. Opt for joint-friendly activities like biking or swimming, which are low-impact and reduce stress. Additionally, wear protective gear, use seatbelts, and avoid repetitive joint motions to safeguard against injuries that could cause or worsen arthritis.
1. When should I see a rheumatologist?
Anyone experiencing joint or back discomfort, especially if it is accompanied by swelling and stiffness in the morning or after rest, should consult a rheumatologist as soon as possible. Delay in seeking qualified rheumatology care is the most common cause of irreparable joint injury. Rheumatology also encompasses bone, muscular, and systemic disorders such as osteoporosis, myositis, systemic lupus, and vasculitis. If you have unexplained symptoms like fever, anemia, weakness, weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, or recurrent abortions, then it is essential to seek an assessment from a rheumatologist.
2. Why does physical activity matter?
Engaging in joint-friendly exercises can reduce arthritis pain and enhance functionality, mood, and overall quality of life. These low-impact activities, like walking, biking, dancing, and swimming, minimize strain on the body, lowering the risk of injury while promoting healthy well-being.
The Final Note
Many times, we all experience joint pain. In most instances, we ignore it by making assumptions about the pain or normalizing it, thinking it will ease on its own. But it is also essential to watch out if the pain persists or intensifies. Many people believe that arthritis cannot be treated and that they depend on others. However, this is not true. While this condition has no cure, treatment available today can help ease the symptoms.
On this world arthritis day 2023, spread the word and raise awareness about the arthritis condition by busting myths and sharing about the types of arthritis, its symptoms, and the importance of self-care management. Help those affected by this condition by informing them how they can approach the right people, like rheumatologists and social workers, to get this condition diagnosed and start its early treatment.
"Turn the pain into power, stiffness into resilience, and every challenge into triumph!"