Celebrating World Arthritis Day

World Arthritis Day is quickly approaching and you and those at your practice can make a difference. On October 12th, World Arthritis Day will help to unify people all over the world and help bring attention to rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. On this day, we strive to raise awareness, educate and support arthritis patients and their caregivers.

The campaign “Don’t Delay, Connect Today,” was launched by EULAR in 2017 and because of its huge impact last year, continues into 2018. The goal of World Arthritis Day and this theme is to highlight the importance of early diagnosis and to show that we can work together towards earlier diagnosis and easy access to care.

Awareness and education.

While arthritis may not affect you directly, it is important that we are educated about this disease that affects so many. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “arthritis is the nation’s number one cause of disability, affecting 1 in 4 adults and greatly impacting our economy.” It is causing imperative, daily struggles for the many people. Billions of dollars are lost annually in wages as well as medical expenses. Surgeries like knee, hip, and other joint replacements generate more and more medical expenses putting many hugely in debt and greatly impacting insurance costs.

The risk of arthritis is increased with other chronic conditions. For example, many adults with heart disease have arthritis, and often times those with arthritis also have anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, daily life is impacted as well, and many adults have significant physical limitations. For those who suffer from arthritis, it’s difficult to climb stairs, perform household chores and even drive. Arthritis patients are less likely to be physically active, although physical activity is effective to relieve pain and can improve function. This creates a vicious cycle of immobility and pain. Knowing these statistics and truly understanding what patients go through make us better advocates for them.

What you can do.

With EULAR you can help spread awareness about arthritis and the impact it has on families, friends and loved ones. On World Arthritis Day, celebrate those with arthritis for their strength and determination. Download this free toolkit which explains how to get involved. The toolkit contains a quick reminder about the goals of World Arthritis Day. It also includes an overview of the ‘Don’t delay, Connect today’ campaign, guidance materials on working with media, event ideas and brand new artwork for your use.

Also, make sure you get social! The official World Arthritis Day organization is on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Use these platforms as a way to spread the word about World Arthritis Day, get the movement trending on major social networks, and spread awareness throughout the medical community and the wider world.

One of the most important things you can do this October is be an advocate. Speak for the patients who cannot speak for themselves, raise awareness and educate others on their behalf. Use this information to celebrate World Arthritis Day and improve the lives of your patients, not only this month, but every day!

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