Turning Challenges into Triumphs on World Arthritis Day

Posted On Oct, 10, 2023

The World Arthritis Day is commemorated on 12th October each year. It promotes awareness about arthritis, a chronic health condition affecting millions of individuals across the globe. This day is devoted to shedding light on the difficulties witnessed by individuals who live with arthritis, as well as advocating for enhanced access to support, treatment, and care.

The World Arthritis Day theme for 2023 is "Living with an RMD at all stages of life".

What is it Like to Live with a Rheumatic & Musculoskeletal Disease (RMD)?

The term ‘RMD’ comprises disorders that impact the functionalities of bones, joints, connective tissues, and muscles of the body. Ailments including different types of arthritis (psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and others), osteoporosis, and other relevant conditions are covered under RMDs. Unfortunately, at present, there is no everlasting remedy for these conditions, examinations are mostly deferred, and it is required that the treatment & care are adhered to for a prolonged time period, perhaps even lifelong. This implies regular visits to the rheumatologist and associated team, in extreme cases surgery or hospital stays followed by physiotherapy and rehabilitation. All of these criticalities require substantial time and energy and lead to ambiguity about the future for an individual.

Resultantly, RMDs have a strong impact on the quality of life of the individuals affected. Furthermore, without appropriate access to care, diagnosis, treatment, social services, and rehabilitation, the affected individuals will likely face prominent barriers in work life, education, relationships & building a family, social life, and even daily activities. All of this is accompanied by side effects of medication, chronic pain, fear, setbacks, depression, loneliness, and fatigue that influence the life of not only the affected person but also family members and caregivers.

Raising Awareness on World Arthritis Day

World Arthritis Day plays a vital role in helping raise awareness about the effects of arthritis and encouraging positive changes. Mentioned below are a few ways that help extend support in raising awareness:

  • Educational Campaigns: Organizations and healthcare providers worldwide educate the public about arthritis, its symptoms, and accessible treatment options.
  • Fundraising Initiatives: Many organizations, on this day, raise funds for arthritis research and support programs.
  • Support Groups: Online communities and local support groups often organize events and discussions to connect with individuals who live with arthritis, delivering them a platform to share their experiences and pieces of advice.
  • Advocacy Efforts: World Arthritis Day is an opportunity for advocates to encourage enhanced healthcare policies, better access to treatment, and increased research funding.
  • Media Coverage: The media plays an important role in spreading awareness about arthritis, and on this day, there is often amplified coverage of arthritis-related issues and stories.

Living Well with Arthritis

Taking care of arthritis comprises a multifaceted approach that includes health management, self-care strategies, and lifestyle modifications. Mentioned below are some tips to help manage arthritis effectively:

  • Medical Treatment: Seek guidance from an orthopedic specialist or rheumatologist to diagnose your type of arthritis and prescribe suitable treatment options. Schedule regular follow-ups and check-ups to keep track of the condition’s progress.
  • Adhering to Medication Plans: Take recommended medications as directed by your healthcare provider. You will also want to maintain a record of the doses and side effects that can exist. Review your medication plan regularly with your healthcare provider.
  • Physical Therapy: Work with a physiotherapist to devise an exercise regimen tailored to your specific condition.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess body weight leads to additional stress on weight-bearing joints, including the knees and hips. Weight management supports in alleviating pain and reduces the development of symptoms.
  • Exercise & Physical Activities: Engage in low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling to enhance joint flexibility and maintain a healthy weight without causing excessive strain on joints.
  • Balanced Diet: It is advisable to consume a well-balanced diet that is rich in anti-inflammatory foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, Omega-3-rich foods, and lean proteins).
  • Hydration: Appropriate hydration is crucial for joint health to help maintain the lubrication of joints.
  • Managing Stress: Chronic stress can aggravate arthritis symptoms. You can practice stress management & relaxation techniques including meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to significantly reduce stress.
  • Adequate Sleep: Ensure you get enough rest to allow your body to recover and repair.
  • Pain Management: Different pain management techniques, such as hot/cold therapy, and over-the-counter or prescription medications, can help individuals manage their pain by reducing inflammation.
  • Joint Protection: Be watchful of joint movements that may worsen your symptoms.
  • Assistive Devices: Adopting assistive devices like braces, splints, or mobility aids can improve independence and mobility.
  • Support and Education: You can arthritis support groups and communities including Arthritis Foundation, CreakyJoints, Versus Arthritis, and others, or seek educational resources to learn more about your condition. Interaction with individuals who share similar experiences can help provide valuable insights and emotional support.

With the apt approach and support, you can efficiently manage arthritis and improve the quality of your life.

World Arthritis Day acts as a prompter that arthritis is a pervasive health condition with a substantial impact on millions of lives. By increasing awareness and delivering support to those affected, we can work together to elevate the well-being of such individuals and thereby endeavor for a world where they can enjoy healthier and joyful lives.

If you are a research enthusiast intrigued by orthopedics & rheumatology, you may want to check out the below-mentioned research reports to keep track of the developments happening in the healthcare industry:

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