World Arthritis Day (WAD) – observed on October 12 every year – is a global initiative to generate awareness about issues affecting people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States and is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, with reports suggesting that about 350 million people suffer from this condition around the world. According to the Arthritis Foundation (AF), more than 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis (2017 statistics) and this number is expected to increase to about 78 million by the year 2040. Established by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) and managed by the European League against Rheumatism (EULAR), this global awareness raising and action day aims to make public policy decision makers aware of the burden of RMDs and to ensure that people with these diseases and their caregivers are aware of the vast support network available to them.
Arthritis is a common condition that primarily affects the musculoskeletal system, specifically the joints. It is an inflammation of one or more joints, which is often accompanied by symptoms like chronic joint pain and stiffness, swelling, redness and decreased range of motion. There are different types of arthritis, all of which can cause pain. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Many factors increase the risk of developing rheumatic disease, including increasing age, smoking, excessive weight, predisposed genetic factors, occupations with high risk of injury and overuse of joints. Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis and number of joints affected. Multi-specialty healthcare and pain management centers in Brooklyn, NYC offer effective and timely treatments that help manage pain, reduce symptoms, and enable people to lead an active life.
This one-day campaign WAD was first observed in the year 1996 by an organization called Arthritis and Rheumatism International. The campaign presents a unique opportunity for physicians, patients and health advocates to educate the public and spread the word about arthritis in all its forms. With a significant increase in the scope of the campaign over recent years, WAD has become a worldwide event and has been championed by the European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) which represents patients, health professionals and rheumatology researchers from around the EU. ‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today’ is a EULAR Campaign for 2018 (launched for the first time) that aims to connect all three EULAR pillars – patient organizations (PARE), health professional associations and scientific communities. The aim behind this EULAR Campaign is to promote awareness of the symptoms connected to rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) and the importance of ensuring early diagnosis and access to care.
The EULAR website offers several tools and resources for patients and organizations to get involved in the campaign. As “Blue” is the official color for arthritis awareness, people can either wear blue color or distribute blue ribbons to share more facts about arthritis within your community and help those who suffer from this debilitating disease. People can also actively take part in this campaign via various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. All social media content related to ‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today’ should use the hashtag #Connect Today in English together with a national hash tag, (if created) and attribute @eular.org (Facebook) and @eular_org (Twitter) in social media posts.
Celebrate World Arthritis Day on October 10. Make this day a great occasion to lend a helping hand to those suffering from this condition.