History of World Arthritis Day:
World Arthritis Day, celebrated on October 12th each year, was established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) as a global initiative to raise awareness about arthritis and its impact on individuals worldwide. Since then, the day has become a significant event for organizations, healthcare professionals, and individuals to come together to promote understanding, support, and research related to arthritis.
Arthritis refers to joint pain or joint disease, the inflammation or swelling of one or more joints. While there are more than 100 such conditions, two common ones are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory joint disorder, which affects the tissues around the joints, and other connective tissues, causing joint pain and stiffness and difficulty in movement. There is no specific treatment for the arthritis, treatment option varies based on the types, so it is imperative to understand the sign and symptoms of the arthritis and get early diagnosis to have an appropriate treatment.
Raising Awareness: World Arthritis Day plays a crucial role in spreading awareness about the many forms of arthritis, a group of over 100 different types of joint-related conditions. This awareness helps reduce stigma and misunderstanding surrounding the disease.
Advocacy: It serves as a platform for advocacy, giving a voice to those affected by arthritis, and calling for improved access to healthcare, early diagnosis, and appropriate treatment.
Support for Patients: The day provides support for individuals living with arthritis by creating a sense of community and helping them access valuable resources and information.
Fundraising and Research: World Arthritis Day encourages fundraising for research, which is essential to develop new treatments and improve the quality of life for those with arthritis.
Each year, World Arthritis Day focuses on a specific theme to address different aspects of arthritis. Themes may vary, but they all aim to promote a better understanding of arthritis and improve the lives of those affected.
World Arthritis Day 2023 Theme
This year 2023, the World Arthritis Day Theme is “Living with an RMD at all stages of life”, a global call to remind that Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs) have a significant influence on the patient’s quality of life, as they need to have routine visits to the rheumatologist and associated team, hospital stays or surgery followed by physiotherapy and rehabilitation in more serious situations for all of which require a significant investment of time and energy.
World Arthritis Day 2023: Self-care tips to manage arthritis pain
Balanced diet: Include anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, legumes, ginger, and fiber in your diet
Nutrient intake: Vitamin D and calcium are important for our joint’s health, make sure of sufficient intakes.
Weight check: Always check you’re BMI; excess body weight stresses your joints.
Regular physical activity: Low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, and cycling reduces joint stress. You can also go for yoga and meditation to promote muscle relaxation.
Quit smoking: Smoking is not only harmful for your lungs but also for your joints and musculoskeletal health.
Education and Awareness: The primary aim is to educate the public about arthritis, its impact on people’s lives, and the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Advocacy for Improved Care: The day aims to advocate for improved access to healthcare, pain management, and specialized treatment for those with arthritis.
Community Building: It seeks to create a supportive community for people living with arthritis, helping them connect with others who face similar challenges.
Fundraising for Research: By raising funds for research, World Arthritis Day contributes to the development of new therapies, medications, and approaches to improve the quality of life for those with arthritis.
Reducing Stigma: Another aim is to reduce the stigma associated with arthritis and to promote a more inclusive and empathetic society for those living with the condition.
Why are RMDs important?
RMDs are among the most prevalent, disabling, burdensome, and costly non-communicable diseases and this hidden crisis impacts the lives of over 120 million people of all ages in Europe alone. While healthcare has become a very visible topic of international discussion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RMDs remain largely unknown and unaddressed throughout Europe and beyond, despite their seriousness and prevalence.
In conclusion, World Arthritis Day is a global initiative dedicated to improving the lives of individuals living with arthritis. It raises awareness, promotes advocacy, and supports fundraising for research to advance our understanding of this diverse group of conditions and, ultimately, to enhance the well-being of those affected by arthritis. By coming together on this day, we can work toward a world where arthritis is better understood, better managed, and ultimately better conquered.