World Arthritis Day (WAD) was established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) to raise awareness of issues affecting people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). It is celebrated every year on 12th October.
'Don't Delay, Connect Today' theme initiated in 2017 by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) continues to give importance on early diagnosis and access to care in 2018.
‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today’ campaign calls on people including the public, physicians, health professionals and policy-makers to connect early for earlier diagnosis of RMDs and timely access to evidence-based treatment. The overall goal is to highlight RMDs as major public health problem globally and that early diagnosis and timely access to treatment can prevent further damage and burden on the individual and society.
Why is early diagnosis important?
Early diagnosis is important to prevent further damage, if not treated early daily activities are affected, reducing the quality of peoples' life and affecting physical abilities. Delay is often due to a lack of awareness hence it’s important to know the symptoms of RMDs and consult a healthcare professional early.
RMDs are commonly divided into inflammatory and non-inflammatory types:
RMDs can be hereditary; can also be triggered by lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive weight, sedentary lifestyles, increasing age and having occupations that lead to injury and overuse of joints/muscles; however, in some cases the causes are unknown.
Early medical treatment of inflammatory RMDs, particularly in the first 12 weeks, can prevent joint and organ damage and improve long-term function.
What is Arthritis?
The word arthritis actually means joint inflammation; in public health arthritis is used as a shorthand term for arthritis and other rheumatic conditions.
What are the most common types of arthritis?
The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
Symptoms of arthritis in affected joint are- swelling, pain, stiffness, decreased range of movements.
How does body weight influence arthritis?
Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Health tips for living with RMDs/Arthritis-
(a)Healthy living- Improve your wellbeing by keeping high on emotional wellbeing, self-management and motivation and by making healthy life style choices such as:
(b) Healthy eating-
(c) Physical activity and fitness- Being physically active is good for general health and can have specific benefits for people with RMD/Arthritis. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist about the type of exercise most appropriate for your condition. Exercise may be in the form of cycling, dancing, walking, gardening, swimming, yoga etc.