World Arthritis Day is an important global health awareness event held every year on 12th October to raise awareness about arthritis, its prevention and treatment. Every year, this day is celebrated with a theme. This year, the theme is "Living with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs) at all stages of life". Arthritis Day was first observed on 12 October 1996 to raise awareness of the disease and support the work of researchers.
The goal of the day is to bring people from around the world together on one platform to help create a voice that will allow them to provide support and better treatment options for people with Rheumatic diseases and musculoskeletal disorders (RMDs).
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is not just one disease but a term that refers to a group of over 100 different conditions that affect the joints in your body. Joints are places where two or more bones come together, allowing us to move our bodies. When these joints become painful, swollen, or stiff, everyday activities like walking, writing, or even hugging someone can become quite challenging. You can prevent arthritis through various arthritis treatment options, which we will tell you about further in this blog.
Common Types of Arthritis
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is often referred to as wear and tear, which occurs when the cartilage that supports the ends of bones in joints breaks down over time, leaving the bones exposed and weak.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks the joints without your knowledge, causing them to become swollen and painful.
- Gout: Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when too much uric acid accumulates in the body and forms painful crystals within the joints, causing swelling and pain in the joints.
Awareness of Arthritis
- Early Diagnosis: If you experience pain, stiffness, or swelling in the joints that are not getting better over time, it is important to consult a healthcare professional. Early diagnosis can help manage and treat arthritis more effectively.
- Knowledge is Power: If you are aware of your condition, you must be well equipped to avoid any sort of deformities or succumb to the disease. Learn about the types of arthritis, its triggers, and possible treatments. Arthritis organizations and websites can be great sources of information.
Although some risk factors for arthritis, such as age and genetics, cannot be controlled, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk and delay the onset of arthritis symptoms:
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight puts unnecessary pressure on the knees and hips, increasing the risk of arthritis. By losing extra pounds and maintaining a healthy weight, this effect can be significantly reduced.
- Stay Active: Exercise can help maintain joint health and reduce the risk of arthritis, especially low-impact activities like swimming, bicycling and walking that are gentle on your joints.
- Eat a Balanced Diet: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and antioxidant-rich foods can reduce inflammation, which may help prevent arthritis.
- Protect Your Joints: Avoid putting too much pressure or stress on your joints, especially when performing repetitive movements or lifting heavy objects.
If you or someone close to you has arthritis, there are various treatment options available to manage the condition:
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medications, Ayurvedic pain-relief oil, or Disease-Modifying Anticonvulsant Drugs (DMARDs) to manage your symptoms.
- Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can help improve joint function and reduce pain through exercises and techniques made to your specific needs.
- Lifestyle Changes: Add joint-friendly activities and make adjustments to your daily routine to prevent and reduce joint discomfort.
- Surgery: For severe conditions, surgical intervention such as joint replacement or fusion may be considered.
Arthritis is a widespread condition that affects people of all ages. By being aware of its symptoms and taking preventive steps, such as taking prescribed preventive medication or joint pain-relief oil, making lifestyle changes, or engaging in regular physical activity, arthritis can be managed effectively. Remember that there is hope and help available for those affected by this condition. Stay informed and proactive, and consult your healthcare provider for guidance on living a full life despite arthritis.