World Arthritis Day takes place each year on the 12th of October and aims to help raise awareness around the existence and impact of arthritis. Over 4.7 million Canadians aged 50 years and older live with the condition, and while it is more common as you age, joint pain is not a normal part of aging. Arthritis can be a debilitating chronic condition that can impact a person’s mobility and increase the risk of falls. While World Arthritis Day is only one day out of the year, understanding the condition and associated prevention and management options can help manage it and reduce symptoms.
Although arthritis is a common condition, it is often misunderstood. Arthritis is an umbrella term used to describe joint pain and disease. Problems in and around our joints can range from relatively mild forms of tendinitis to severe body-wide rheumatoid arthritis. Joint pain is the most common symptom and can range from mild to severe. The pain associated with arthritis can prohibit people from doing physical activity and affect their capacity to perform activities of daily living.
When it comes to managing arthritis, there are several ways to reduce symptoms and improve mobility. Self-management strategies often involve weight management, heat and cold therapies, and therapeutic exercises. Research has also shown that aerobic exercises and/or strength training may improve some symptoms and outcomes in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Depending on the severity of one’s arthritis and type, assistive devices, medication, and surgery may also be used.
Learn about evidence-based approaches for managing your arthritis and reducing symptoms using the resources below and talk to your health professional about what the best treatment options are for you.