September is Arthritis Awareness Month

Originally posted at Sept 24, 2013:

September is Arthritis Awareness Month. I wanted to ensure that I wrote about this debilitating disease so that there is some better understanding when we hear things like “it is going to rain tomorrow, I can feel it in my bones.”

“There is no cure for arthritis”.

The Arthritis Society of Ontario’s website shares the following numbers:
“First – Among all causes of disability in Canada, arthritis ranks first among women and third among men.
2/3 – Two out of three Canadians affected by arthritis are women.
3/5 – Nearly three out of every five people with arthritis are of working age.
60 – Within a generation, there will be a new diagnosis of osteoarthritis in Canada every 60 seconds.
4.6 million – Over 4.6 million Canadian adults (one in six Canadians aged 15 years and older) report having arthritis. By 2036, this number is expected to grow to an estimated 7.5 million Canadian adults (one in five).”

I have learnt that there “more than 100 different condition which range from relatively mild forms of tendinitis and bursitis to crippling systemic forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It includes pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia and arthritis-related disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, that involve every part of the body. Other forms of the disease, such as gout, are almost never thought of as arthritis, while osteoarthritis is often thought to be the only form of this disease.”

The Arthritis Society says it best, so here it is:

“Joint pain is the most common denominator. The common denominator for all of these conditions is joint and musculoskeletal pain, which is why they are grouped together as ‘arthritis.’ Often this pain is a result of inflammation of the joint lining. Inflammation is involved in many forms of arthritis and is the body’s natural response to injury. The warning signs presented by inflammation are redness, swelling, heat and pain. When a joint becomes inflamed, it may get any or all of these symptoms. This can prevent the normal use of the joint and therefore it can cause the loss of function of that joint.
Arthritis can affect anyone
Arthritis can affect babies and children, as well as people in the prime of their lives. Nearly three of every five people with arthritis are of working age (under 65).
Treating arthritis
Establishing an early diagnosis is critical to the outcome of the disease, since it only gets progressively worse and therapies work best when started as early as possible”.

Do you know the risk factors? For more information please visit

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