“A Global Effort to Raise Awareness and Support”
every year, on October 12th, people around the world come together to observe World Arthritis Day. This international awareness day aims to shed light on the impact of arthritis, promote understanding, and advocate for better care and support for individuals living with this debilitating condition. Arthritis is a prevalent but often misunderstood disease, affecting millions of people of all ages. In this blog we will explore the significance of world arthritis day and the importance of spreading awareness about this condition.
Arthritis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation and pain in the joints. It is not a single disease but a term used to describe a group of more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. The most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is often associated with aging. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced joint flexibility.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the synovium, the lining of the membranes that surround the joints. This leads to inflammation, joint damage, and pain. It can affect multiple joints throughout the body.
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: This type of arthritis affects children and adolescents under the age of 16. It can manifest in various forms, with symptoms including joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Causes of Arthritis:
- Genetics: If you have family history of a specific type of arthritis, you may be increased risk of developing it.
- Autoimmune Reactions: Autoimmune arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissues.
- Age: Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is often associated with the natural aging process. As joint age, the protective cartilage can wear down, leading to osteoarthritis.
- Injury or Trauma: Joint injuries, such as fractures or dislocations, can lead to post-traumatic arthritis. Repetitive stress or overuse of joints can also contribute to the development of arthritis.
- Infection: Some types of arthritis, like septic arthritis, are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections that enter the joint.
- Metabolic Factors: Gout is a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This condition can be influenced by diet, genetics, and other metabolic factors.
- Hormonal changes: Some forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis may be influenced by hormonal changes, as the condition is more common in women.
- Environmental Factors: Exposure to certain environmental factors, such as smoking, air pollution, and toxins, may play a role in the development of certain types of arthritis.
- Obesity: Excess body weight can put additional stress on weight bearing joints like the knees and hips, increasing the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
- Lifestyle and Diet: A diet high in certain foods, such as red meat and sugary beverages, can contribute to the development of arthritis, particularly gout.
Symptoms of Arthritis:
1. Joint pain: Persistent joint pain is a hallmark symptom of arthritis. The pain can be mild to severe and may be localized to one joint or affect multiple joints.
2. Joint Stiffness: Arthritis often causes joint stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity. Stiffness can make it difficult to move the affected joint.
3. Swelling: Inflamed joints may become swollen and appear larger than normal. The swelling can lead to a sensation of warmth in the affected joints.
4. Redness and Warmth: The skin over an inflamed joint may become red and warm to the touch, particularly in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Decreased Range of Motion: Arthritis can limit the range of motion in affected joints, making it challenging to perform everyday tasks and activities.
6. Fatigue: Many people with arthritis experience fatigue, which can be caused by both the inflammatory process and the pain associated with the condition.
7. Weakness: Muscle surrounding affected joints may weaken due to disuse and pain, further limiting joint function.
8. Tenderness: The affected joints can be tender to the touch, and even light pressure can cause discomfort.
9. Crepitus: In some cases, there may be a grating or cracking sensation (crepitus) when moving the affected joints.
10. Joint Deformities: Over time, certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can lead to joint deformities and changes in the joint’s appearance.
The Impact of Arthritis:
Arthritis is a widespread health issue, with over 350 million people worldwide affected by it, It is not just a condition that affects the elderly; it can strike at any age, including children. The pain and limitations arthritis imposes on individuals can be physically and emotionally distressing. It affects one’s ability to work, engage ion daily activities, and maintain a good quality of life. Therefore, raising awareness about this condition is crucial.
The Goals of World Arthritis Day:
- Raising Awareness: One of the primary goals of this day is to educate the public about the various types of arthritis, their impact on individuals, and the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
- Reducing Stigma: Arthritis is often an “invisible” disease, which means that others may not fully understand the pain and challenges that those affected by it face. World arthritis day helps dispel myths and reduce the stigma associated with this condition.
- Advocating for Better Care: People living with arthritis often requires specialized medical care, physiotherapy, and support. This day encourages governments and healthcare systems to improve the services and resources available to arthritis patients.
- Fostering a Supportive Community: This day connects individuals and organizations dedicated to helping those with arthritis. It fosters a sense of community and solidarity among patients and their caregivers.
- Promoting Early Diagnosis: Early detection and intervention are vital in managing arthritis effectively. This day emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and encourages people to seek medical attention if they experience symptoms.
Contribution of B Jain Pharmaceuticals in World Arthritis Day:
World arthritis day serves as a global platform to highlight the challenges faced by arthritis patients, promote understanding, and advocate for better care. B Jain Pharmaceuticals, as a prominent player in the homeopathic industry, has the potential to contribute to these important goals through their products like B Jain Omeo Arthro-Relief Drops, Omeo Arthritis Medicated Syrup, and B Jain Omeo Rheum Ease Oil, educational materials and engagement with the healthcare community.
World Arthritis Day serves as a reminder that arthritis is a global health issue that affects millions of people. By Raising awareness, reducing stigma, and advocating for better care, we can make a positive impact in the lives of individuals living with arthritis.
Please visit our previous blog – Prioritizing Well-being and Breaking Stigmas
Dr Simranjit Kaur
Dr Simranjit Kaur is a highly accomplished medical professional with a BHMS degree from BVDU Pune and additional qualifications including CGO and MBA(Hospital Administration). With a passion for paediatric care, Dr. Simranjit pursed a fellowship in paediatrics, honing expertise in the specialized field. Currently Research Officer at BJain Pharmaceuticals.