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About World Arthritis Day

In 1996, Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) established World Arthritis Day. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) all over the world. The theme of this year’s campaign is Don’t Delay, Connect Today with a focus on work with the strapline – Time2Work.The day takes place in the middle of National Arthritis Week (7th to 13th of October 2020), a wider campaign led by UK’s leading charity for arthritis, Versus Arthritis. Arthritis is a disease that affects approximately 350 million people worldwide. There are around 120 million people currently living with a rheumatic disease like arthritis, in the European Union alone.

Pain is the most disabling symptom of arthritis. Many myths surround the management of arthritis that can be a barrier to effective management. Many believe that exercise is dangerous, that findings on imaging (i.e. x-ray and MRI) dictate what one can do, and surgery and rest are the only treatments. We now know that excessive rest and avoidance of activity can make pain and disability due to arthritis worse. While a small proportion of individuals will benefit from surgery (e.g. a knee replacement), not everybody requires surgery or will benefit from surgery. Graded exercise and activity are safe and good for your muscles and joints.

People with arthritis should be encouraged to engage in strengthening exercises and regular physical activity. Exercise prescription should account for one’s values, goals, and preferences, as no one exercise is superior to another. To help patients with arthritis get active, check out The European Pain Federation’s On the Move campaign for tips and resources (available in 11 languages). For in-depth information on arthritis, its symptoms, and the various treatment options available, visit Versus Arthritis. If you are a healthcare professional treating people with arthritis, pleas have a look at our Virtual Pain Education Summit! It will take place on 6-8 November 2020. If you would like to download the Don’t Delay, Connect Today campaign toolkit, and resources, please visit EULAR website here.