World Arthritis Day celebrated worldwide on 12th October 2008, is a yearly campaign to increase public awareness about the condition as well as improve ways to smoothen life for victims of the condition. The theme this year, "Think Positive", underlines the importance of a positive frame of mind in combating arthritis.
Creating awareness, improving access to disease management and enhancing psychological support for victims to lead independent and fulfilling lives, is the pervading sentiment of World Arthritis Day.
The key objective is to increase public awareness and attract attention of policy makers about the immense challenges faced by victims. The initiatives seek to:
· Educate people about all forms of arthritis
· Spread awareness to caregivers and victims about the extensive support available
· Impress on policy makers about imperative changes to aid better facilities to victims
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints which manifests as stiffness and pain in the joints. What may begin as pain in one joint could gradually spread to all joints in the body. The joints become stiff and hence movement becomes restricted and painful.
Must Know Forms of Arthritis
This is the most common type of arthritis affecting many senior citizens. Also called as age-related arthritis, it most often shows up as people catch up with age. Initial symptoms portrayed are joint pain that increases with movement. The joints vulnerable to osteoarthritis are the weight bearing joints- the hips and knees. Obesity, infections, fracture, hyperthyroidism, and joint dislocation could also lead to osteoarthritis. Such conditions also promote the condition among the younger lot.
Rheumatoid arthritis, known to affect more than 1% of people worldwide, is a systemic disease that has perplexed experts. The causes of rheumatoid arthritis are yet unclear. Typically victims experience morning stiffness accompanied by inflammation of the joints. If the condition is diagnosed early, victims are able to manage the disease with appropriate treatment and exercise. In severe cases, patients struggle with lifelong disability and deformity.
Fibromyalgia, another form of arthritis, is accompanied by pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles. It is intriguing as it manifests without any inflammation of tissues. The symptoms could persist for a few months or continue for years, and lends itself difficult for diagnosis.
Arthritis can also affect children, known to affect nearly one in thousand globally below the age of sixteen. The condition medically termed as Juvenile arthritis or childhood arthritis, is extremely difficult to detect in children, especially since they do not complain of pain. Yet, some of the common symptoms which should not be ignored are - morning stiffness of joints and difficulty in movement.
Power of Positive Thinking
Undoubtedly, victims of Arthritis need to grapple excruciating pain, discomfort and restricted movement. This can drain them physically and emotionally.
A positive frame of mind is imperative to help victims move on and make the most out of life, despite the challenges posed by the disease. While early detection, effective treatment, good diet, and exercise are proven ways to arthritis management, life for victims can look more promising with positive thinking.