Supported by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), World Arthritis Day provides a platform for those suffering with the life limiting condition to make their voices heard and exact meaningful change.
Their three aims are:
- To raise awareness of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases among sufferers, the public and the medical professions.
- To change policy set by decision makers by making them aware of the consequences of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases and what needs to be done to help ease the burden.
- To publicise the vast support network that is available to all people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
What is arthritis?
It’s estimated that more than 10 million people in the UK suffer from a form of arthritis or other musculoskeletal disease. While it’s often thought of as an old person’s disease, arthritis can affect anyone at any age, even young children.
Symptoms of arthritis include:
- Painful, stiff joints
- Swelling in and around joints
- Restricted movement
- Warm red skin over affected joints
- Weakness and muscle wastage
- Loss of cartilage, ligaments and bone
- Osteophytes (a bony projection caused by degeneration of cartilage)
There are two main types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form in the UK, with around 9 million people with the condition, and tends to affect women more than men. Osteoarthritis mainly affects hands, the spine, knees and hips and causes the cartilage lining the joint to roughen and thin, causing pain, swelling and osteophytes.
Rheumatoid arthritis is less common, affecting approximately 400,000 in the UK and women are three times more likely to develop the condition than men. This type of arthritis is a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the joints, leading to pain, inflammation and a break down of cartilage and bone. People with rheumatoid arthritis also have a higher risk of developing other problems with their tissue and organs.
Is there a cure?
While there is no cure for arthritis at the moment, there are some effective treatments that can help manage the condition, such as medicine and exercise programmes. Like many diseases, catching artritis early is essential to helping the person live a normal life and remain independent for as long as possible. However, without a cure the progress and degeneration of the condition is inevitable, leaving the sufferer in pain and robbing them of their social life and independence as they’re likely to need professional care.
Among the most highly regarded care homes in Dorset, Primrose Lodge Southbourne offers a range of care services to ensure our residents maintain an independent, happy and healthy lifestyle. To learn more about what we do, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today on 01202 429514.