Each year, 12 October marks World Arthritis Day. This year discover the vital role rehabilitation plays in managing arthritis effectively and help us to challenge the misconception that arthritis solely affects older people.
Arthritis affects millions of people around the world. The European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) estimates that in Europe alone, 120 million people are living with the condition, sometimes referred to as rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMD). Arthritis is a condition that can limit daily activities and social participation due to pain and restricted movement.
Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not limited to the elderly but can impact individuals across all age groups. While it is true that the risk of developing certain types of arthritis increases with age, other forms, like juvenile idiopathic arthritis, affect children. Rheumatoid arthritis can strike in the prime of life, often between the ages of 30 and 50. Early diagnosis and timely intervention can transform arthritis management across all ages. For the young, benefits can include better school attendance, work performance, and social interaction. For older adults, early management helps preserve mobility, maintain independence, and improve quality of life, allowing for greater participation in family and community activities. Lifestyle choices, irrespective of age, significantly influence arthritis management. Balanced diets, regular exercise, and weight management contribute to symptom control and may prevent certain forms of the condition.
As we observe World Arthritis Day, let’s take a closer look at how rehabilitation professionals, such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists, make a difference. They focus their treatment on creating individual treatment plans focusing on physical activity and well-being, pain management, and improving mobility, with the aim of elevating quality of life. The role of physiotherapists specifically in arthritis management was also highlighted recently in more detail for World PT Day. Rehabilitation is not just a secondary treatment; it is a central component of holistic arthritis care. Services often extend beyond clinical settings into the community and people’s homes. Expertise of rehabilitation professionals provide individuals with practical strategies for daily symptom management. Whether it’s about learning how to manage pain or discovering exercises that enhance mobility, rehabilitation opens the door to a more active and fulfilling life for people with arthritis.
In a nutshell, the role of rehabilitation in arthritis care is indispensable. As we recognise World Arthritis Day, make sure that you understand the contributions of the rehabilitation professionals who are helping to change lives every day. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of arthritis, search our platform for evidence-based, peer-reviewed information that you can trust. Join us to raise awareness using the hashtags #WorldArthritisDay