Arthritis is the major cause of chronic pain and disability in Australia. This World Arthritis Day we are raising awareness that people of all ages and backgrounds can be affected by arthritis. It is therefore important to know the symptoms of arthritis to enable early diagnosis and prevent further damage.
The Faces of Arthritis
Arthritis affects 1 in 4 people in New South Wales. People from any age and background can get arthritis, including children and young people. The chronic and severe pain that is often associated with arthritis has a profound and negative impact on quality of life. Everyday tasks such as using a keyboard, getting dressed, opening jars or even opening a door can be difficult if not impossible. A number of people affected by arthritis have kindly shared their stories with us:
Introducing Mary who is a life member of Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW. Mary has inflammatory osteoarthritis affecting almost every joint in her body. Staying warm is important to Mary, especially in during the cooler months so she attends our warm water classes. These also help Mary to keep moving which helps relieve pain. Read more
Tim Minny is a young man who has lived with juvenile idiopathic arthritis for most of his life. Managing the symptoms of arthritis involves a number of strategies for Tim, who is keen to help other young people on their journey. Hear more from Tim here ->
Jackie Payne is keen to raise community awareness and understanding of arthritis, a too-often ‘hidden’ disease which has a profound impact on the lives of those affected. Jackie’s story is presented here ->
Charmaine Reynolds is an example of a young woman whose delayed diagnosis of arthritis likely resulted in surgical intervention that might otherwise have been avoided. Whilst it is a part of her everyday life, Charmaine doesn’t let arthritis stop her living her life or doing the things she enjoys. Read how support and fellowship has helped Charmaine maintain a positive outlook ->
Judith Flanagan Ifaa is a passionate advocate for raising awareness about the pain people with arthritis live with every day. Judith has fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and psoriasis. Read how Judith manages her symptoms and gets the word out ->
Why is early diagnosis important?
Early treatment of arthritis is the key to preventing permanent joint and organ damage. There are some very effective medications for some types of arthritis. Lifestyle modifications such as losing weight, staying active, balancing activity with rest, eating a diet rich in nutrients and getting enough sleep can help too. With early diagnosis and the right treatment, those with arthritis are more likely to lead a full and active life.
What are arthritis symptoms I should be aware of?
People with arthritis often receive a delayed diagnosis which can be due to a lack of awareness of the symptoms. There are many different forms of arthritis and each affects individuals differently. Symptoms may include the following:
• Persistent joint pain
• Inflammation indicated by joint swelling, stiffness, redness, and/or warmth
• Joint deformity
• Loss of range of motion or flexibility in a joint
• Extreme fatigue, lack of energy, weakness, or a feeling of malaise.
Contact your health professional if you have any symptoms or concerns.
What services does Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW offer to people with arthritis?
We are a charitable and membership-based organisation that seeks to improve the quality of life of those affected by arthritis. The organisation is a trusted source of evidence-based and up-to-date information on arthritis and its treatment. Education programs are delivered across a number of platforms such as seminars, webinars and community awareness sessions. Our health services team develops and delivers exercise programs, such as the popular Warm Water Classes. We also deliver 2 annual camps for children affected by juvenile arthritis. If you would like to stay informed about all of our latest information, events and resources subscribe to our eNewsletter. To take the next step and be heard, be informed, be supported and be rewarded, you might like to become a member of Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW.