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AFeatures 

News for friends of the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region
May 2013

 

Articles This Issue

The Talk About the Walk
Arthritis Walk participants share what the Walk means to them.  Find out more. 

The Ripple Effect - Arthritis Advocacy
How advocates can inspire legislators to enact change.  Read more.

Why I Volunteer
Program instructor Cyndi Forbes role-models a can-do attitude in and out of her classes. Read her story.

Rheum to Grow
Annual Rheumapalooza event exposes medical students to the intricacies of rheumatology.  Discover how.

Celebrating 100 Years with Victory Laps
Catharine Klontz walks to prove there is no age limit for taking part in Jingle Bell Run/Walks. Know more.

Researchers Identify Factors that Influence Joint Surgery Success
A Canadian study helps pinpoint which patients will do best following total joint replacement. Learn more.

Mark Your Calendar for Arthritis Month
Debunk the myths of arthritis, meet the faces of arthritis and more. Get started.

Foundation Facts

Get Connected

 


 

The Talk About the Walk

Arthritis Walk participants share what the Walk means to them.

 

Arthritis WalkThere are countless reasons why people attend Arthritis Walks, whether it’s because of a personal commitment to improving arthritis, supporting a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor, or taking part in a fun day of celebrating health and community involvement.

A few of the Arthritis Walk’s many participants and volunteers recently shared their perspectives on the Arthritis Walk and what it means to them.

These are their reasons they love the Arthritis Walk:

AW - walkers“I love the Arthritis Walk because it’s a great way to get the community involved in the struggle against arthritis.” - Tinka Piper, Colorado Springs Arthritis Walk

“I walk because someday I might not be able to.” - Sharon Dean, Vancouver/Portland Arthritis Walk

AW young girls"The Arthritis Walk inspires me to provide my community with knowledge and awareness of the profound impact of this disease, and encourage people to walk with me!” - Hannah Schimmer, Eugene/Springfield Arthritis Walk

“I love the Arthritis Walk because it’s a great way to be a voice for all the kids who have this disease, dispose of myths, and gain community support and awareness!” - April Bays, Salt Lake City Arthritis Walk

AW - two women“I walk because it breaks my heart to think of the kids who grow up in constant pain because of arthritis and I can't wait until the day where we find a cure!” - Ashley Nelson, Denver Arthritis Walk

“The most fun part of the Arthritis Walk is that rain or shine, it's a blast!” - Mary Hatzenbeler, Vancouver/Portland Arthritis Walk

AW man with dog“I walk because I can, without pain and millions of Americans struggle daily to do something as simple as walking, and because my beautiful daughter is one of those people.” - Tiffany Vought, Salt Lake City Arthritis Walk

 

 

AW - vendor area
Arthritis Walks are taking place this spring in communities all across the United States. Find your local event today!

www.arthritiswalk.org

 

 


 

The Ripple Effect - Arthritis Advocacy

How advocates can inspire legislators to enact change.


Drop a pebble in the water and you might be amazed and what comes back to you. This effect, the ripple effect, is what happens when the repercussions of an event are far beyond what was expected. It’s these ripples from paying it forward, volunteering and committing to the Arthritis Foundation that can lead to unexpected and greater things. These ripples can broaden the impact of volunteerism in many different ways, among many communities.

In this ongoing series, we’ll hear from groups, volunteers and organizations committed to the Arthritis Foundation. They’ll share how their partnership with the Arthritis Foundation has benefited their own work and lives in unexpected ways.


David LoudDavid Loud, Community Liaison for Congressman Jim McDermott, 7th Congressional District of Washington, located in Seattle, Washington

In his own words…

I became connected to the Arthritis Foundation when I was invited to the 2006 Journey to a Cure Breakfast by AF volunteer Patti McKinnell Davis, whose daughter was afflicted with severe RA. Patti became an AF Board member the next year and continued to serve as liaison with our office.

Congressman McDermott has for many years been a champion of universal access to quality, affordable health care, as well as access to conditions for optimal health. He believes these should be considered rights in a democratic society. The AF since 1948 has been a steadfast advocate for conquering arthritis and making sure those affected by it get effective help. The Congressman’s and the AF’s goals are very much complementary, and he has cosponsored many bills to support arthritis research funding and care. He was one of the first members in 2011 of the bi-cameral, bi-partisan Arthritis Caucus.

In 2010, I began working with the staff and volunteers of the AF Pacific NW Chapter to make sure arthritis issues were addressed in the implementation in the Affordable Care Act.

The AF has played a key role in reaching out to the many “voluntary health associations” (VHAs) concerned with particular diseases, with the goal of making common cause wherever practical to increase the advocacy voice of the VHAs at both the federal and state levels. The AF has also participated in the broader Health WA Coalition pressing to bring maximum benefit of health care reform for WA residents. This sort of grass-roots coalition-building is absolutely vital if we are to fulfill the promise of health care for all.

The AF, like most VHAs , is led by staff and volunteers who have been personally touched by the tragedies associated with the diseases. This helps explain their passion, commitment and knowledge.

The relationship between our office and the AF and its advocates has helped our office keep up to date on the complex effort of implementing the ACA and addressing make-or-break issues for specific populations, like those affected by arthritis. I like to think this has been mutually beneficial.

The AF is responsible for educating me on the scope and impact of arthritis, including that a quarter of population has diagnosed arthritis, and arthritis is the leading cause of disability in our country. I confess I was surprised to learn this and other sobering facts from the AF.


Find out more:

The Arthritis Foundation, its advocates and devoted supporters like David Loud are leading the charge to make changes in health care policy on the federal and state levels. Discover these priorities and more at:
www.arthritis.org/advocacy

 

 

 


 

"Why I Volunteer..."

Cyndi Forbes

Program instructor Cyndi Forbes role-models a can-do attitude, both in and out of her classes.

Cyndi Forbes has been a committed Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program Instructor for over a decade. Spend any time with Cyndi and you’ll hear her infectious giggle alongside the enthusiasm in her voice as she recalls her many adventures of living and teaching with arthritis.

The 71 year-old’s positive attitude stems in part from her training as a re-motivation specialist at a nursing home. Her specialization and love of therapeutic humor led her be one of the founding members of the American Association of Therapeutic Humor (now called the American Association for Applied Therapeutic Humor), a worldwide organization with members including physicians, nurses, lay people and clowns. Cyndi herself was a therapeutic clown for years, Candy-T-Clown, and now is a semi-retired therapeutic clown that goes by the new name of Granny Giggles.


Cyndi ForbesName: Cyndi Forbes

Location: Helena, Montana (My view is mountains all the way around!)

What is the story of your arthritis diagnosis?
I had rheumatic fever as a child, and was in bed for two years. In high school I was in a tumbling accident that resulted in a back injury. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my cervical spine and knees when I was 29. I’ll never forget that doctor’s appointment. The doctor asked me what position I played in football. I said I didn’t play football. He said “it looks like your knees did”.


What are some of the challenges or ups and downs you’ve had since your diagnosis?
I have arthritis now all over my entire body. At the point where I was not only falling down the stairs, but UP the stairs, too, I knew I had to finally have my knees replaced at age 56. I had my left shoulder reconstructed in 1995. In 2005 I had my right rotator cuff repaired and cleaned out. I also had two carpal tunnel surgeries.


How did you first get connected with the Arthritis Foundation?
I had a small stroke and large seizure in 1993. After that, I became legally disabled. I lived in a house with stairs, and I was stuck on the first floor all the time because I could barely go up or down stairs. My husband and I were living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the time. I called the local Arthritis Foundation and gave them my background and asked how I could help. I began volunteering to answer the Arthritis Foundation’s information and referral telephone line two days a week. People would call in with arthritis questions and looking for help, whether they had been diagnosed recently or if they’d struggled with the disease for years.

When I had my knees replaced, my husband saw in the newspaper that the Arthritis Foundation had a support group. I signed-up for it and it was wonderful. I met an older gentleman named Al during that program. Al started asking me every week to join the Arthritis Foundation’s exercise classes. He finally wore me down and I said okay. As soon as I started taking those exercise classes I realized that I needed it. It was an answer to my prayers. I signed up for the Arthritis Foundation’s Self-Help classes soon after that because knowledge is golden and those classes taught me even more about my arthritis. I have a touch of fibromyalgia as well, and also joined the Arthritis Foundation’s fibromyalgia classes.

In 2001 I volunteered at one of the Arthritis Foundation’s camps for kids with arthritis. I taught a session for all the kids called “How to live with a chronic illness happily.” After all, you are going to have a chronic illness anyway, you might as well be happy.


How have you been involved with the Arthritis Foundation as a volunteer over the years?
We moved to Montana 11 years ago. When we did, I found out there were no Arthritis Foundation classes in the entire state. I figured I’d have to start one. Luckily before we left Milwaukee, I had been trained as an Arthritis Foundation certified instructor in the Exercise Program, which was then called People with Arthritis Can Exercise (or PACE).

exercise classI called the Arthritis Foundation and began working with them to start my classes in Montana. I started off teaching exercise classes at the Helena Senior Center one day a week. Soon enough, the class asked for the program two days a week. Shortly thereafter I began teaching classes at the local senior center on Mondays and Fridays and then at Hunter’s Pointe Retirement Residence on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was also teaching at Rosetta Assisted Living on Wednesday mornings.

For the past 10 years I’ve also been teaching an exercise program based on the Arthritis Foundation’s exercise program on Helena Civic Television that airs on Fridays at 11:00 a.m. It’s a great way for people to exercise who can’t leave their home because of health reasons, or for those that don’t like group exercises. We have made exercise DVDs from these shows, which people tell me they take with them on vacation so they can stay active.


What advice do you have for people with arthritis to manage their health?
The key for arthritis health is to think of it like a teeter totter of exercise and rest. You’ve got to keep your teeter totter balanced between the two… exercise and rest, exercise and rest.

Another thing I tell people is the “catch-up” idea. First, you take an empty ketchup bottle, wash it out and keep it. The next time you are planning out a big activity, like making cookies, think about all the steps it takes to make the cookies. If you do all those steps at once, you could really wear yourself out and your arthritis will hurt more.

So you make a contract with yourself to manage your activities. First you might get out all your supplies for making cookies… the flour, the bowls, the mixer. After this, give yourself a “catch-up” break to give your body a rest. Take your empty ketchup/catch-up bottle out and put it on the counter. This is your way of giving yourself permission to stop. It also tells any of your family members in the house that you are taking time to rest. So once you put out your ketchup bottle, go sit down on the couch. Concentrate on relaxing. Relax. When you’re done relaxing, put a smile on your face. Get up. Start with the next step of making cookies – mix all of your ingredients to make the dough. Put the dough in the refrigerator, then take another “catch-up” break and put your ketchup bottle back on the counter.

If you break-up your activities like this and take your time it keeps your teeter totter balanced and keeps you healthier.


What is your perspective about having arthritis?
You’ve got a problem and it’s chronic. You’re going to have it anyway. But you have the free will to make a decision about how you’re going to handle it. It’s like you come up to a three-way stop sign. If you take a left you’re going to be miserable, angry, depressed, and in a negative pain cycle where you don’t want to help anybody… destructive towards yourself. But if you take a right at the stop sign you can be helpful and cooperative to the community and most importantly, be happy.

How can attitude influence arthritis pain?
Well sometimes it’s not the days where you have a lot of severe pain that are the worst. Sometimes the worst days are when you have a lot of little pains that can really wear you out. On these days, I take some time to myself. I go into the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror. I say, “It’s not my fault. I’m okay.” Then I stick my tongue out at myself and giggle. You get the bad feelings out of your system and when you do, you take control and change your attitude. You empower yourself.

Then I do what I call the “suck, tuck and roll.” You look in the mirror, suck your gut in, tuck in your butt, roll your shoulders up and back down one more time, and then you bring your chin in. You’ve got yourself aligned and then you’re ready to go back out in the world.


What makes a good volunteer?
The need to want to help yourself, first. When you help yourself learn, you help yourself get out of the negative pain cycle. You get away from isolation. You learn that you are not the only one with arthritis and you learn how other people cope. You get involved in your community. You are in control.

The more that you can get involved in your community, the better it is for both you and your community. Start by volunteering with the Arthritis Foundation to help yourself.


What are some of your favorite AF volunteer experiences?
At Hunter’s Pointe, there was a lady named Cora that was exercising with me in my class since the day I started. One day she got sick. Hospice care was called in. She couldn’t leave her bed. I went to see Cora and she asked for a list of exercises she could do from her bed so her muscles wouldn’t atrophy. I did my research and looked at the Arthritis Foundation exercises and started thinking outside of the box for what she could do. I imagined myself in bed and what isometric exercises I could do. I came up with a list of exercises for Cora, printed them out in big type and hung them on the walls of her room. She and I practiced all of the exercises together. I gave her a big kiss on the cheek. Then I empowered her and told her to come up with suggested changes to the exercises. This gave her a sense of control.

Months later, guess who rolled into my class in her wheelchair? She couldn’t do all the exercises in my class, but wanted to be a part of the group again… to get back in with friends who gave her positive reinforcement, and that she gave positive reinforcement to in return.


For those readers out there who may have hesitations about volunteering for the first time, what would you say to encourage them?
Get a piece of paper and a pencil and make a list. Ask your friends and family, “What are the things I like to do?” Write down these things on the left-side of the paper. Then ask yourself, “What are the things I’ve wanted to do and haven’t had the time to do?” These things don’t have to be realistic – it could be things like walk on the moon or go mountain climbing. Write all these things down on the right-side of the paper.

Then make a third column in the middle and ask yourself, “What would I like to do now?” Write down five things. Think about them. Then go to your phonebook or newspaper and find out what you can do in your community. Find your local Arthritis Foundation. Get all the contact information for the places where you want to consider volunteering, so you don’t have an excuse or barrier later for reaching out to them. Call them, and find out their volunteer opportunities. Get that first foot out the door, and the next foot will surely follow.

--------

Cyndi has many mottos in life. Lately, though, her motto of “do not let what you cannot do stop you from what you can do” rings especially true. Diagnosed with cancer in her right lung, in her spine and “a little in her kidney”, she is undergoing treatment and utilizing an oxygen tank 24/7.

Just like her attitude of life with arthritis, Cyndi hasn’t let cancer slow her down. She is still teaching her Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program classes four days a week. If she can’t make it to class, Cyndi plays them her exercise DVDs from her television show. Cyndi recently handed over the teaching reins for one of her classes to another volunteer so that she can exercise in local hot springs, attached to a 25 foot extension tube for her oxygen tank.

As always, Cyndi is keeping her teeter totter balanced between exercise and rest.


Find out more:

Make your own list and consider volunteering for the Arthritis Foundation. Find out how at:
http://afvolunteer.kintera.org/CO

  

 

 


 

Rheum to Grow

Annual Rheumapalooza event exposes medical students to the intricacies of rheumatology.

A one-of-a-kind program is taking place every spring in Washington that exposes hundreds of medical students to the intricacies of the field of rheumatology.

Called Rheumapalooza, this three-day event is a whirlwind tour of the field of rheumatology for second-year medical students at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington. The event was created by Helen Emery, MD, a pediatric rheumatologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“The idea was to build upon the basic knowledge of immunology and musculoskeletal diseases that students learn in their first year of medical school, and apply that to clinical scenarios in rheumatology” says Dr. Emery. “We want to expose the students to some of the more hands-on, interesting aspects of the field.”

The field of rheumatology has never been a high-demand specialty for medical students and there is a shortage of pediatric rheumatologists across the United States. These two primary factors influenced Dr. Emery to develop the program in 2008 alongside Dr. Gregory Gardner, an adult rheumatologist at University of Washington.

“We don’t expect all of Rheumapalooza’s participants to become rheumatologists after the program. But rheumatic diseases are common and overlap with so many other specialties, though, from orthopedics to pulmonology. We hope to increase the awareness of the ubiquity of rheumatic diseases through the program,” she says. “And Rheumapalooza has led to an increase in the number of students who request electives in adult and pediatric rheumatology.”

Through a fast-paced schedule over the course of three half-days, 230 medical students work directly with patients and get unique mini-courses related to rheumatology. In small groups they meet patients with rheumatic diseases, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis and scleroderma/myositis syndrome.

They also learn skills such as reading imaging studies and DEXA scans for bone density; performing joint ultrasounds; reviewing pathology; and looking at crystals found in joint fluid. They also participate in lectures on topics such as Immunology, linking basic science to inflammation and autoimmunity; using the clinical immunology lab in diagnosis and management; how to diagnose rheumatic diseases and principles of medical management . This year for the first time the course included a patient/professional panel which included a physical therapist, and Arthritis Foundation staff and volunteers who discussed the impact of arthritis on society of arthritis, the advantages of a multidisciplinary approach to arthritis management and value of community resources such as the Arthritis Foundation.

rheumapaloozaPete Holder knows first-hand of the impact of osteoarthritis. His right knee is significantly affected by osteoarthritis and he’s dealt with years of pain, surgical interventions, medications and exercise regiments to alleviate his symptoms. Pete became involved with Rheumapalooza in 2012 as a demonstration patient in the program.

As part of his role, the Rheumapalooza students worked hands-on with Pete (pictured at left at the 2012 Rheumapalooza with presenter Peggy Schlesinger, MD) to assess his symptoms and clinical exam findings, and discovered how his osteoarthritis impacted his life.

“I shared my journey with arthritis with the students and how I manage arthritis on a daily basis,” Pete says. “It surprised a lot of the students to hear how much my arthritis had impacted my life and how I’ve had to navigate the medical system to get the best care.”

“I love seeing the excitement of the medical students when they actually get to meet the patients in the program,” says Dr. Emery. “They’ve done all of this book learning, so for them to see the patients in flesh and blood is the best part.”

Pete agrees, “Rheumapalooza takes some of the medical students’ previous textbook and lab experiences and puts it into practice.”

Dr. Emery adds, “The curriculum is so packed now. We don’t have time to add much more. We’re now working with other course chairs to include content we don’t have time to teach at Rheumapalooza in their programs.”


Find Out More:

The American College of Rheumatology’s website is a comprehensive source of information about the field of rheumatology.

 

 


 

Celebrating 100 Years with Victory Laps

Catharine Klontz walks to prove there is no age limit for taking part in Jingle Bell Run/Walks.

Catharine Klontz

 

In her own words:

While I would very much like to be involved [with the Jingle Bell Run/Walk], I am afraid I can no longer travel. I continue to support your efforts through my daughter, Angela. The day of the walk, I walk laps around the patio, and I make a small donation each year. I will be celebrating my 100th birthday just after this year’s event on New Year’s Day.

Sincerely,

Catharine Klontz

 

 

 

 


 

Researchers Identify Factors that Influence Joint Surgery Success

A Canadian study helps pinpoint which patients will do best following total joint replacement.

By Trish McHenry / Reprinted from ArthritisToday.org

knee xrayA new study, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism in April, may help determine which arthritis patients benefit most from joint replacement surgery, also called total joint arthroplasty (TJA). It could also help doctors and patients best determine at what point in disease progression is the ideal time to have the surgery in order to get the best outcome.

Among the factors that made a difference: high levels of pre-surgical pain, only one “troublesome” hip or knee, better overall health (no other health conditions), and joint damage caused by osteoarthritis (OA) as opposed to inflammatory types of arthritis.

With an aging population of baby boomers, the number of joint replacement surgeries is surging. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, between 1996 and 2006, total hip replacement in the United States increased more than 30 percent; total knee replacement surgery increased 70 percent. In Canada, where this study was done, the authors say there are already “unacceptably long” wait times for TJA in some situations.

With so many more people deciding to have these procedures, “We want to make sure that people have a good understanding of what this procedure is for and what it is likely to deliver, and that we’re not actually doing [these surgeries] in people that won’t get the benefit they want,” says lead author Gillian A. Hawker, MD, the physician-in-chief of the department of medicine at Women’s College Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

Additionally, the researchers write that they want to help define the criteria for exactly when surgery is appropriate: “This uncertainty leaves many patients, and possibly physicians, at a loss as to know how long and to what level of pain and other symptoms should be tolerated before TJA is considered.”

The researchers followed 202 patients in Canada who had difficulty with such tasks as climbing stairs and rising from chairs, and also had “troublesome” hip or knee joints. They provided assessments of their pain and mobility before and after undergoing a primary TJA (133 knee and 69 hip replacements).

The majority of patients, 93 percent, had osteoarthritis (OA) and 7 percent had inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). About 83 percent had at least two “troublesome” joints (and a third reported three or more); nearly 57 percent said they had persistent back pain; more than a third were obese. Only 30 percent reported having no other health problems.

More than half (53.5 percent) of the participants reported “good” outcomes – defined as a clinically important improvement in pain and disability – following surgery. That number is far less than the 80 to 90 percent often touted, the researchers say.

The relatively low percentage of patients who experienced good results makes sense, Dr. Hawker says. In people with other health problems, especially additional troublesome joints, "when you replace one joint it doesn’t result in resolution of all of your problems.”

There may be two other reasons that the numbers were low. First, Dr. Hawker says the criteria for “good” outcome was strict. Second, the study excluded patients who had a TJA in a second joint – who were more likely to have been satisfied with the first surgery (the “happy campers” as Dr. Hawker calls them).

The study also provided useful insight about the timing for the surgery. For example, the researchers found that patients with the most pain and mobility limitations prior to surgery reported the greatest overall improvement.

“There probably is a sweet spot, but nobody yet has figured out exactly what that is, and that’s what we need to get to,” Dr. Hawker explained. “Where is the point where you’ve got the greatest likelihood of benefit but you haven’t gone so far that in fact your outcomes are not as optimal? Don’t want to be too early; don’t want to be too late.”

The researcher also found that weight and body mass index (BMI) did not appear to play a significant role in post-surgery outcomes. Dr. Hawker explains, “Weight has consistently not been shown to affect results of joint replacement with respect to pain and disability. It is true that people who are heavier, more obese, have a higher likelihood of peri-operative complication, so they have a greater risk related to the surgery itself. But once they get through the procedure and go home, their benefits in terms of pain and disability appears to be the same as people who are not obese.”

Wael K. Barsoum, MD, chairman of Surgical Operations and vice chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, says the findings have value. “The study is giving us information that I think most physicians will tell you makes a lot of sense and it’s kind of obvious to most of us, but it’s good to put science behind it, and to clearly document what we believe is actually true,” he says.

“My sense is that this study is going to need to be collaborated by larger studies to confirm it,” he adds.

 

 


 

Mark Your Calendar 

  Arthritis Month logo

As the nation’s leading cause of disability, arthritis is a serious and painful disease that affects people of all ages, including 50 million adults and nearly 300,000 children. The Arthritis Foundation will champion nationwide Arthritis Month efforts, working together with partners across the country, to call upon the nation to face the realities of arthritis and take action to support our movement. The multifaceted campaign will encompass a host of online and offline program elements. At its core, it will feature Faces of Arthritis, a gallery of real people telling real stories of living with the disease.

“Arthritis is common, costly and painful, and people think that there is nothing you can do about it. Misconceptions around the disease contribute to millions living with arthritis pain and the persistent attitude of complacency toward the disease and its impact,” says Arthritis Foundation Vice President of Public Health Policy and Advocacy, Dr. Patience White.

Face the Facts – Debunking the Myths

KarenMyth: Arthritis is a disease associated with aging.
Fact: Arthritis can affect people of all ages. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65 and some of the most serious forms of arthritis occur in teenagers or people in their 20s and 30s.

Myth: Only old people get arthritis.
Fact: Children get arthritis, too. Nearly 300,000 children are affected by arthritis.

Myth: Knuckle cracking causes arthritis.
Fact: Knuckle cracking can’t trigger arthritis, but it can stretch tissue and lead to discomfort.

PhillipMyth: Arthritis is just aches and pains.
Fact: Arthritis is a more frequent cause of activity limitation than heart disease, cancer or diabetes and causes work limitations for nearly one in three people in the U.S.

Myth: Cold weather makes arthritis worse.
Fact: There is no scientific evidence that a particular climate is better for people with arthritis, but changes in barometric pressure, often associated with inclement weather, may affect people with arthritis.

Myth: There is nothing I can do about arthritis. I just have to “live with it.”
Fact: Early diagnosis and management can prevent the long term pain
and disability seen with many kinds of arthritis.

GabrielleMyth: Arthritis is one disease.
Fact: There are more than 100 types of arthritis and knowing what type you have makes a difference in how to treat it.

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of arthritis early as many forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause irreversible joint damage, often within the first two years of the disease. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, can develop within 10 years of a major joint injury.

As part of the Faces of Arthritis campaign, the Arthritis Foundation encourages people to raise awareness of this serious disease.

Make a Difference

Arthritis Walk – The Arthritis Walk is the Arthritis Foundation's nationwide team walk event that raises funds to fight arthritis. To sign up or to find an event in your area, visit www.arthritiswalk.org.

Join the Conversation – Use the #ArthritisMonth hash tag throughout the month of May to raise awareness and to learn more from people nationwide about the harsh realities of arthritis.

Go Interactive – Show that arthritis can affect anyone at any time by “placing your face” with the Faces of Arthritis interactive tool. Invite your community – constituents, family and friends – who care about arthritis to upload a picture of their face in the www.facesofarthritis.org photo gallery, along with a sharable 140-character message.

Face the Facts. To learn more about arthritis and the Faces of Arthritis campaign, visit www.facesofarthritis.org.

 

 

  


 

 arthritis infographic


 

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Find your local Arthritis Foundation office to get connected to programs, events and volunteer opportunities.

Feedback or ideas for AFeatures future stories? E-mail wbalmer@arthritis.org

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