World Arthritis Day



*World Arthritis Day observed at Himalayan Hospital in right earnestness
*Myths related to the disease dispelled

On the occasion of World Arthritis Day 2023 Himalayan Hospital Jollygrant was abuzz with activities.

Students of Himalayan College of Nursing, SRHU distributed informative literature on arthritis and staged a Nukkad Natak to spread awareness about this disease that afflicts a large population.

Poster presentation about arthritis, symptoms and diagnosis too was held in which nursing students participated in large numbers.

World Arthritis Day is observed all over the world on 12th October to increase awareness about arthritis. Researchers have estimated that at least 6 CRORE people in India suffer from some kind of arthritis. Diseases with arthritis and Rheumatological Diseases are often neglected and assumed to be part of the aging process. This misconception leads to many people not even trying to get treatment for their condition. There is a lack of awareness about arthritis and rheumatological diseases. There is also a lack of awareness about the speciality of rheumatology. Rheumatologists are specialists who are trained to diagnose and treat arthritis.

The symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, joint swelling, restriction of movements. Some types of arthritis can also affect the spine joints causing back pain and stiffness. Arthritis is not a single condition. There are more than 100 different diseases which can cause arthritis. Common ones are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus) and Psoriatic Arthritis among several other diseases.

It is a popular misconception that arthritis is a disease of aging and affects only the elderly. This is not true these diseases can affect any age group including children as well as young adults and middle aged population and is not just a disease of the elderly. It is therefore important to consult doctors for guidance and treatment.

Arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and lupus commonly affects young individuals between the ages of 18 to 45 yrs. Arthritis affecting children is called juvenile arthritis. Arthritis affecting the elderly is called Osteoarthritis.

Arthritis, if not diagnosed and treated on time can lead to joint deformities. These deformities cannot be reversed with medications and some of these deformities may require surgery. Arthritis is not just a disease of the joints. Conditions with arthritis apart from being painful, can also be life threatening and affect multiple organs like lungs, heart and kidneys. Thus not only is day-to-day life affected but life expectancy is reduced. In 2010 rheumatoid arthritis, a disease with autoimmune arthritis, resulted in about 49,000 deaths globally. Individuals with different types of arthritis have a 200% higher risk of Heart attacks, almost 150% higher risk of Stroke, a Higher risk of developing cancer and overall their Body ages faster ( they are 10 years older than actual age.).

Arthritis can cause a lot of burden on the individual and his family. It leads to increased financial burden, loss of working hours and reduced productivity. Most of the time the additional financial burden due to the disease needs to be borne by the patient and their family as most of the insurance policies and health schemes do not cover treatment for arthritis. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, a common autoimmune arthritis, has been estimated to cost around 53,000 per year for patients. Research from India has shown that 3 out of 4 patients with rheumatoid arthritis faced reduced work capacity and 1 out of 5 had to permanently stop working altogether.

In the past few years there has been tremendous advances in understanding and treatment of arthritis and rheumatological diseases. These recent advances have made treatment more effective, easier and have significantly improved the quality of life for treated patients tremendously. Despite these advances, lack of awareness about arthritis and rheumatological conditions and myths associated with their treatment often leads to delay in diagnosis and treatment. Often they don’t seek help at the appropriate time and suffer from damage due to the delay. Research in India has shown that patients face an average delay between onset of symptoms to meeting a specialist (Rheumatologist) of 2 years!!

Arthritis is treatable and with treatment a person with arthritis can lead a normal and productive life.

Dr. Yogesh Preet Singh Rheumatologist was at the helm of activities and stated that many misconceptions regarding the disease were understood in the right context for the benefit of students and patients alike.

World Arthritis Day
World Arthritis Day
World Arthritis Day
World Arthritis Day
World Arthritis Day