TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadians who never have their joint
pains and aches examined by a doctor could be making the problem much
worse, The Arthritis Society warns. The Society is encouraging people
during Arthritis Awareness Month in September to complete a short quiz
at www.arthritisquiz.ca to help them determine whether they have osteoarthritis (OA) and
prevent long-term joint damage.
"Joint pain is a daily reality for millions of Canadians, but
unfortunately many never follow up with their health-care provider.
Some think it's an inevitable part of aging, others hope it will go
away," says Steven McNair, President and CEO of The Arthritis Society.
"Learning more about what lies behind your joint pain is a major
quality of life issue. Establishing an early diagnosis of
osteoarthritis is critical to the outcome of the disease, since it only
gets progressively worse and therapies work best when started as early
OA is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than three
million Canadians. While anyone can get OA, it is more common as we
age. It occurs when cartilage, the tough elastic material that covers
and protects the ends of bones, begins to wear away. The result is
pain, stiffness, swelling and bone-on-bone movement in the affected
joint. Joints commonly affected are the end joints of fingers, the
middle joints of fingers, hips, knees and the neck (cervical spine).
Over 90 per cent of the more than 58,000 annual joint replacement
surgeries in Canada result from the end stage of joint damage caused by
While there is still no cure for OA, appropriate treatment and a healthy
lifestyle can allow someone to take control of their disease. "Managing
body weight through physical activity and a balanced diet is one of
most effective ways of reducing joint pain," Dr. Joanne Homik, Chair of
The Arthritis Society's Medical Advisory Committee, explains. "Losing
10 pounds reduces the pressure on each knee by 40 pounds. Being
overweight puts an extra burden on your weight-bearing joints, such as
the hips, knees, ankles and feet."
Every September, The Arthritis Society aims to heighten awareness of the
prevalence of arthritis in Canada and to raise much-needed funds for
arthritis research and programs. In addition to useful resources, such
as the toll-free Arthritis Information Line (1.800.321.1433) and
website (www.arthritis.ca), The Society offers the Arthritis Self-Management Program and Chronic
Pain Management Workshop, programs that inform participants on how to
handle pain and stress, eat healthy and exercise with arthritis.
About The Arthritis Society
The Arthritis Society is Canada's principal arthritis health charity
empowering the nearly 4.5 million Canadians with arthritis to live
their lives to the fullest by combating the daily limitations of
arthritis. In the last 60 years, The Society has invested more than
$175 million towards arthritis research to develop better treatments
and, ultimately, find a cure.
SOURCE Arthritis Society
For further information:
or to schedule an interview, please contact:
National Marketing and Communications Manager
The Arthritis Society
416.979.7228, ext. 3348
National Communications Coordinator
The Arthritis Society
416.979.7228, ext. 3354