Arthritis Awareness Week 15 – 21 March 2015

March 17, 2015

Arthritis Awareness Week aims to bust the myth that arthritis is something that just causes aches and pains in old age. Millions of Australians live with various forms of arthritis that have a lasting and serious impact on their quality of life.

#makeamove dance challenge
As part of Arthritis Awareness Week, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria is launching the #makeamove dance challenge – a social media fundraiser to help find a cure for the arthritis.

The #makeamove challenge asks people to make a short video of themselves dancing and upload it to social media with the hashtag #makeamove. They then ask two friends to take on the challenge within 48 hours or make a donation to Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria.

For more information visit www.makeamove.org.au
Number crunching facts about Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions in Australia
• 6.1 million Australians are affected
• 58% of these people are in their prime working age (25 – 64)
• 1 in 1,000 children live with juvenile arthritis
• Arthritis is one of the leading forms of disability in Australia

Your skin and arthritis
There are many different types of Arthritis, all of which have varying symptoms. While pain and inflammation are the two most common issues associated with arthritis, a lot of people don’t realise that rashes are also a common complaint. The types of arthritis associated with skin rash include: Psoriatic Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Lupus, and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is a form of arthritis that causes painful inflammation in the body’s joints and is usually associated with a skin condition called psoriasis.

What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?
While symptoms vary among different people, some of the more common symptoms include:
• A red scaly skin rash (psoriasis)
• Thickening, discoloration and pitting of the nails
• Stiff, painful, and swollen joints
• Sausage-like swelling of the fingers or toes (dactylitis)
• Tenderness or pain where tendons or ligaments attach to bones (enthesitis)
• Pain and swelling at the back of the heel

How is Psoriatic Arthritis diagnosed?
While there is no specific test for PsA it is easier to diagnose if you are presenting with psoriasis along with several other symptoms. Your doctor may also ask if you have a family history of psoriasis. You may also have blood tests to rule out other conditions.

What treatments are there?
Treatments vary depending on the severity of your condition which joints are affected. You may need to try several different treatments before finding what works for you. Treatments include:
• Analgesics (pain relievers such as paracetamol)
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
• Corticosteroids
• Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
• Exercise and Physiotherapy
• Change of diet

For more information about arthritis visit www.arthritisvic.org.au or call the free MSK Help Line to speak to a nurse 1800 263 265

References:
1. http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/pictures-arthritis-rashes#1

2. http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions/psoriatic-arthritis.aspx

Feedback

    linda March 18, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I found reading this interesting as i didnt know that they had an Arthritis week until i saw this, and I have Arthritis myself. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and was diagnosed at age sixteen. So this is good to see and knowing that there is more going on to assist people with these Health problems. Well Done

    Chris March 27, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I hadn't realised there was an arthritis week either. My father had ankylosing spondilitis, his sister had RA, I have osteo arthritis and now my 42 year old daughter has been diagnosed with either RA or PsA. We don't know a great deal about either of these conditions and would appreciate a pointer in the right direction if someone would care to give one please.

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