Understanding arthritis this Arthritis Care Awareness Week

Arthritis Care Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about the realities of living with arthritis, and celebrate the work done by Arthritis charities around the UK, carrying out research and raising funds.

Yesterday (21 May) marked the end of Arthritis Care Awareness Week (14–21 May).

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?

Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints, making them stiff, which can cause pain and inflammation. There is currently no cure, so it is vital that charities are able to carry out the important work they do, to continue their research and fundraise.

In the UK, over 10 million people are affected with arthritis, or a similar condition that affects the joints. As it is a condition that mostly affects people over 40, numbers are expected to rise, due to longer life expectancies. 

Though it predominantly affects older people, there are 27,000 people under the age of 25 who have arthritis, 12,000 of whom are children. 

Last year, the biggest arthritis charities in the UK – Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK – joined forces to create Versus Arthritis, to bring together expertise and funds, to be able to provide the best care possible to those living with Arthritis.

SYMPTOMS

The main symptoms include joint pain, swelling and stiffness, but there can be other signs including:

  • restricted movement of the joints
  • warm, red skin over the joints
  • muscle weakness and wasting

The symptoms of arthritis can vary, depending on the type. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should consult your GP immediately.

There is currently no cure for arthritis, however treatment is available on the NHS, including lifestyle changes, medications, physiotherapy and surgery.

Get more advice and guidance from Versus Arthritis and Arthritis Action.

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