Wednesday, 4 September 2013

September is Arthritis Month in Canada

This is the new banner from The Arthritis Research Centre of Canada. You'll start seeing it on September 2nd, just in time for Arthritis Month in Canada. You can download it and add a copy to your Facebook page or blog at this link. Please use it to let people know that this is our month to tell our stories.

One look at it and you can see the main message: Arthritis is everyone's disease, no matter what your age or background. Unfortunately it does hit some groups harder than others and that's where research plays such a big part - we need to find out why some people are more susceptible. In doing research hopefully we will find out more about the disease and that will help all of us.

There are other ways that it can be seen as everyone's disease. Many of us see the effects through our friends or relatives with arthritis. If we are among the few who don't know anyone with it, we are still affected by the huge cost to society and to the productivity of our countries.  In Canada alone it cost the economy 22.3 billion dollars in the year 2000, and even with a cost that huge we are only #11 in treatment and funding. The US is ranked very close to us, but of course their costs are much higher given the relative size of the population.

Internationally joint and muscle problems are the most common causes of disability and the frequency is rising.  

We can make a difference by advocating for more research and by donating to fund research, but the biggest difference we can all make is  by looking at what are called "modifiable risk factors". It should surprise no one to find out that Dr Leachon is right on the money with this prescription which he is willing to share with us.

                         Dr Leachon's Healthy Lifestyle Checklist

In an article related to Dr Leachon's guidelines here are 5 areas where change for the better will cause you to have a longer life and to be healthier for a greater percentage of your years. They are smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity and stress. You know which one is your weak point!  So to celebrate Arthritis Month just pick one of the risk factors that you can improve and work on it! 

This has led to my husband getting more advice from me on healthy choices. His reaction: "Oh no, this is stressing me out."

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