Joint pain/joint disease known as arthritis is very different depending on the type. From how it feels to why it happens to how it is treated, it's not all the same.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, "Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease." The AF also states that "with autoimmune and inflammatory types of arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is critical." (Reference 1) Failure to understand this type of arthritis can lead to unnecessary delays in detecting the associated disease, thus potentially resulting in permanent, irreversible damage and disability.
Understanding the differences is crucial for patients. We thank you for your willingness to be educated!
Join the Awareness Movement: #LearnArthritis
We have started creating education modules (below), which will be further developed as we gain more funding for the project. Please use these modules to learn more about your disease and to share with others who need help understanding.
It's going to take a multi-tiered, major awareness movement to teach the world about the different types of arthritis, but it has to happen to help accelerate early detection and diagnosis and to ensure patients - with all levels of arthritis - are being understood.
Are you ready to help start the movement for awareness? Let's do it! Here's how you can help:
Using the tagline "It's like comparing apples & oranges #LearnArthritis", share your example of degenerative versus autoimmune/autoinflammatory arthritis via social media. Don't forget to use the hashtag so we can find you and share!
#LearnArthritis Education Modules
The following are introductions to future lessons that will boost our awareness movement to new heights! IFAA is not only led by patients, we are also professional educators, so who better to teach about arthritis?
A Community Epidemic
For decades, society has typically associated the word arthritis with joint pain resulting from degeneration caused by age, wear and tear, or injury. Lack of global education about the types of arthritis has led to several issues, from overall misunderstanding of these conditions to delay in detection, referral, diagnosis, and necessary treatments.
Lack of education about differences in arthritis types has led to gross misunderstanding of autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases where inflammatory arthritis is a major component (autoimmune and autoinflammatory arthritis).
1. Arthritis Foundation (United States). "What is Arthritis?"-Inflammatory Arthritis. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php, 2016.
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