President & CEO, Arthritis Society
Do you feel aches and pains in your joints? These could be signs of osteoarthritis (OA).
“Osteoarthritis starts earlier than you’d think,” says Trish Barbato, President and CEO of the Arthritis Society. In fact, one in three Canadians living with OA are diagnosed before the age of 45.
“It’s a misconception that arthritis is an old person’s disease,” says Barbato. “What’s more, younger adults report that the disease has a substantial impact on their lives — affecting their ability to work and participate in social activities during an often-critical time for career and family.”
OA is a progressive disease that leads to the breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone and is a result of the body’s failed attempt to repair damaged joint tissues. It’s the most common form of arthritis.
A new study from the Arthritis Community Research Evaluation Unit commissioned by the Arthritis Society reveals nearly one-third of younger adults with OA live with severe and frequent joint pain, and also report worse mental health and fatigue than older adults with OA.
Signs of osteoarthritis to watch for
It’s important to recognize early signs of the disease because if arthritis does strike, there are things you can do to help manage it.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to act and talk to your healthcare professional.
- Occasional and intermittent pain or aching
- Morning stiffness lasting less than 30 minutes
- Reduced range of movement
- Creaking and/or swelling in your joints