More than six million Canadians — one in five people — live with the devastating effects of arthritis. Having it can lead to pain, lack of mobility, and poor mental health. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Arthritis is serious
Arthritis causes swelling, stiffness, and irreversible joint damage that can permanently impact your mobility. Inflammation related to the condition can also affect your internal organs and eyesight and can contribute to life-threatening diseases or premature death. Arthritis takes a toll on your career, relationships, and family — and it’s with you for life.
2. Arthritis can affect anyone
Arthritis can strike people of any age, from any walk of life — even children. That means anyone you know can develop arthritis — yourself included.
3. Early diagnosis is important
There’s no cure for arthritis yet, but with the right treatment and lifestyle choices you can slow its progression and maintain your quality of life. Delaying diagnosis risks permanent joint damage.
4. Find out if you’re affected
If you have recurring symptoms such as joint pain or stiffness, or fatigue, use the Arthritis Society’s Symptom Checker tool and speak with your doctor about your results.
Siân Bevan, PhD, is the Chief Science Officer at the Arthritis Society.