Our body’s musculoskeletal system is made up of 100’s of muscles, bones, and joints. The musculoskeletal system is obviously what allows use to walk, run, bike, and carry out our everyday activities. However, there are many diseases that affect the musculoskeletal system. The Bone and Joint Initiative has posted some statistics, and some of these include:
- The most common cause of pain and disability world-wide is due to musculoskeletal conditions
- Joint diseases make up half of the chronic conditions of the geriatric populations; additionally, with increased age comes more bone and joint health concerns
- Musculoskeletal conditions are the number one cause for more than 130 million Americans going to see their doctor every year; about 50% of these patients will be over the age of 18 years
So, beginning October 12th, the Bone and Joint Initiative, will be kicking off its week to raise awareness about the diseases that plague the musculoskeletal system. The Bone and Joint Initiative has several goals for the week. Some of these goals include:
- Attempting to better educate patients about their bone and joint disease
- Discussions of various treatments available
- Spread awareness about the diseases to others who are still healthy in a hope to prevent disease
- Increase funding to research bone and joint diseases to find cures and better treatment modalities
The entire week dedicated to bone and joint awareness begins October 12th and ends October 20th. However, five of the days are designated to specific diseases. It is important for all medical professionals to participate in this week by helping to educate patients on the diseases, prevention, and treatments. Below are short summaries about the diseases that gave been given their own day for Bone and Joint Initiative week.
October 12 – World Arthritis Day
- There are many types of arthritis; some of the common types include: Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Neurotrophic Joint Disease, and Psoriatic arthritis. Each of these various types of arthritis presents with different symptoms. However, they are all the same in that they all cause the hands and feet to become deformed, as well as pain. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 50 million Americans have been diagnosed as having a form of arthritis; this statistic continues to grow as the population ages. However, there are some things you can do to decrease your risk of developing arthritis; some of the ways to decrease your risk include: maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding repetitive movements while working or exercising.
October 16 – World Spine Day
- 80% of Americans will experience back and/or neck pain at least once in their lifetime. Some of the most common problems involving the spine includes: scoliosis, back/neck pain, and disc herniation. Prevention of these conditions includes emphasizing the importance of having good posture and getting adequate exercise.
October 17 – World Trauma Day
- This day is dedicated to preventing traumatic injuries, as well as increasing and improving the care if an unfortunate accident should occur. The World Health Organization found that 50% of traffic death injuries that occur in developing countries could have been prevented by improving and having adequate care right after the traumatic incident.
October 19 – World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day
- One of the main focuses of this day is to enforce the importance of children getting enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D strengthens bones of the developing child. This carries over into adulthood, because it was found that 48% of adults, who are suffering from a bone and joint disease, developed the disease during childhood. Just because it seems like arthritis only affects elderly, this is not true, especially in children who do not get enough Vitamin D.
October 20 – World Osteoporosis Day
- In order for bone to remain healthy, a normal physiological process needs to take place, which includes new bone being formed and other bone is broken down. However, bone will become weak if too much bone is being broken down and not enough bone is being made to replace the broken down bone. The greatest risk in osteoporosis is enduring a fall; a simple fall may result in a broken bone. In fact, forty percent of women older than 50 will experience at least one fracture due to osteoporosis during their life.
For more information about the Bone and Joint Initiative, please visit http://www.usbjd.org/about/index.cfm