Recognizing Bone Disorders and Spreading Awareness

Bone and Joint National Action Week focuses on disorders such as arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis, and more.

It is currently Bone and Joint National Action Week (Oct. 12 to 20).

The awareness week is focused on disorders such as arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis, and the effects of childhood obesity on the musculoskeletal system. Events and projects organized worldwide are designed to raise awareness of prevention, disease management, and treatments. In the United States, the US Bone and Joint Decade represents the global initiative.

A press release from the United States Bone and Joint Decade, outlines the reasons why this week of awareness is important:

-- Nearly half the American population over the age of 18 (48%) is affected by musculoskeletal (bone and joint) conditions, according to The Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions in the United States.

-- Bone and joint conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide affecting hundreds of millions of people.

-- Musculoskeletal conditions include back pain, arthritis, traumatic injuries, osteoporosis, and childhood conditions.

-- Osteoarthritis is ranked fourth worldwide as a cause for disability.

-- Unless actions are taken now, the global prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions is predicted to increase greatly due to increasing life expectancy, changes in risk factors, and availability of appropriate prevention measures.

-- Musculoskeletal conditions can lead to significant disability plus diminished productivity and quality of life. Treatment and lost wage costs associated with musculoskeletal diseases in the US alone was estimated at $849 billion in 2004 equal to 7.7% of gross domestic product.

-- Research funding is currently less than 2% of the National Institutes of Health annual budget, despite the high costs associated with these conditions.

-- In 2011, when "Baby Boomers" become beneficiaries of Medicare, the economic and societal cost of bone and joint health is expected to begin escalating for decades.

In addition to activities throughout the week, there are four special days during National Action Week.

-- October 12 - World Arthritis Day

-- October 16 - World Spine Day

-- October 17 - World Trauma Day

-- October 20 - World Osteoporosis Day

The Bone and Joint Decade is a global, multi-disciplinary initiative targeting the care of people with musculoskeletal conditions, bone, and joint disorders, according to the website. Its focus is on improving quality of life as well as advancing the understanding and treatment of the conditions through research, prevention, and education.

Source: United States Bone and Joint Decade--What are your plans for Bone and Joint National Action Week? Do you feel more awareness is needed?