If you or someone you love suffers pain in the joints, then it is likely that he or she is suffering from arthritis pain. Arthritis is a complex condition that mainly affects the joints – that is, the point where bone ends meet. Most types of arthritis is caused by damage to tissue surrounding this area, including muscles, ligaments, and cartilage. However, there are certain arthritis types that may also affect the skin (like the case of psoriatic arthritis) or the spine (like rheumatoid arthritis). But whatever type it may be, the most common sign of arthritis is joint pains.
Sometimes, patients suffering from arthritis are in so much pain that they are unable to move, because doing so would cause them more pain. With reduced mobility, the chances of muscle atrophy (the muscles would shrink because of non-use) increases. This would eventually lead to permanent disability.
However, much of the stories surrounding arthritis are myths. Some people even believe that arthritis is just something that they would have to live with. But this is the wrong kind of attitude to adopt in fighting this disease. Resignation is never an option, because while it is true that there is no cure yet for arthritis, there are, however, steps that you can actively take in order to reduce a patient’s suffering.
The function of the Arthritis Foundation is to show you these steps.
As the only national not for profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions, the Arthritis Foundation was established to promote advocacy, create programs, and provide services and research for arthritis sufferers. The Arthritis Foundation is a volunteer agency, chaired by Laura Robbins with president and CEO, John H. Klippel, M.D.
With 150 chapters and service points all over the country, Arthritis Foundation offers community based programs to serve the public as well as to raise funds for the many arthritis research they are funding.
Arthritis Foundation Services
Arthritis Foundation has a three-fold mission: research, prevention, and quality of life. In order to accomplish this mission, Arthritis Foundation provides several grants to researchers who are working to find a cure, prevention, or better treatment for the condition. In addition, Arthritis Foundation also provides services that are largely community based, such as:
- Courses (self-help)
- Open forums (for the public)
- Exercise classes (both water and land based)
- Support groups
- Home study groups
- Instructional videos
- Continuing education courses and publications for health professionals
In addition to all that, Arthritis Foundation also makes available a wide variety of education brochures and booklets, all of which are offered free of charge. The Arthritis Today, a national bi-monthly consumer magazine, is also spearheaded by the Arthritis Foundation.
Among the many successes that Arthritis Foundation has achieved since the time of its inception is the national institute for arthritis among the National Institutes of Health, an increase in funding from the Federal Government for arthritis research as well as state funding for arthritis medications.
Every year, Arthritis Foundation answers questions from more than 140,000 people, all of whom suffer or know someone who suffers from arthritis.