Programs geared to easing osteoarthritis pain and burden

March 3, 2010

The CDC and the Arthritis Foundation (AF) are spearheading a new initiative designed to reduce the effect of osteoarthritis (OA) on Americans. In response to the recommendations outlined in this action plan, the AF also is cooperating with the Ad Council and the American College of Rheumatology in sponsoring a national public awareness campaign for OA management and prevention.

The CDC and the Arthritis Foundation (AF) are spearheading a new initiative designed to reduce the effect of osteoarthritis (OA) on Americans. In response to the recommendations outlined in this action plan, the AF also is cooperating with the Ad Council and the American College of Rheumatology in sponsoring a national public awareness campaign for OA management and prevention.

The initiative, A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis, is the first comprehensive national action plan that calls on numerous parties-health care providers, insurers, policy makers, public health agencies, and the public-to take needed steps for reducing the burden of OA. The recommended strategies for patients and their physicians to consider include self-management education, physical activity, injury prevention, and weight management.

The public awareness campaign, Fight Arthritis Pain, is a multimedia public service advertising campaign aimed at empowering persons who have OA or are at risk for the condition to take simple steps to reduce their pain, increase their mobility, and help prevent disability. With the theme “moving is the best medicine,” the campaign features messages about the importance of physical activity and weight reduction in preventing and managing the pain of OA.

Television, radio, print, outdoor, and Web ads will run in donated advertising time and space and will direct Americans seeking help and information to visit http://www.fightarthritispain.org, a new Web site. Featured on the site are an OA risk assessment tool, a movement tracker, a live news feed, community forums and blogs, a program and event locator, and campaign materials. In addition, a social media program will direct persons to visit the Web site to access resources. The Fight Arthritis Pain campaign will focus on reaching adults older than 55 years and will feature enjoyable ways persons can integrate movement into their lives.

For more information about the campaign, visit the AF Web site at http://www.arthritis.org. Or, contact the organization at Arthritis Foundation, National Office, 1330 West Peachtree Street, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30309; telephone: (404) 965-7595; fax: (404) 872-8694.