Symposium assists arthritis sufferers

Canadians who don’t get joint aches and pains examined by a doctor could be making the problem much worse.

Canadians who don’t get joint aches and pains examined by a doctor could be making the problem much worse.

September is Arthritis Awareness Month and the Arthritis Society is running a number of programs on Vancouver Island and launching a website to help people determine whether they have osteoarthritis.

The public is encouraged to complete a short quiz at www.arthritisquiz.ca to help them understand if they have osteoarthritis and if so, what to do about it. The website also has helpful information for those already living with the complex and painful disease.

“Joint pain is a daily reality for millions of Canadians, but unfortunately many never follow up with their health-care provider. Some think it’s an inevitable part of aging, others hope it will go away,” said Cari Taylor, society manger. “Learning more about what lies behind your joint pain is a major quality of life issue. Getting an early diagnosis of OA is critical to the outcome of the disease. Therapies and self management approaches work best when started as early as possible.”

While osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, people can also develop inflammatory arthritis, which can affect any joint in the body. The most common form of inflammatory arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.

To assist people living with arthritis, the society is hosting a public symposium on rheumatoid arthritis with Dr. Kim Northcott.

The free symposium takes Sept. 17 from 1-5 p.m. at the Comfort Hotel and Conference Centre, 3020 Blanchard St. in Victoria.

To register, please call 1-866-414-7766.