All posts by Arthritis Foundation

Survey Results: Nearly 1/3 of Patients Report Osteoarthritis is Not Well-Managed

For many of the 30 million people in the U.S. who live with osteoarthritis (OA), pain is the most difficult symptom to manage.  

The Arthritis Foundation conducted a survey asking people with osteoarthritis to share their current top concerns and needs, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Almost 2,000 people responded, with 64% of survey respondents reporting they have had OA for 10 years or longer.  

Patients with OA are tired of trying treatments that don’t work. They want more options to treat the pain and stiffness that are limiting their ability to do the activities they want and need to do every day.  

“Pain is debilitating. My back and hip pain are so bad that I have trouble getting out of bed. Each step is excruciating, and I wonder how much longer I can deal with the pain.”  

Here’s a summary of what survey respondents are telling us about living with OA. 

Osteoarthritis is Difficult to Manage With So Few Options
Surgery is a last resort for many when OA pain becomes unbearable. Some report they have tried various treatments to manage OAincluding anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), diet and exercise, opioids, and braces or canes. Some say they use meditation and prayer. Overall, OA patients report that more options are needed. 

  • 57% say their OA is managed OK, but they have good and bad days 
  • 32% report they have tried everything, but nothing is working and they want other options besides total joint replacement
  • 16% report they cannot find and/or access a doctor who can help

What Treatments Are Helping to Manage OA Pain
Research shows that staying physically active can improve pain from arthritis. More than half of those with OA say their primary care physician helps them manage their arthritis, but 45% see a rheumatologist for their OA. For those who felt their OA is managed, these are the treatments that work: 

  • 65% use NSAIDs or other topicals to manage OA 
  • 29% rely on physical therapy, occupational therapy or massage 
  • 29% say a total joint replacement helped 

COVID-19 is Causing More OA Pain
Patients say the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their ability to manage their OA symptoms and health overall in some way. With stayathome orders and limited options for accessing usual treatments and physical activity routines, respondents say their pain levels have increased. 

  •  37% have cancelled and/or skipped health care appointments 
  • Of these, 59% report they cancelled because they were concerned about getting the virus 
  • 31% have had a virtual visit with their doctor to manage their OA 

“You spend a lot of time & effort trying not to think about it because what you focus on magnifies. You hate pain scales because how do you rate something that is always there? Oftentimes it’s not the pain’s intensity but rather the duration.”

What Patients Want for the Future of Osteoarthritis Care & Treatment
With limited options in treatments for OA, patients are focused on finding ways to reduce their pain to live their best livesThe primary change patients would like to see in their health insurance is increased coverage for new arthritis treatments. 

Regardless what the treatment options may be, respondents say it’s just as important to know they are preventing further joint damage. 

  •  More than half of patients are not at all likely to adopt a treatment to reduce pain if it would also cause further damage to their joints

OA patients say investing in new research for better treatments and a cure is the most important priority for the Arthritis Foundation. 

  • 82% want to invest in research to explore new ways to treat and/or cure OA 
  • 65% want to advocate for better access to more treatments and care 
  • 61% want to support the development of new products to help with daily tasks

The results of this survey are clear. Patients with OA want to see more options for better treatment and care to reduce the impact arthritis pain has on their daily lives.  

You can help change the future of arthritis by participating in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment. Stand up and share your experience of living with OA.  

If surgery is an option you are contemplating to manage your OA, listen to the upcoming episode of the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast on Arthritis Pain & Surgery.  


CVS Steps Up to Support the Arthritis Community During COVID-19

There’s a lot to feel uncertain about in the world right now: When will schools and businesses reopen? Will I continue to have access to my medications and health care team? When will researchers find a treatment for COVID-19? How long will it take for families and economies to recover?

Despite the many questions on most of our minds, there are a few things we know for sure:

  • 100% of people with arthritis report weekly pain that interferes with day-to-day activities.
  • Seven in 10 arthritis patients have trouble working, including working from home.
  • Two-thirds of people with arthritis felt depressed, anxious or fearful before the coronavirus outbreak because of the negative impact arthritis had on their lives.

The physical, social and emotional toll most Americans feel today is not new to those who live with arthritis every minute of every day. That’s why we’re proud to announce that CVS Health® is once again stepping up to support the arthritis community when we need it most.

As the National Presenting Sponsor of the Arthritis Foundation’s Let’s Get a Grip on Arthritis campaign, CVS Health® is donating $1 to the Arthritis Foundation for every select brand product sold during May 2020, up to $300,000. Eligible brands include Aleve, Salonpas, Aspercreme, Icy Hot, Biofreeze, Pain Bloc, Australian Dream, Gaiam, Blue Emu, Futuro and Boost (Nestle).

CVS Pharmacy® stores remain open and employees are working on the front lines to ensure individuals can access medications and other basic necessities during the current pandemic. In addition to waiving charges for CVS Pharmacy® home delivery of medications, CVS Health® is also working with government officials to increase rapid COVID-19 testing.

CVS Health®  first joined forces with the Arthritis Foundation in 2014 and has continued to deepen its commitment to bring arthritis out of the shadows and help arthritis patients manage their health in more affordable and effective ways. Since the partnership’s inception, CVS Health® has donated over $3 million to the Arthritis Foundation to support people living with arthritis.

See all the partners and promotions that give back to the Arthritis Foundation to help get a grip on arthritis.

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#WeLiveYes – Trying Telemedicine

Telemedicine Connections in New York with the McCormicks

My name is Amy McCormick.  I have a child with juvenile arthritis and I’m a teacher of students with special needs. My family and I live in New York, one of the states most heavily impacted by COVID-19. While the world slows down and shelter-in-place orders keep people at home, our need to ensure my daughter gets the medical attention she requires for her arthritis hasn’t stopped. Because arthritis doesn’t stop — we’ve been staying on top of Kylie’s care by using telemedicine. Continue reading #WeLiveYes – Trying Telemedicine

Pediatric Rheumatologists on the Front Lines of Mystery Illness Affecting Children

As your trusted source for information on the latest arthritis news during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Arthritis Foundation is committed to keeping you updated on research and information relevant to our community. Recently, a mystery illness thought to be related to the new coronavirus has been showing up in children. It bears similarities to Kawasaki disease, a rheumatic disease that can cause joint pain. Continue reading Pediatric Rheumatologists on the Front Lines of Mystery Illness Affecting Children

#WeLiveYes Take Care of Yourself, Emotionally & Physically

Now more than ever, it’s important to take care of your physical AND emotional health

Right now, it’s probably difficult enough to take care of your physical health, but your emotional health is just as important. If your body hurts, your emotions follow; and if your emotions are hurt, your body wants to slow down. Social distancing and shelter-in-place orders can make us feels isolated and alone, especially when there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Continue reading #WeLiveYes Take Care of Yourself, Emotionally & Physically

Meet Julie Ann Campbell: One of Our Newest Foundation Sponsored Fellows!

Meet Julie Ann Campbell: One of Our Newest Foundation Sponsored Fellows!

The Arthritis Foundation has been working to help close the gap on the nation’s rheumatologist shortage through our fellowship initiative, because proper access to care is should be guaranteed. As one of the five new 2020 fellowship grant awardees, the Seattle Children’s Hospital and University of Washington Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program announced their fellowship has been awarded to Dr. Julie Ann Campbell. Continue reading Meet Julie Ann Campbell: One of Our Newest Foundation Sponsored Fellows!

Chronically Awesome Tips for Working from Home

Due to COVID-19, millions of Americans are working from home for the first time. But tons of people have been working from home for a while, especially people with chronic illnesses like autoimmune arthritis. I personally have rheumatoid arthritis, and while my preference is to go into my company’s office, I work for a company with a great remote work policy. This policy enabled me to work exclusively from home in early 2019 after a hospitalization (a whole month before my doctors felt comfortable with me working in the office). That’s not my only work-at-home experience, as my pain and suppressed immune system have had me at home more days than I would like. Continue reading Chronically Awesome Tips for Working from Home