Today is World Arthritis Day! World Arthritis Day (WAD) is a global awareness-raising day, which this year, is part of the European League Against Rheumatism’s ‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today!’ campaign, integrating patients and carers, healthcare professionals and the scientific community.

Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) are now broadly recognised as one of the most burdensome chronic conditions around the world, affecting more than 120 million people across Europe. People with RMDs often receive delayed or no diagnosis at all, leaving people suffering at the hands of these painful and damaging conditions. Early diagnosis is key to preventing further damage, so that appropriate treatment can be given in a timely manner. The challenge in receiving a diagnosis is often due to a lack of awareness, reducing peoples’ quality of life.

The EULAR Campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis in preventing further damage to those living with RMDs, encouraging timely access to evidence-based treatment. Take a look at our fantastic campaign video featuring Kate, Aran and I, as we share our experiences and thoughts about the importance of an early diagnosis.

For more information about World Arthritis Day, please visit: http://worldarthritisday.org.

Written by simonrstones

Simon Stones BSc (Hons) is an award-winning patient leader, advocate and researcher from Manchester in the UK, who was the winner of the international WEGO Health Award for Patient Healthcare Collaborator in 2017. He is a passionate advocate and ambassador for people living with invisible illnesses, inspired and empowered by his own journey with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease since childhood. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and a trustee of Fibromyalgia Action UK and RAiISE.

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