May is Arthritis Month

May is Arthritis Month

The start of May kicked off National Arthritis Awareness Month, also known as Arthritis Action Month!  With arthritis being the number one cause of disability in the United States, it's important to raise awareness of what arthritis is and how it affects us, our family members and our friends.  Many organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arthritis Foundation (AF), are encouraging the nation to take action to help manage arthritis and reduce it's negative effects.

The CDC encourages walking to ease joint pain.  As identified in their May 3 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), State-Specific Prevalence of Walking Among Adults With Arthritis – United States, 2011, adults with arthritis nationally can improve upon the number of minutes spent walking each week.  To learn more about this MMWR and walking in Missouri, view the Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program's (MAOP) Press Release on Arthritis Action Month, released May 7.  You can also read the CDC's feature on Arthritis Awareness Month.

The AF encourages individuals to explore the Faces of Arthritis gallery.  This interactive website allows us to learn more about the facts of arthritis, to put a face and name with the disease, and to use tools to help/to act now!  The Faces of Arthritis gallery also allows individuals to submit their own picture and story and to really become the "face of arthritis". 

Closer to home, the AF Heartland Region office is offering webinars throughout the month of May featuring topics about arthritis.  Registration and log-on information is available for each webinar.  Contact Jazzmin at [email protected] with questions.

The National AgrAbility Project is also offering a webinar on Wednesday, May 29 at 1:00 pm CDT.  It is called Gardening with Effective Arthritis Management.  To participate in this free webinar, register here by Friday, May 24.  You can contact AgrAbility at 1-800-825-4264 or email if you have questions.

Self-management and physical activity classes are available throughout the state of Missouri.  These classes can be a great first action toward improving your health. 

For more information, contact your local Regional Arthritis Center (RAC).  Throughout the month of May, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, success stories from around the state will be highlighted on the MAOP website (  These stories, which come from a variety of participants and leaders, help to showcase the different classes offered throughout the state.  We hope that one or more of these stories will encourage you to take action to be our next success story!

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