Millions of Australians battling with osteoarthritis and joint pain will benefit from the launch of a world first, easy-to-use website which offers people a chance to help gain control over their pain.
During Arthritis Awareness Week (17 – 23 March 2013) the almost 3 million Australians (8% of the population) living with osteoarthritis are being encouraged to register at www.MyJointPain.org.au and take an active role in the management of their condition. MyJointPain.org.au was developed as a result of a unique collaboration between Arthritis Australia and the Bupa Health Foundation.
Olympic basketball star and Australian Opals captain, Lauren Jackson understands the importance of taking action to manage joint injuries which can lead to osteoarthritis.
“My journey through injury has been extremely frustrating and I know what it’s like not to be able to walk. The support of my health care team has been so important in helping me cope and recover. The MyJointPain.org.au website is like having your own dedicated team there to develop a personalised plan that
can help manage pain and other symptoms,” said Jackson.
“Whether you’re living with osteoarthritis or joint pain day-to-day, or dealing with it through sport injuries, having an action plan and support is extremely important,” said Jackson.
Osteoarthritis doesn’t just affect seniors, it can impact people of all ages, even those in their twenties.
“I want to encourage Australians with osteoarthritis to work through their pain and put the focus on the support and action they can take, rather than be incapacitated by their pain. It is possible to slow down the progress of osteoarthritis and enjoy life through supported recovery,” said Jackson.
The website and online tools are based on the combined knowledge of a committee of medical and scientific experts in key areas of surgical, scientific, allied health, medical and consumer advocacy to provide leading advice for osteoarthritis care.
Bupa Health Foundation Steering Committee member, Dr Stan Goldstein, said: “We hope that this online tool will help people avoid pain, avoid the limitations of living with osteoarthritis, and in some cases avoid surgery.
“This collaboration furthers the long-standing commitment of the Bupa Health Foundation as an advocate for effective pain management, prevention of disease and improving the health of all Australians,” said Dr Goldstein.
MyJointPain.org.au offers three major support functions. Firstly, the user will answer questions about their situation, they then receive a summary of their risk of hip or knee osteoarthritis along with management options for osteoarthritis in any joint. In addition they receive regular updates and ongoing support to keep them on track with managing their joint pain.
Professor David Hunter, rheumatology clinician and researcher said: “Osteoarthritis is one of the most challenging health conditions that Australians and our government have to face. It is the leading cause of mobility disability for seniors, a major cause of individual pain, and it costs the economy over $20 billion a year.
“Through the Myjointpain website, people living with osteoarthritis now have access to a credible resource, which can inform and empower them to be active in managing their condition and improving their mobility and quality of life.”
(Source: Arthritis Australia)