OA Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
Halloween is right around the corner and osteoarthritis (OA) has been allowed to lurk in the shadows for far too long. This graphic lists some hair-raising statistics related to the prevalence, impact, and cost of OA.
Fortunately, the OA Action Alliance is here to make OA a little less frightening for those diagnosed with the disease, their caregivers, and healthcare providers. Our coalition is guided by the vision, goals, and guiding principles set forth by the National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis: 2020 Update. However, the goals shared in this report can only be achieved by involving the broadest array of stakeholders: health care providers, policy and other decision makers, communication and marketing specialists, the business community, insurers, non-governmental agencies, and researchers. Here are some fears the OA Action Alliance and our member organizations have tackled to help make OA a little less scary:
Fear that exercise will make the pain worse: Research has shown physical activity can reduce pain and improve physical function by approximately 40%.
Fear of falling: Complete the Falls Free CheckUp to assess your risk.
Fear of experiencing an ACL injury: Incorporate these exercises into a preventive training program for athletes at all levels.
Fear of triggering situational depression: Allow yourself to feel your feelings.
Fear of misunderstanding the frustrations others are feeling: Whether in the workplace or as a caregiver, use active listening techniques to communicate with clarity and empathy.
- Mirror or repeat what the person is telling you
- Paraphrase the message
- Summarize content
- Ask for clarification
- Acknowledge feelings
- Avoid reacting with criticism
People say to me all the time, ‘You have no fear.’ I tell them, ‘No, that’s not true. I’m scared all the time. You have to have fear in order to have courage. I’m a courageous person because I’m a scared person.’