Join us and StandUp2OA!

The first and only national campaign that focuses on preventing the onset and progression of osteoarthritis (OA)

Today, 30.8 million people – 1 in almost every 10 American adults – have osteoarthritis (OA) a serious disease that mainly affects the hands, knees, and hips in adults. OA rates are expected to increase in the years ahead as Baby Boomers age and the effects of the obesity epidemic begin to manifest. Osteoarthritis is common, expensive, a leading cause of disability and it can be prevented.

How do you prevent OA?

Weight management and injury prevention strategies can lower your risk of developing OA while physical activity and self-management have been shown to prevent or minimize further disease progression.

Weight Management

People who maintain a healthy weight are less likely to develop knee OA and therefore less likely to need major surgical procedures to treat OA symptoms. Higher body mass index (BMI) is not only a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature death but is also implicated as a cause of OA. For every 1 pound of weight loss, there is 4 pounds of relief on your knees. Losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half. Managing your weight with a healthy diet and physical activity can help you reduce your pain. But don’t try to make too many changes at once. Instead, pick just one thing you feel ready to focus on for the next several weeks. Learn more weight management tips.

Injury prevention

Injury to the knee joint, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture, whether treated surgically or non-operatively, can lead to OA of the knee later in life. In fact, individuals with a history of knee injury are 3-6 times more likely than those without knee injury to develop knee OA. Down the line, almost half of individuals with an ACL injury will develop knee OA within 10 years. Participating in neuromuscular training exercises can reduce the risk for traumatic knee injury by up to 80%. Learn about the recommended exercises on our injury prevention resource page.

Learn more about prevention and management strategies in our resource library.

How You Can StandUp2OA

If your joints are healthy and pain-free, or you are at risk and want to prevent OA, see your care provider for ideas on reducing your risk of developing OA. In the meantime, here are a few great strategies to reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy weight and preventing joint injury. Regular physical activity may not prevent OA but it is good practice to maintain joint mobility, strength, and overall good health. Learn more.

  • Achieve or maintain a healthy weight to minimize overloading joints and causing tissue damage.
  • Athletes and coaches (and parents!) – Smart training strategies will help improve sport performance, keep athletes healthy, and prevent injuries, like an ACL tear, that can lead to risk of developing OA.
  • Stay active! Physical activity may not prevent or slow the progression OA in all cases, but it can help you maintain strong muscles, stable joints, flexibility, and good balance to reduce falls and joint injury.
  If you have or think you have OA, see your care provider for ideas on reducing the impact of OA or joint pain on your everyday life, including managing your symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and swelling; improving joint mobility and flexibility; maintaining a healthy weight; and getting regular physical activity. Learn more.

  • Achieve or maintain a healthy weight to minimize overloading joints and causing tissue damage.
  • Stay active! Physical activity may not necessarily prevent or slow the progression OA in all cases, but it can help you maintain strong muscles, stable joints, flexibility, and good balance to reduce falls and joint injury.
If you’re a health care provider, help your OA patients by encouraging physical activity, weight management and referring them to arthritis-appropriate proven interventions, and community- based programs. Learn more.

If your organization is involved in OA education and prevention, become a partner with OAAA and help share information about effective community interventions—and then support those efforts among your group’s members. Learn more.

  • Learn how your organization can increase access to physical activity for adults with arthritis with our online Physical Activity Implementation Guide.
  • If you offer (or want to offer!) evidence-based programs for people with arthritis, our online Community Partners resource library offers tools and guidance.
If you’re a policymaker, help OAAA make osteoarthritis a public health priority through policy decisions and solutions, and funding allocations. Learn more. 

  • Why should you consider OA a high priority? The socioeconomic impact of arthritis in the U.S. is significant. Learn how OA affects people in your state.
  • Are you a coach or decision-maker for a youth sports organization? Keep your players in the game for life! Use our injury prevention guidance resources to establish training practices that can help minimize knee injury on the field and promote long-term joint health.



Help Us StandUp2OA by spreading the message

Use the hashtag #StandUp2OA to promote evidence-based public health interventions that can help prevent and manage #osteoarthritis. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest news and connect with other advocates for Osteoarthritis. Let us know how you #StandUp2OA!

You can Spread the Message to #StandUp2OA with shareable messages, links to our social media, and by signing up to receive more information (it’s free).

Download the Interactive Campaign Toolkit  [Printer-friendly toolkit]

Subscribe to our StandUp2OA newsletter to stay in the loop about the campaign.