Despite arthritis being the leading cause of disability in NZ and more than 620,000 with a diagnosis, there still seems to be little understanding that there are more than 140 different forms of the condition and the impact it that arthritis has not only on individuals, their families and employers but also on the health system and the whole economy.

 

During the Havelock North water contamination there were alerts that a side affect of the outbreak might be ‘reactive arthritis’. It is sad to note that a local resident has now been diagnosed with this condition.

Reactive arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can occur after an infection in the bowel.

It is one of the common forms of arthritis affecting young men, usually between 20 and 40 years old, but others can also be affected.

Pain and swelling, usually of the knees, ankles or toes are often the first signs of reactive arthritis.  Other joints can be affected, including fingers, wrists, elbows and joints at the base of the spine.  Tendons around joints, such as the Achilles tendon, can also become inflamed.

Usually, reactive arthritis can be distinguished from other forms of arthritis because of the link to an earlier infection

20 to 26th September is Arthritis appeal week and our challenge is to provide New Zealanders with information on this chronic painful condition and remind them that its not just those knees and hips and that advice is available by calling 0800 663 463.

If you have some time to assist us during this week please call 0800 663 463 or if you miss one of our volunteers with a bucket you can donate via our website www.arthritis.org.nz, $20 by dialling 0900 333 20, if you have a Vodafone text PAIN to 7005 for a $5 donation.

Your support during our appeal is valued.

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