ATLANTA, Sept. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- For the over 54 million Americans with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, Pain Awareness Month in September is personal. In fact, according to patient-reported data from the Arthritis Foundation, almost 90% of people surveyed have pain that interferes with their daily lives. And while arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, it's not reserved for older adults: two out of three people living with arthritis are younger than age 65.
That's why, in honor of Pain Awareness Month, the Arthritis Foundation today launched its Chronic Strength Champions campaign, which celebrates patients from diverse walks of life who are battling back against chronic pain in their own unique ways. In sharing these stories, the Arthritis Foundation hopes others will be inspired to take advantage of the tools and resources available at their fingertips – and take control of their self-care and pain management.
"Many patients, especially those who are newly diagnosed, do not know where to begin in gathering information to help them navigate life with chronic pain," said Steven Taylor, Executive Vice President, Mission & Strategic Initiatives for the Arthritis Foundation. "It's our responsibility to support the millions of people living in chronic pain with our resources to help fight daily battles – no matter their age or diagnosis."
The youngest arthritis patients often have the most isolating experience: about 300,000 kids and teens in the U.S. live with juvenile arthritis (JA) and other pediatric rheumatic diseases. Through the Arthritis Foundation, JA patients and their parents are connected to a community of support to help find answers, access life-changing resources and make new friends.
The Vim App: The Newest Resource The newest resource for people battling chronic pain is Vim, the Arthritis Foundation's free mobile app. It's designed to help people log their pain, set goals and stay on track to achieve them. Along with providing a social networking component, the app is full of expert content from the Arthritis Foundation, covering topics such as nutrition, sleep and exercise.
Among the supportive Vim community is Natalie Decker, NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver and an Arthritis Foundation Chronic Strength Champion. "I've spent my whole life setting goals for myself on the racetrack, and now, Vim makes it easy to work toward goals for my pain management," said Decker, who lives with rheumatoid arthritis. At age 24, Decker has inspired arthritis patients of all ages to live a full life, through fighting a tumultuous health battle since birth. As a child, Decker was unable to fully strengthen her arms, and later, she had to undergo surgery to remove her gallbladder due to the toll the autoimmune disease was taking her to her body, beyond her joints.
"Since I was a kid, I've had to help others understand arthritis doesn't just affect their older family members," said Decker. "That's just one more reason why people like me shouldn't have to hold back from living a full life."
Find Your Chronic Strength Like Decker, others can be a Chronic Strength Champion by downloading Vim and heading to arthritis.org/pain take control of their pain.
In honor of Pain Awareness Month, the Arthritis Foundation has partnered with iHeartMedia to give away an all-expenses-paid 7-day wellness retreat at a wellness resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Listeners can enter to become a Chronic Strength Champion by registering for a chance to win and have direct access to episodes of the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast, educational webinars and more expert resources from the Arthritis Foundation.
About the Arthritis Foundation: The Arthritis Foundation is fighting for all people who live with arthritis. As a Champion of Yes, it's the Arthritis Foundation's mission to turn the obstacles arthritis causes into opportunities. The Arthritis Foundation champions life-changing solutions and medical advancements, and it also provides ways for people to connect, break down barriers in health care and join the fight for a cure — uniting hearts, minds and resources to change the future of arthritis. To join the fight to cure arthritis, visit arthritis.org.