The Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) has launched a campaign to raise awareness that Ontario chiropractors are fully trained to treat the pain and functional limitations of arthritis
(TORONTO, October 12, 2021) – Today, one in five Canadians are struggling with chronic pain associated with arthritis. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways to manage the disease and get people back to doing the things they love and want to do.
In recognition of World Arthritis Day on October 12, the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) has launched a new ‘Circle It’ arthritis campaign to help raise awareness that as experts in neuromusculoskeletal (nMSK) (spine, muscles, joints, and related nervous system) care, chiropractors are fully trained to treat the pain and functional limitations of arthritis, as well as the management and ongoing care of inflammatory arthritis (IA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
In Ontario, chiropractors are qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat issues affecting the nMSK system, including arthritis. They are trained to help patients manage their arthritic pain by utilizing a combination of manual therapy, exercise prescription, and self-management strategies. Extensive knowledge in spine, muscle, joints, and related nervous system health allows chiropractors to be a part of a thoughtful and thorough diagnostic team.
With over 100 different types of arthritis1, chiropractors use best available evidence and clinical expertise to help patients with arthritis navigate their care options. Chiropractors can work as part of a patient’s circle of care – which can include a rheumatologist, family doctor, and neurologist – to assess, diagnose, and help manage their arthritis. When appropriate, they will communicate with a patient’s care team to support ongoing care and management of their long-term condition.
Arthritis is a complex medical condition that is chronic and without a cure. As our population ages, there’s no better time for chiropractors to play an active role in a patient’s circle of care and work alongside rheumatologists and other specialists to ensure the best outcomes for patients.
“There’s currently a knowledge gap among patients and health care professionals that chiropractors can help improve the quality of life, advance diagnosis, and increase treatment options for people with arthritis,” says Caroline Brereton, CEO of OCA. “Chiropractors are fully qualified to be included in a patient’s circle of care to help manage their condition and achieve optimal health. Their knowledge and expertise can help advance an interprofessional approach to arthritis management and ongoing care by enhancing the patient’s continuum of care. The goal of ‘Circle It’ arthritis campaign is to help Ontarians understand that there are additional options available for them to manage their arthritis.” – Caroline Brereton, CEO of OCA
“Once a patient is diagnosed with arthritis, they will often get seen by a variety of specialists, including rheumatologists, family doctors, and neurologists. Unfortunately, chiropractors are often left out of this circle of care. This presents a huge gap in our health care system because chiropractors are trained to be able to work alongside other health care professionals to treat patients with arthritis. It is one more tool in a patient’s toolbox to consider when searching for the best possible care to help manage their pain and improve the functional limitations that can come about from a condition like arthritis.” – Dr. Aksa Ahmed, OCA member and chiropractor at the Chiropractic Spine Clinic and Spinal Stenosis Program at the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis & Autoimmune Diseases at Mount Sinai Hospital
“It’s important to increase education around arthritis and autoimmune diseases among patients and physicians overall. Having more options in our circle of care from the start and awareness of how chiropractors can help is key to empowering patients with arthritis to seek the right treatment for their body, and remove barriers to timely and effective
intervention.” – David Rennick, 26-year-old technology consultant with arthritis
- According to a 2019 Statistics Canada Health Survey, arthritis is the most prevalent long-term health condition in Canada, affecting about 6 million people2. In Ontario alone, 17 per cent of the population suffers from arthritis. Nationally, the disease affects one in four women, and one in six men. The number of people living with arthritis in Canada is expected to increase to a total of 9 million by 20403.
- Over half of those living with arthritis are under the age of 65, and the onset of arthritis varies depending on the type. Due to its propensity to affect multiple joints of the body, a significant proportion of people living with arthritis report difficulties with mobility and activities of daily living such as doing housework and running errands.
- Despite its prevalence, finding the right care for arthritis is a challenge for many patients as its early signs and symptoms can mimic those of other diseases. In addition, because there are many forms of arthritis and the condition has the potential to affect multiple joints in the body, treatment must be tailored and individualized to the patient’s specific needs.
- The ‘Circle It’ arthritis campaign will run until December 2021 and include consumer advertisements across Ontario to help advance the knowledge that chiropractors are an important part of the circle of care for patients with arthritis.
For more information about the campaign, visit Help to Manage Your Arthritis.
Senior Communications Specialist