Bone and Joint Health National Action Week: October 12-20, 2020

Welcome to Bone and Joint Health National Action Week! Each year, during the second-to-third week of October, activities focused on disorders, conditions and trauma related to bone health are held, all of which are meant to build worldwide awareness for bone disease management, treatment and prevention. This year’s event launches on Monday, October 12, through Tuesday, October 20.

Why Bone and Joint Health National Action Week is Important

More than half of the U.S. population, ages 18-54, are affected by some type of musculoskeletal conditions, including 33% of people, over the age of 18, who require medical care for conditions, like arthritis and osteoporosis. These conditions can result in crippling disabilities, which diminish one’s quality of life. The week helps raise awareness as research is currently less than 2% of the annual budget of the National Institute of Health.

How to Observe Bone and Joint Health National Action Week

The week consists of five-full days of events, kicking off with World Arthritis Day, on October 12. Also included are World Spine Day (Oct. 16), World Trauma Day (Oct. 17), World Pediatric Bone and Joint (PB&J) Day (Oct. 19), and culminates with World Osteoporosis Day, on October 20.

Reality of Bone Health

We all lose bones over the course of our lives. In fact, we are born with 300 and, as we age, some of our bone sets actually fuse together, leaving us with 206. These realizations are what makes the week so important, specifically World Spine Day, as our vertebrae are susceptible to density loss as we age.

In our hands, alone, we have 54 bones, which makes our fingers and wrists flexible enough to play sports and instruments, write and paint and, of course, toggle those social media feeds.

Bones creak and renew as well. The popping sounds we sometimes here in our joints are due to arthritis, which develops as our cartilage begins to wane, even if we never fully develop and suffer from arthritis. However, every seven years, the collagen in our bones replenish themselves, helping a new skeleton develop.

We all have a ‘funny bone’, but there is nothing funny about it. It is our ulnar nerve, which runs along our elbows. It is one of three primary nerves in our arms, which rests along the humerus, hence the name. It hurts when we take a hit there because it is only protected by a thin layer of fat and skin.

Bone Health Partners: GMUSC & USBJI

The weeklong event is co-sponsored by both the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health and U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative organizations.

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Author: Michael Stagno

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