|By PR Newswire||
|October 2, 2013 07:03 PM EDT||
LONDON, October 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Painful, debilitating, and costly, rheumatic conditions can make even the simplest tasks - such as eating, brushing your teeth and driving a car - impossible. The British Society for Rheumatology today launches Simple Tasks.
Simple Tasks is a national awareness campaign to help people understand the negative impact of diagnosing and treating rheumatic conditions, outside what is recognised as the 'window of opportunity' - the first 12 weeks after onset of symptoms. The later diagnosis and treatment is received, the greater the chances of permanent damage, pain and disability. There are many rheumatic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and lupus. The average time taken to diagnose ankylosing spondylitis is currently eight years and for rheumatoid arthritis this is nine months. This goes some way to demonstrate how these and other musculoskeletal conditions severely limit quality of life for millions of people and account for the loss of 10 million working days every year.
Chris Deighton, president, British Society for Rheumatology, said: "The first weeks following the onset of rheumatic symptoms, which often occur in the prime of life, are known as the 'window of opportunity'. If patients are seen during this critical time, as soon as possible, but certainly within the first weeks of experiencing early symptoms, we can help ease their suffering and avoid long-term complications."
Laura Guest, CEO, British Society for Rheumatology, added: "Musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions affect up to 16 million people in the UK, yet rheumatology receives little recognition in health policy - this must change. It's important that the scale and severity of these conditions is properly understood and the priority of rheumatology is increased to a level proportionate to its burden on both patients and the NHS. Our Simple Tasks campaign aims to achieve just that."
Debbie Cook, Director of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS), said 'Currently many people with ankylosing spondylitis have symptoms for years before a diagnosis is made. NASS hope the Simple Tasks campaign will raise awareness about the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis resulting in quicker diagnosis and prompt treatment.'
Contact: Becky Riffel, email@example.com