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Experts in Arthritis: Updates on Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Juvenile Arthritis

Experts in Arthritis (EIA) is a free public education seminar for people with arthritis and people who care about them.

The program offers people with arthritis the opportunity to be informed about current scientific evidence and management strategies in the treatment and care of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile arthritis (other forms of arthritis can be incorporated, based on need).

Launched in 2007, hundreds of patients and caregivers have participated, hearing from world-class experts in arthritis care about current scientific evidence and management strategies in the treatment and care of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and pediatric arthritis.

Experts in Arthritis (EIA) has been held in conjunction with the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, the world's foremost gathering of rheumatology health professionals, in Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Chicago. It has also been held on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, in association with the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association in Philadelphia, and at an increasing number of communities across the nation.  The sessions are sponsored by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative.

The USBJI has expanded the program and offered it in association with the annual meetings of other organizations, as well as to any local community. 

To view our Calendar scroll up to "Calendar" or Click here for upcoming EIA sessions.

To get started scroll up to "How to Schedule a Session" or Click here .

Program Overview

Presentations on:

  • What You Can Do to Manage Your Arthritis.
  • Practical Strategies to Take Control of Arthritis.
  • The Role of the Patient in Disease management.
  • The Role of Nutrition and Exercise in Disease management.

Question and Answer Sessions with experts in arthritis that addresses clinical information and current best research evidence on:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Juvenile Arthritis

Handout Materials

By the end of an Experts in Arthritis session participants will be able to:

  • Describe methods to self-manage their arthritis so they can live their lives to the fullest.
  • Discuss current knowledge on scientific treatments related to medication, exercise, diet, and other management strategies.

Key Messages/Participants will learn how:

  • Managing arthritis involves teamwork: The patient is the leader of the team assisted by the primary care physician and other healthcare specialists.
  • Self-management provides control of the disease through: understanding the nature and progression of arthritis; knowledge of how to reduce pain while remaining active; effective physical, mental, and emotional coping strategies; confidence in the ability to live an active independent life.
  • Diet, vitamins and minerals can affect weight, pain, and emotion.
  • Exercise reduces pain and stiffness, increases flexibility and endurance, and raises sprits and self-esteem.

Program Goals

Experts in Arthritis sessions typically last 60-90 minutes.  They can be held at a local public library, community center, church, senior center, health/fitness club, hospital, clinic, or workplace.  A patient advocate and healthcare professional and possibly other experts, team up to present the program.  The session features a PowerPoint presentation, discussion, and question/answer period.  Collateral patient education materials about arthritis are provided.  The program can be adapted to large or small audiences, with everyone taking part in one combined question and answer session, or, where larger numbers warrant, separate breakout sessions address specific diagnoses.  Prepared presentations and all materials are supplied.

Background on Arthritis

Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are the second most common musculoskeletal disease among adults and is the most common cause of disability among adults in this country.  It affects one in five adults in the United States, or an estimated 50 million people, including 300,000 children.  These estimates are expected to continue to soar, reaching 67 million by 2030.  Two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than age 65.  In 2003, the total cost attributable to arthritis in the United States reached $128 billion.  Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile arthritis are the most common forms of arthritis.

There is no cure for arthritis; however, current treatments and increased understanding about ways to manage the disease have created significant improvements in the quality of life of people with arthritis.

While research remains a critical component of our effort to find a cure for arthritis, it is not the only one.  Americans with arthritis need to learn that they have an important role to play in the management of the disease.  They need to be taught how to take advantage of the therapies and treatments available today.  Experts in Arthritis can help raise awareness and educate both those with arthritis and their significant others.

Experts in Arthritis, relevant to Americans of all ages and from all ethnic origins, is a nationwide program that brings people with arthritis together with world-class experts in arthritis care. Patient advocates and healthcare professionals such as rheumatologists, physical therapists, orthopaedic surgeons, nurses,  and occupational therapists present sessions covering current scientific evidence for the treatment and self-management of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and answer questions related to current knowledge about arthritis care. The objective of Experts in Arthritis is to provide people with arthritis with accurate information about treatment options, thus improving their ability to self-manage their disease and live their lives to the fullest.
Experts in Arthritis was developed  by members  of the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI), the U.S. National Action Network of the worldwide Bone and Joint Decade, a global campaign to raise awareness about musculoskeletal disorders, and improve their prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The USBJI is a network of some 100 patient and healthcare professional organizations concerned with bone and joint health.
Through this public education program the USBJI works with communities to generate awareness and understanding of the advances  that have and continue to be made to lessen pain, improve mobility, and restore function for those who live with arthritis. While there is still no cure for arthritis, the advances made through research  now make it possible for people with arthritis to live their lives to the fullest, at home, at work and in the community.