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Bone and Joint Action Week



Bone and Joint Action Week is held annually October 12-20 with activities focused on disorders including arthritis, back pain, trauma, pediatric conditions, and osteoporosis. The themes and their related activities are designed to raise awareness worldwide about prevention, disease management and treatment. 

You will find activities to do and ways to become better informed below. But before that, take a look at some facts:

  • More than half the American population over the age of 18 - 54 percent - are affected by musculoskeletal (bone and joint) conditions, according to The Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions in the United States.(1)
  • One in three (33%) people over the age of 18 required medical care for a musculoskeletal condition in each of the years 2009 to 2011, a 19% increase over the last decade.(2)
  • Bone and joint conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide affecting hundreds of millions of people.(3)
  • Musculoskeletal conditions include back pain, arthritis, traumatic injuries, osteoporosis, spinal deformity, and childhood conditions.
  • The global prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions is predicted to increase greatly due to increasing life expectancy and changes in risk factors unless new treatments and preventive measures are found.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions can lead to significant disability plus diminished productivity and quality of life. Treatment and lost wage costs associated with musculoskeletal diseases in the U.S. alone was estimated at $874 billion in 2009 to 2011 - equal to 5.73 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).(2)
  • Research funding is currently less than 2 percent of the National Institutes of Health annual budget, and continues to decline each year despite the high costs associated with injuries, arthritis, and back pain.
  • Since 2011, when "Baby Boomers" became beneficiaries of Medicare, the economic and societal cost of bone and joint health escalated and is expected to continue for decades.
Now is the time to raise awareness - and the reason for Bone and Joint Action Week.
There are five special days during Action Week.
  • October 12 - World Arthritis Day
  • October 16 - World Spine Day
  • October 17 - World Trauma Day
  • October 19 - World Pediatric Bone and Joint (PB&J) Day
  • October 20 - World Osteoporosis Day

(1) United States Bone and Joint Initiative: The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States. Rosemont, IL; 2014. Accessed July 9, 2015.
(2) United States Bone and Joint Initiative: The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States. Rosemont, IL; 2014. Accessed July 9, 2015.
(3) Woolf AD, Pfleger B. Burden of major musculoskeletal conditions. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2003;81:646-656.

World Arthritis Day – October 12

The theme is Don't Delay, Connect Today. Early diagnosis is so important. View inspirational events taking place worldwide to raise awareness, add your own event and share photos! To learn more, visit

The United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) offers Experts in Arthritis, a public education program for people with arthritis and for people who care about them.  Patient advocates and healthcare professionals including rheumatologist, 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.

Visit and view our videos. See how Roberta and Teresa learned to take control of their arthritis. Disponible en Español. 

World Spine Day – October 16

The theme for 2019 is Get Spine Active! This reflects the opportunity for people to manage back and neck pain by movement and exercise, one of the key focuses in international health promotion.

Being active can take many forms, not simple doing sport and exercise. Getting Spine Active can range from taking regular breaks at work to aquarobics for the elderly to doing the Straighten Up exercise routine. Everyone, regardless of age or ability can Get Spine Active. . #getspineactive will highlight the importance of spinal health and wellbeing. To learn more, visit

World Pediatric Bone and Joint (PB&J) Day – October 19

There are two themes in 2019, Children Get Arthritis Too! and Youth Sports Specialization Can Be Detrimental To Future Success.

Children Get Arthritis Too!

Arthritis affects children as well as adults, in fact about 1 in 1000 children have arthritis, more than 2 million worldwide. It is treatable, but too many children are not diagnosed in a timely manner, which means they unnecessarily live with pain. And, lack of treatment can lead to joints becoming more damaged than they need to be. So on World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day do something to raise awareness about this issue, among your circle of friends and acquaintances, write to your congressional representatives and let them know you care. If you know of a child in pain, and thus possibly arthritis, urge their parents to seek medical help. Learn more …

Youth Sports Specialization Can Be Detrimental To Future Success

Youth sports are an important part of a child’s physical and emotional development. Participation in youth sports has many positive benefits to a child’s growth. It encourages physical exertion, which in turn decreases the risk for obesity and can have a positive effect on a child’s emotional well-being. It helps develop social dexterity and promotes leadership skills. Most importantly, sports are FUN! However, there has been an increasing focus on early sports specialization. And this is not good for child development. Children need to practice a variety of sports. Learn more... 

Download and share this infographic on Fact and Fiction about Youth Sports Specialization!


2018 theme - Clubfoot Can be Corrected Non-Surgically
2017 theme - Kids, Bones, Joints & Obesity - Tips for Parents and Patients, and Primary Care Providers
2015 theme - Childhood and Adolescent ACL Injuries - High number of Knee injuries in girls on the rise with prevention key 
2014 theme - The 
Adolescent Female Athlete Triad - The Female Athlete Triad: Health Pitfalls for Adolescents
2012 theme - Kids and Vitamin D DeficiencyKids and Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D Handout
2011 theme - Kids and the Effects of Obesity on the Musculoskeletal System - The Growth Plate, and Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE)
2010 theme - Obesity - Kids and the Effects of Obesity on the Musculoskeletal System

World Osteoporosis Day - October 20

The 2018-2019 World Osteoporosis Day awareness campaign, “This Is A Sign,” uses a game theme to show four key signs that can alert people to their possible risk of osteoporosis and broken bones. To learn more, visit

The United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) offers Fit to a T, a public education program on bone health and osteoporosis designed to help Americans learn more about bone health, as well as the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis.

Visit and view our Sylvia. Disponible en Español.

2017 theme - Love Your Bones: Protect your Future! 
2016 theme - Love Your Bones 
2015 theme - Serve Up Bone Strength