Arthritis Ireland is looking to speak to farmers about how osteoarthritis (OA) affects them, as part of a forthcoming awareness campaign.

The health charity is planning a campaign called BePrOActive to highlight the impact that the condition has on people in Ireland. It is specifically looking to showcase the challenges faced by members of the farming community in living with OA.

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Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joint which results in chronic pain, limits everyday activities and contributes to reduced quality of life. It is the most common form of arthritis, affecting approximately 10-12% of the adult population, and most commonly affects the knees, hips, hands, feet and spine.

The number of people living with osteoarthritis is increasing due to population ageing, as well as a rise in lifestyle-related factors, such as obesity and physical inactivity.

According to Brian Lynch, head of communications and advocacy at Arthritis Ireland, “Osteoarthritis can be a debilitating condition, but the symptoms are often invisible. This campaign is about increasing awareness and understanding of OA. We are working with a consultant, as well as with a dietitian and physiotherapist to give people living with the condition valuable information and tips that they can apply in their own lives.

“As part of the campaign, we are highlighting the impact of the disease on people’s everyday lives and we want to share the experiences of someone from the farming community. We’re conscious of the challenges facing farmers and how chronic diseases like arthritis can be so debilitating in a farm setting,” Lynch said.

The campaign will involve a short video being recorded with a farmer living with OA, where they get to tell their story. The video will be published on the web and social media, and may also feature in the mainstream media.

Anyone interested in being involved with the campaign is invited to contact Brian Lynch by email to [email protected]