Arthritis touches the lives of millions of Canadians – 4.6 million aged 15 or older to be exact. By 2036, it is estimated that this number will grow to 7.5 million, according to a report issued by the Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit.

There are over 100 different types of arthritis. The two main kinds are:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA): the most prevalent kind of arthritis, affecting more than 3 million Canadians.With OA, symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling and bone-on-bone movement in the affected joint.
  • Inflammatory Arthritis (IA): symptoms can include inflammation, swelling and pain and this form of arthritis can also include the following:
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Psoriatic arthritis
    • Ankylosing spondylitis

Approximately 20% of women in Canada aged 15 or older and 13% of men in this age category report having arthritis, according to the same report. As such, it frequently affects people who are in their peak earning years and according to the latest ‘Fit For Work’ Study:

  • 41% of employed Canadians with arthritis report difficulty managing their symptoms;
  • Another 41% per cent indicate that arthritis makes it difficult to carry out their work responsibilities; an
  • Over one third report that arthritis makes it difficult to travel to and from work, and over one third believe that their condition has affected their career development.

For more information on arthritis, see The Arthritis Society’s Facts & Figures or if you have any questions, follow their Ask an Expert blog.