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VA partners with Arthritis Foundation
Study says Veterans more likely to develop arthritis than non-Veterans

July 7, 2023

By Randy Moler

Program Analyst, National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships
Arthritis affects approximately 1-in-4 adults and is the primary cause of disability in the U.S. A 2013 CDC study found that Veterans are more likely to develop arthritis than non-Veterans.

Physical injuries and exposure to occupational hazards during service puts Veterans at a heightened risk for developing arthritis. Arthritis causes pain, stiffness, swelling, tenderness and reduced range of motion in joints which can make routine tasks challenging. For Veterans already coping with obstacles such as post-traumatic stress, dealing with the effects of arthritis is challenging.

VA resources to help Veterans with arthritis
VA is committed to supporting Veterans with arthritis and helping them maintain a high quality of life. VA offers various resources, including ongoing research and information on drug-free strategies to relieve pain.

VA’s online patient portal My HealtheVet provides articles, self-assessment tools and helpful tips on how to manage arthritis. The Veterans Health Library provides Veterans and their families with up-to-date health information and tools on arthritis, including videos about the different types of arthritis and pain management resources. Veterans can also contact local VA health care facilities to learn more about new therapies that may be available.

Partnering to improve the lives of Veterans with arthritis
In 2021, VA’s National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships (HAP) partnered with the Arthritis Foundation (AF) to help Veterans living with arthritis. The partnership is dedicated to expanding access to care, education and support services with a focus on helping Veterans effectively manage pain, symptoms and other challenges.

“The partnership provides Veterans enrolled in VA health care and Veterans outside of the VA health care system with the resources they need to manage their arthritis and live a healthy life,” said Georgeanna Bady, HAP health system specialist.

In collaboration with VA, the Arthritis Foundation created a new webpage filled with information and resources to help Veterans take control of arthritis symptoms and challenges.

The Live Yes! Connect Groups provide support, education, robust programming, expert speakers and camaraderie so Veterans and service members with arthritis can connect and meet others who understand their challenges.
The Find Your Workout page offers podcasts, webinars and programs with safe and effective workouts for Veterans with arthritis.
The pain management trackers help Veterans proactively track their symptoms and record details for their next doctor’s appointment.
The partnership has produced or collaborated on the creation of two webinars specifically for Veterans: “Arthritis in the Military: Getting the Best Possible Care” and “Navigating Arthritis for Veterans in Agriculture.”
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