The next awareness day on the calendar is World Arthritis Awareness Day on October 12th.
World Arthritis Awareness Day raises awareness of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
But what is arthritis and why is it important that we raise awareness for this condition?
We look more in depth at the condition and give you more information on what it means to your life insurance premiums.
What is Arthritis?Arthritis is a common condition, with around 10 million people in the UK suffering from it. It causes pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints, meaning it can be difficult to move around as well as you did before. There are many different types of arthritis, with three most common being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
- Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the UK.
- Arthritis often affects people in old age however it can also affect people of all ages, even children.
- Arthritis is the 2nd biggest cause of sick leave in the UK.
- Currently there isn’t a cure for arthritis, however there are many treatments that can help.
Arthritis SymptomsPeople suffer with arthritis in different ways around different parts of the body, and there are a wide variety of symptoms that you can have due to arthritis. It all depends on the type of arthritis that you have and where in the body it affects you.
The most common symptoms for arthritis are:
- Joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness
- Inflammation in/around joints
- Restricted joint movement
- Warm/red skin over affected joint(s)
- Weakness and muscle wasting
Types Of ArthritisThe three most common types of arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It starts roughening of cartilage, which the body tries to “repair” to make up for the loss of the important substance. This then causes tiny bits of bone (osteophytes) to grow at the end of joints. In turn, there is then an increase of thick fluid inside the joint, and the joint capsule can stretch, causing the joint to lose it’s shape.
It leads to damage inside the joint, pain and stiffness.
Psoriatic arthritis is an auto-immune condition, meaning that the body’s immune system causes painful swelling and stiffness around joints. It also causes a red, scaly skin rash, known as psoriasis. Psoriasis usually affects places like the elbows, knees, back and scalp.
It is also common to have severe fatigue as a result of psoriatic arthritis. Normally, people develop arthritis after psoriasis however it is possible to have arthritis with no psoriasis at all.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis. It is also an auto-immune condition. Similar to psoriatic arthritis, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks joint tissue which causes extra fluid to gather and inflammation.
The inflammation and extra fluid in joints can cause pain, damage the bone and joint, and can stretch the joint capsule (which is irreparable), irritating the nerve endings.
What causes arthritis?There are so many different types of arthritis so it’s hard to pinpoint a specific cause. The following factors can all contribute:
Arthritis can sometimes run in families, especially rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the fingers. If it is something that your parents or grandparents have suffered from, it’s important to take care of your joints as much as you can to try and alleviate it later on in life.
There are certain types of arthritis that are more common in women and others that are more common in men.
Although arthritis can be a condition that effects many ages, osteoarthritis is usually a problem in later life. Other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathy commonly start in younger adults.
If you damage joints or pick up an injury whilst playing sports, this can cause osteoarthritis later in life. It can also affect you if you break a bone.
There are certain viral infections that can trigger some types of arthritis.
Certain lifestyles can trigger arthritis down the line. Osteoarthritis, especially of the knees and hips is more common and causes more pain in people who are overweight.
Drinking alcohol can trigger an attack of gout. Smoking is more common in people who develop rheumatoid arthritis. Living a healthy lifestyle can help you avoid further health issues down the line, including arthritis.
World Arthritis DayOn October 12th, many voices will be heard on World Arthritis Day. The day is designed to raise global awareness about all facets of the disease. Organisations will promote awareness of the symptoms connected to arthritis and highlight the importance of early diagnosis to gain access to the proper medical treatment as soon as possible.
Arthritis can often be mistaken for something else and doctors can often explore other avenues before arthritis. If left untreated for too long, it can effect organs and eyes, which is something that World Arthritis Day highlights and explores.
Arthritis Life InsuranceAt The Insurance Surgery, we are the UK’s No.1 Specialist Life Insurance Broker for those with medical conditions or dangerous occupations. We specialise in finding life insurance for those that may have been declined elsewhere or have been quoted life insurance at a price that is unaffordable.
Just because you have a medical condition doesn’t mean that it is impossible to get life insurance. We can find you the perfect provider for your condition, at a price to suit you and your lifestyle. Everyone’s personal circumstances are different, and we understand that here at The Insurance Surgery.
You can find out more about getting life insurance when you have arthritis on our website here.
No matter what type of arthritis you have, our team of expert advisors will help you to find the cover you need and that you and your family deserves. We can find you life insurance, critical illness cover, and income protection, and help you find a deal that covers you for what you need as well as being affordable.
How Arthritis Life Insurance WorksThe first step is to fill in our online quote form with your basic details, before we have a chat and get all the information we need about your circumstances and your condition.
There are key pieces of information that providers will want to know, so we can take all this information one time before taking it to the providers we have on our roster. Using us as a specialist broker saves you time filling in applications and quotes directly to providers.
Some of the information you’ll be asked about include:
- Date of diagnosis
- Treatment or medication
- Severity of symptoms
- Any surgery or hospitalisation
- Any other medical conditions
From there, our expert advisors will ask you some medical questions to assess the severity of your condition and to see what cover is available for you. The insurance providers will then look at this information to see what level of “risk” you are and determine a premium based on that.
If you suffer from arthritis, and are looking for arthritis life insurance, it should be fairly easy to obtain.
If your arthritis is mild or you haven’t had any serious complications associated with your condition, then it is possible that you can be offered cover at standard rates.
However, if you have suffered with problems as a result of your arthritis then it is likely that some loading will be added to your premium, making it slightly more expensive for you. Other factors that could affect your premium include your BMI, your smoker status or any other medical conditions you may have.
Arthritis Critical Illness Cover & Income ProtectionUnfortunately, it can be difficult to obtain critical illness cover and income protection if you suffer from arthritis, however it can be possible.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may either pay more for your cover, or you may have an arthritis exclusion placed onto your policy. It is also possible that you may not be able to obtain arthritis critical illness cover, and your application may be declined if the providers deem you as too high risk.
It all depends on the type of arthritis you have as well as your symptoms and medication, as some forms of arthritis are more accepted by providers than others. However, every circumstance is different, so we can look and see if there is any way we can help you find critical illness cover and income protection.
This year’s World Arthritis Awareness Day takes place on Tuesday 12th October 2021. Keep an eye out on social media for further resources and information throughout the day.