This September, Sports Broadcaster Terry Bradshaw is teaming up once again with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to share important information about rheumatic diseases in a new public service announcement (PSA) airing nationwide this fall.
Bradshaw shares tips in the PSA for managing rheumatic disease and encourages fellow rheumatic disease patients to take the ACR’s pledge to live well with their disease. Bradshaw is the official spokesperson for September’s Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month, an annual awareness event sponsored by the ACR and its public awareness campaign, Simple Tasks™.
“Flare-ups aren’t fun, which is why I follow the orders of my rheumatologist,” says Bradshaw in the PSA. “Eating healthy, staying active, not smoking, taking my meds and managing my stress all keep me going. I’ve also committed to my health by taking the American College of Rheumatology’s pledge to live well with rheumatic disease – and you should, too!”
Throughout the month of September, Americans living with rheumatic diseases are encouraged to visit SimpleTasks.org/Pledge to take the pledge to live well. Pledge takers will receive a care package from Simple Tasks that includes a pedometer and wristband to support their healthcare goals. Pledge takers will also be automatically entered for a chance to win a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey signed by Bradshaw.
By taking the pledge, patients are committing to specific activities that can help them manage their rheumatic disease and live better, healthier lives:
- Exercise Regularly to reduce pain, improve joint function, and delay the onset of disability.
- Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet to reduce inflammation in joints.
- Take Care of My Mental Health and confront disease with an open mindset.
- Be an Active Participant in My Care by practicing good self-management techniques to help identify the causes of flares, avoid triggers and/or catch them early when they happen.
- Advocate for My Care by staying informed about the policy issues jeopardizing access to rheumatic disease care and taking action when needed.
More than 54 million U.S. adults are diagnosed with rheumatic diseases, which include diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, osteoarthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and hundreds of lesser-known conditions. Rheumatic diseases are the nation’s leading cause of disability and generate $140 billion in annual health costs.
Arthritis is not just a disease affecting the elderly. Hundreds of thousands of children live with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. The CDC estimates that as many as 300,000 children have some type of juvenile arthritis.
Although there is no cure for rheumatic disease, early intervention by a rheumatologist can help patients manage symptoms and maintain a normal quality of life.
“Taking an active role in your healthcare can significantly improve quality of life when living with rheumatic disease,” said David Daikh, MD, PhD, President of the ACR. “Regular exercise can reduce joint pain and improve mobility, reducing stress associated with increased flare-ups and improving quality of life. I encourage all individuals who live with a rheumatic disease to take the pledge, discuss appropriate exercises with your rheumatology provider, and make a commitment to live well. ”
Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month and the patient pledge are sponsored by Simple Tasks, a public awareness campaign from the American College of Rheumatology. To learn more about rheumatic diseases and Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month, visit RDAM.org.