It seems like every time you look at your socials, open a newspaper or listen to the radio, another awareness day, week or month is being promoted.
Just this week, to name a few, we have World Asthma Day (3 May), International Day of the Midwife (5 May) and International No Diet Day (6 May). Oh, and let’s not forget Star Wars Day (4 May), as in May the force (fourth) be with you. 😂
In fact, as far as musculoskeletal conditions go, May is chock-full of awareness days:
- 8 May – World Axial Spondyloarthritis Day
- 10 May – World Lupus Day
- 12 May – International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
- 20 May – World Autoimmune Arthritis Day.
October also has its fair share:
- 12 October – World Arthritis Day
- 20 October – World Osteoporosis Day
- 31 October – Rattle Ya’ Bones Day.
And we have World Young Rheumatic Diseases Day (WORDDay) on 18 March.
So what’s the point of all of these days and the countless others that get shared around?
In our 2020 national consumer survey, a common issue raised by many respondents was the lack of awareness of musculoskeletal conditions and the impact they have on people’s lives. It’s one of the reasons we named the subsequent report Making the Invisible Visible because, for the most part, these conditions have no visible signs to indicate the pain and suffering they cause. Or the tremendous effect they have on daily lives, finances, the ability to work and study, be social, exercise, have a family, travel, be intimate, and so much more.
Rattle Ya’ Bones Day came about as a vehicle for us to promote these issues, educate the public about them and lift the stature of musculoskeletal conditions. It also provides the opportunity to dispel many myths surrounding arthritis, back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions.
Promoting specific conditions
There are over 150 different musculoskeletal conditions, so it can be easy to get lost in the mix. Specific condition awareness days allow conditions like lupus, juvenile arthritis and fibromyalgia to shine and get the awareness they deserve.
Sharing personal stories
An important aspect of awareness days is sharing the voices of people living with the condition or health issue. These stories, experiences, and perspectives provide the broader community with insight into their lives. And that’s a powerful way to make people care.
When you live with a painful condition, it can be an isolating experience. If you don’t know anyone else with your condition, it can be even more isolating. Awareness days can provide an opportunity to connect with others online and at events.
And for those newly diagnosed who may be feeling a bit lost, these awareness days can help people find a community of people who understand what they’re going through.
You can show your support for people living with specific conditions by sharing information about the awareness day, donating, volunteering, and so much more. Even liking a post and sharing it with your network goes a long way to supporting a cause and the people whose lives are affected. It’s a chance to say “this matters” and let others know it matters. And hopefully they’ll learn about it and care too.
In our survey, many people expressed their frustrations and difficulties they faced living with musculoskeletal conditions and the shortcomings in the systems that should support them. By raising awareness of these issues, we can lobby for change.
Many awareness days also have a fundraising component to them. This may be for anything from providing services to supporting research.
Whether it’s a serious awareness raising campaign or just a weird and wacky day that exists on its own (I’m looking at you, International Goof Off Day 😁), adding fun elements encourages people to get involved. And let’s face it, the world can be a grim place at times, so any extra fun we can cram into our days provides some necessary silliness.
Save the date! Rattle Ya’ Bones Day – 31 October 2022
Keep an eye on our socials and MSK News for information about this year’s Rattle Ya’ Bones Day (RYBD). RYBD aims to raise awareness of the impact of muscle, bone and joint conditions on the lives of those who live with them. You can help us do that. So stay tuned!
Contact our free national Help Line
Call our nurses if you have questions about managing your pain, musculoskeletal condition, treatment options, mental health issues, COVID-19, telehealth, or accessing services. They’re available weekdays between 9am-5pm on 1800 263 265; email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via Messenger.
More to explore 😉
- World Sword Swallowers Day (26 Feb)
- World Storytelling Day (20 Mar)
- World Party Day (3 Apr)
- World Juggling Day (18 Jun)
- International Kissing Day (6 Jul)
- International Talk Like a Pirate Day – 19 Sep
- International Coffee Day (1 Oct).