The National Athletic Trainer’s Association feels that OA awareness is a priority for us. There are several initiatives that our association has very clearly related to OA. One in particular is our emphasis on injury prevention in the youth sport population and our young athletes. Science clearly shows that early injury will be a predictor of early osteoarthritis onset. If we can prevent those injuries, we can make an impact on preventing osteoarthritis. I think any alliance, and especially this one, is critical for public awareness and further education on this very important topic. Networking, already I have learned that there are so many commonalities that we have. This is a global problem, and we need to network with each other to address this collaboratively, rather than just in silos with our own organizations.
I think we need to education the public. I firmly believe the public is ready to be educated. Our people are looking for answers to conservative management and early intervention. They don’t want to have the result be surgery as their only outcome. Education is critical. We need to educate and impact the educational awareness of our citizens in the United States, and hopefully then influence that globally on what they can do to prevent osteoarthritis and slow the progression of it and better manage it in their lives.