In order to advise and encourage people with ongoing back pain and other arthritic problems, Arthritis New Zealand launched a nationwide campaign at Parliament.
The campaign is named "Arthritis; It could surprise you" and is based on experience of Matt Lockwood, one of New Zealand's most promising race car drivers. At the age of 23 he suffers from ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a form of arthritis that is more common in men.
Campaign aims at awaking people on the problem, especially to young adults as they mostly overlook the problem and relate it with elderly people. In New Zealand 530,000 people are estimated to suffer from the problem, which comprises of more than 50% of adult working population aged between 16 to 64 .
The campaign started today with two television commercials featuring rusty shock’s images representing the fusion of the spine which occurs with AS untreated and Lockwood’s message “With treatment AS doesn't have to hold you back, Racing is my dream and I'm doing it, so it's working!”
Matt was fortunate enough as his early diagnosis and treatment have enabled him to overcome the problem but this is not with case of other New Zealanders. Many people suffering from back ache don’t realize that this could be arthritis. This unawareness delays early treatment and worsens the case.
The campaign aims at encouraging such people to get information and seek advice for the problem.