Changing the course of arthritis

There are common myths and misconceptions about arthritis: people assume it is a health condition affecting only older adults and that it’s mostly aches and pains. The truth is arthritis is a painful disease that affects more Canadians, young and old, than any other chronic health condition, is growing in prevalence and has no cure.

Today, over six million Canadians live with the devastating burden of arthritis, including over 25,000 children and youth. If nothing is done, this number is expected to soar to nine million by 2040.

At Arthritis Society Canada, we believe there is a better way forward and that together, we can turn the tide of this disease. One way we are doing this is by investing in innovative research to transform diagnosis, treatment and prevention, focusing on five priority areas: pain, osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, childhood arthritis and work.

As Canada’s largest charitable source of arthritis research funding, we have invested over $230 million since our inception and doubled our annual investment in research since 2020. To fight the fire of arthritis, we are advocating to the federal and provincial governments to work with health charities to amplify investments in arthritis research. Arthritis research is underfunded relative to its burden and prevalence, and our community needs to do more.

“Arthritis is a devastating, chronic condition and six million Canadians are aching for a cure. The time to transform how we understand, prevent and treat this disease is now,” says Dr. Siân Bevan, Chief Science Officer of Arthritis Society Canada.

Amplifying research investment in pediatric arthritis

Over the last five years, with the support of our donors, Arthritis Society Canada has invested $4.2 million specifically in childhood arthritis research and treatment. This funding is supporting youth through the transition from pediatric to adult care, helping to uncover the role of biology and genetics, developing new treatment strategies, advancing personalized diagnosis and treatment, and measuring the impact of the disease on a person’s life and its costs.

In 2023, Arthritis Society Canada aims to raise over $700,000 to invest in nine ongoing childhood arthritis research projects, and research investments are a priority in our federal budget submission.

We are also increasing our investment in programs for children and families impacted by arthritis like adapted summer camps, backpacks for recently diagnosed children, virtual support clubs and new resources for young adults.

The way forward

At Arthritis Society Canada, we are working to improve equitable access to arthritis care and treatment including access to medical cannabis, advocating for reduced wait times for joint replacement surgery and increasing awareness of the impact arthritis has on countless lives.

Together, we can elevate our understanding of arthritis and dispel the myths around this complex disease. We can engage communities nation-wide and beyond and change the course for everyone touched by the pain of arthritis.

To find out more about our commitment to research, please visit




Arthritis Society Canada is a Member of Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery and Sponsor of the Parliamentary Health Research Caucus Buffet Luncheon, Reinventing Children’s Health through Game-Changing Pediatric Research and Innovation. Visit to learn more.