Health Observances are special days, weeks, or months dedicated to raising awareness about important health topics. Below find a list that includes health observances related to conditions that affect the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. Each observance includes links to resources to help educate patients and community members about these conditions. NIAMS also provides a Social Media Toolkit with resources to help people in your community take steps to improve their health.

February Is Black History Month

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Lady hugging child in field

What does heritage have to do with health?

Many Black/African Americans experience conditions and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. Black History Month is an opportunity to learn about these conditions and to share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information:

April Is National Minority Health Month

Many people in racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities experience conditions and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. National Minority Health Month is an opportunity to learn about these conditions and to share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Being more aware of the health and health care disparities that affect racial and ethnic minorities can improve your ability to assist and educate those who are more at risk. Some people may have an increased risk for certain health conditions, but they can still take steps to improve their health and to minimize those risks.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information:

May – National Women’s Health Week

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Group of women hugging and smiling at the camera in urban setting

National Women’s Health Week starts each year on Mother’s Day to encourage women and girls to make their health a priority.

Many women experience conditions and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. National Women’s Health Week is an opportunity to remind women and girls, especially those with underlying health conditions and women age 65 and older, to take care of their health. Take time to learn about these and other conditions that affect women and share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information:

May Is Arthritis Awareness Month

"Arthritis" literally means “joint inflammation” in Greek or Latin. Joint inflammation is a symptom or sign rather than a specific diagnosis, but the term “arthritis” often refers to any disorder that affects the joints.

People with arthritis can feel pain and stiffness in their bodies, sometimes making it hard to move or causing their joints to become swollen. Arthritis Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn about the different types of arthritis and their causes, symptoms, and treatments, and share resources and information with your patients and community members.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information:

May Is Lupus Awareness Month

Systemic lupus erythematosus, or lupus, is an autoimmune disease. Typically, the body’s immune system fights foreign invaders, like germs and viruses. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system isn’t working properly, and it attacks healthy tissues.

Lupus can affect many parts of the body and can affect people differently. One person with lupus may have swollen knees and fever. Another person may be tired all the time or have kidney trouble. Someone else may have rashes. Lupus Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn about lupus and share resources and information with your patients and community members.

Because lupus affects each person differently, there is no simple answer for how it can be managed. There are things people can do to help them cope with the disease.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

May Is National Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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Lady on a kayak smiling at camera while on a body of water

What does heritage have to do with health?

Many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders experience conditions and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn about these conditions and share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information:

May Is Native Hawaiian Heritage Month

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Woman looking at camera with ocean behind her.

What does heritage have to do with health?

Many Native Hawaiians experience conditions and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin, and can sometimes experience cultural, financial, and geographic barriers that can keep them from getting proper health care. Native Hawaiian Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn about health conditions that can affect Native Hawaiians and to share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information:

May Is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle. This leads to an increased risk of fractures, or broken bones. People with osteoporosis will most commonly break hip, spine, and wrist bones. While osteoporosis is the most common bone disease, it is often called a “silent disease” because it can progress without any symptoms until a fracture occurs. National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month is an opportunity to learn about osteoporosis and share resources and information with your patients and community members.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

June Is National Men’s Health Month

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Men standing together with a basketball smiling at camera

Many men experience conditions and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. National Men’s Health Month is an opportunity to remind men and boys about health problems that can affect them and encourage them to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. Take time to learn about these conditions and share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

June Is National Scleroderma Awareness Month

Scleroderma is an autoimmune and rheumatic disease that causes inflammation in the skin and other areas of the body and involves many systems. This inflammation leads to patches of tight, hard skin. Scleroderma is also a connective tissue disease and can affect tendons and cartilage along with the skin. National Scleroderma Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn about scleroderma and share resources and information with your patients and community members.

There are several forms of scleroderma that can affect different people in different ways. While there is no known cure for scleroderma, there are some things people can do to help cope with the condition.

Share this resource:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

  • Scleroderma (MedlinePlus, National Library of Medicine)

July Is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

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July Is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

Children can get arthritis just like adults. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the term used to describe arthritis in children. JIA is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body’s immune system—which normally helps to fight off bacteria or viruses—mistakenly attacks some of its own healthy cells and tissues. It causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of motion. Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn about JIA and share resources and information with your patients’ families and community members.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

August Is Psoriasis Awareness Month

Psoriasis is a chronic or long-lasting skin disease that results in scaling and inflammation of the skin. Most forms of psoriasis cause patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. These patches can itch or feel sore. They are often found on the elbows, knees, parts of the legs, scalp, lower back, face, palms, or soles of the feet. They can also show up other places, such as on the fingernails, toenails, genitals, or inside the mouth.

Psoriasis can affect a person’s day-to-day life. Health care providers understand the impact of the disease and can work with the patient to help reduce the symptoms. Psoriasis Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn about psoriasis and share resources and information with your patients and community members.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

  • Psoriasis (Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine)

September Is National Hispanic Heritage Month

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September Is National Hispanic Heritage Month

What does heritage have to do with health?

Many people of Hispanic/Latino heritage experience conditions and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. National Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn about these conditions that affect Hispanic/Latino communities and to share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English and Spanish, including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information:

September Is Healthy Aging® Month

As people age, they may experience conditions and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. Healthy Aging® Month is an opportunity to learn about these and other conditions, and share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

October – Bone and Joint Health National Action Week (October 12-20)

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October – Bone and Joint Health National Action Week

Bone and Joint Health National Action Week is an opportunity to learn about conditions that affect the bones and joints and to share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

October Is National Physical Therapy Month

Exercise and physical activity are good for almost everyone. And preventing injuries before they happen is important. If someone you know has an injury, encourage them to see a doctor to find out if they need physical therapy. National Physical Therapy Month is an opportunity to learn about injuries and other conditions and to share resources and information with your patients and community members.

Physical therapy can:

  • Help a person manage pain, recover from injuries, and maintain mobility as they age.
  • Be adapted to an individual’s needs, challenges, and goals.
  • Allow a person to participate in their own recovery and well-being, which can be empowering.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

November Is National Native American Heritage Month

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November Is National Native American Heritage Month

What does heritage have to do with health?

Many Native Americans experience conditions and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. National Native American Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn about these conditions and to share resources and information with your patients and community members. The Indian Health Service provides quality health care on reservations that helps American Indians and Alaska Natives take care of themselves and helps to strengthen future generations. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information:

November Is National Healthy Skin Month

Skin is the largest organ of the body and plays an important protective role. It holds body fluids in, prevents dehydration, and keeps harmful germs out. Healthy skin is important because it can prevent sickness or damage to the bones, muscles, and internal organs.

National Healthy Skin Month is an opportunity to learn about skin health and conditions and to share resources and information with your patients and community members. NIAMS offers more than 40 Health Topics with information related to symptoms, treatment, and tips for daily living.

Share these resources:

You can order some materials about these and other topics for free by visiting the NIAMS Publication Ordering System or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are available in other languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For more information

Last Updated: June 2022