ON any given morning, Horsham's Jason Ryan can wake up to pain, stiffness and swelling in his joints.
Mr Ryan suffers from psoriatic arthritis, an auto-immune condition that causes inflammation in the joints.
Arthritis is often considered an 'old person's disease', but a new report shows 58 per cent of sufferers are aged between 25 and 64 years.
Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria released the 'A Problem Worth Solving' report yesterday, which discusses the rising cost of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia.
Mr Ryan, 43, is one of 6.1 million Australians with a musculoskeletal condition.
The conditions include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and back problems.
He was diagnosed with his condition three and a half years ago after seeing a rheumatologist.
Mr Ryan is required to take medication daily to prevent symptoms.
"When I was first diagnosed, I discussed the various treatments available with the rheumatologist," he said.
"He put me on the right medication and said: 'Now it is up to you to deal with the condition and control it the best way you can'."
The medication requires Mr Ryan to have blood tests every two to three months to monitor his liver and kidneys.
"On any given day I can wake up to swollen fingers, toes, hips or spine and neck areas," he said.
"These are called 'flare ups'. To reduce a flare up, I take an anti-inflammatory tablet to reduce the pain."
Treating arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions does not come cheap.
The Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria report estimates the total cost of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions was $55.1 billion in 2012.
The total financial cost was estimated at $20.9 billion and the burden of disease cost was estimated to be $34.2 billion.
Items responsible for the largest portion of financial costs were direct health costs and productivity costs, which included the impact of reduced employment rates, lost superannuation, presenteeism and absenteeism.
Mr Ryan said he was a lot better off than some other arthritis sufferers.
"Psoriatic arthritis can't be cured, but you can control how it affects your life," he said.
"As the rheumatologist said, you must exercise when you can to help strengthen muscles and maintain joint mobility. I go to the YMCA, where I ride the exercise bike, row, use weights, do sit-ups etcetera."
Mr Ryan said he had learnt to listen to his body.
"I try to manage each day depending on how the body feels, but I always try to remain positive," he said.
"I know there are others dealing with more severe types of arthritis than me."
Mr Ryan said Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria offered a great service.
"I've gained a lot of knowledge from reading information from them, attending conferences and calling the Arthritis Hotline," he said. He encouraged anyone experiencing arthritis symptoms or requiring more information to phone the hotline on 1800 011 041.
Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria chief executive Linda Martin said the aim of the report was to raise awareness of the prevalence of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions.
"There is a social and economic imperative for government and industry to take action now. We must invest to manage the rising cost of musculoskeletal conditions over the next two decades, for the benefit of our community and as a substantial step towards addressing the sustainability of health system expenditure in Australia," she said.
She said a copy of the report was available at www.arthritisvic.org.au.