Advice and facts for people suffering from Arthritis with helpful links at the end

Arthritis

The weather is getting a bit wet at times lately and this can cause arthritis to flare up. There are over 200 kinds of rheumatic diseases – rheumatic means aches and pains in joints, bones and muscles. Arthritis is the inflammation and swelling of joints.

The main types being:-

Ankylosing Spoylitis (AS)

Inflammation of the joints of your spine, causing pain and stiffness. Starts in your spine and pelvis and can sometimes end up going up to your eyes.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Painful inflammation of any joints associated with scaly skin called Psoriasis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Autoimmune disease causes inflammation of all joints with pain and swelling. Most common type in UK.

Signs

  • Swelling in one or more joints
  • Stiffness around the joints that last for at least an hour in the morning
  • Constant reoccurring pain or tenderness in a joint
  • Difficulty using or moving a joint normally
  • Warmth and redness in a joint

Doctors look for swelling in joints and pain with restricted movement. There might be a grating type feeling or tenderness in soft tissue. Other symptoms can be rashes and mouth Ulcers.

Around 10 million seek help each year and out of that amount studies have shown that 8 million will have Osteoporosis, 400,000 will have rheumatoid Arthritis, 25,000 will have Gout, 10,000 will have Lupus (SLE). It’s not just an older person problem, JIA – Arthritis in juveniles - In the UK alone, about 15,000 children and young people are affected by arthritis.

This isn’t a small problem, and luckily these days’ scientists are fighting to find a cure.

Way’s to help yourself and treatments:

  • Rest
  • Exercise – help to keep your joints flexible
  • Proper diet – no fads
  • Water therapy
  • Mobilization Therapies
  • Heat and cold therapies – dry heat pads or hot baths, cold packs of ice etc, all help reduce swelling and joint pain
  • Seek advice on how to care for your joints
  • Equipment to help take pressure off your joints at home – see list below for ideas
  • Splints and braces
  • Drug treatment plan and sometimes even surgery

Your doctor will probably have some tests done such as blood/urine tests and then some scans to get a clearer picture of what is happening in your body, so you’ll more than likely have an ultrasound or an x-ray done.

Trigger foods and helpful foods

Certain foods can trigger inflammation in the joints. Foods such as corn oil, salt, dairy products, tobacco, alcohol and refined carbs. The way some food is cooked can cause inflammation, such as grilling meat, it can cause a rise is AGEs which is a toxin that builds up.

There of course are food and drinks that help ease inflammation and it’s good to include them in your diet as much as you can. Green tea, Omega 3 fats like that in fish, olive oil, carotene (found in pumpkin, spinach and sweet potatoes), berries and the Anthocyanin’s which is an antioxidant found in foods like berries, turmeric, spices and ginger.

Equipment Ideas

Our website or shops have the following products (www.abilityaware.com)

  • Book holders
  • Foam handled cutlery or foam tubing
  • Turning knobs
  • Key holders
  • Key Turner
  • Pen/Pencil grips
  • Furniture raisers
  • Long handled comb/brush/sponge
  • Foot/Heal cleaner
  • Shower chair
  • Transfer bench, swivel seats
  • Rocking knife
  • Good grips utensils
  • Dycem
  • Cutting board with grip
  • Jar gripper
  • Easi opener
  • Bottle grippers
  • Long handled gardening tools
  • Helping hand Reacher
  • Handy bar/ Car swivel seat
  • Wedges for mattress
  • V Cushions
  • Knee or leg separator
  • Ramps for Wheelchair
  • Dressing sticks
  • Button/zip puller hooks
  • Long handled shoe horn
  • Foxy sock aids
  • Rubber shoe laces

Useful Websites

http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/ http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/Home http://www.kidsgetarthritistoo.org/ http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Arthritis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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