Living with arthritis is not easy and performing simple everyday tasks can often be painful and difficult. However, there are many things you can do to ensure a healthy lifestyle. A number of services and benefits are also available.
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Life with Arthritis
Many people with arthritis want to continue to work for many reasons, including improved material support and increased self-esteem.
Improved treatment approaches have allowed many people with arthritis to return to work. This is especially important if arthritis is diagnosed and treated early.
You may encounter difficulties, but your employer should help you with the training and support that you need.
Help is also available if your arthritis is so severe that you cannot work. Learn more about disability benefits.
It is very important to eat a healthy balanced diet if you have arthritis. A healthy diet will give you all the necessary nutrients and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Your diet should consist of a variety of foods from all five food groups. It:
- fruits and vegetables.
- Starchy foods – such as bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta.
- Meat, fish, eggs, and beans.
- Milk and dairy products.
- Products containing fat and sugar.
If you are overweight, losing weight can really help you deal with arthritis. Too much weight causes excessive pressure on the joints in your hips, knees, ankles, and legs, leading to pain and mobility problems.
Active action can help reduce and prevent pain. Regular exercise can also:
- Improve your range of motion and joint mobility.
- Increase muscle strength.
- Reduce stiffness.
- Boost your energy.
As long as you do the right type and level of exercise for your condition, your arthritis will not be worse. Combined with a healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise can help you lose weight and reduce joint stress.
Your doctor may advise you on the type and level of exercise that suits you to make life easier with arthritis.
If you have arthritis, it is important to monitor your joints so that there is no additional damage. For example, try to reduce the stress on your joints by performing everyday tasks such as moving and lifting.
Some tips to protect your joints, especially if you have arthritis, include:
- Use larger, stronger joints as levers – for example, transfer pressure by opening a heavy door on your shoulder, not your arm.
- Use multiple joints to distribute the weight of the item — for example, use both hands to carry your purchase or evenly distribute the weight in a bag or backpack.
- Do not hold too tight – grab as free as possible or use a soft handle to increase grip.
It is also important to avoid sitting in the same position for extended periods of time and take regular breaks when moving around.
If you have arthritis, doing housework can be a problem. However, making some practical changes to your home and changing the way you work should ease the situation.
Practical tips that may help:
- Storage of things in the immediate vicinity (so that they can be easily reached).
- Use the railing to help you ascend and descend the stairs.
- Using tools with long handles to tidy or clean the apartment.
- Change the handle on the tap to make it easier to turn (for arthritis of the hands).
A professional therapist can help if you have severe arthritis that affects your ability to move around the house and perform everyday tasks, such as cooking and cleaning.
They can advise you on equipment you may need to help you live on your own.
Does acupuncture help?
Some people with arthrosis say that acupuncture has helped ease their symptoms.
However, if you want to try, keep in mind that any acupuncture benefits are likely to be the result of an expectation or a placebo effect.
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