Arthritis is an invisible condition that impacts millions of people’s everyday lives. Medication, mobility aids, and adaptions can help sufferers with ongoing symptoms associated with arthritis and enable them to live full lives.
What is arthritis?
Some say that arthritis is the number one cause of pain. Arthritis covers a range of over 200 different sub-conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis can sometimes impact children and young people in what is known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The cause of JIA is unknown, though thankfully, symptoms typically improve as the child gets older.
There are five main types of arthritis.
A frequent issue where pain targets muscles, ligaments, discs, bones, and joints in the back. Other ailments which create back pain include slipped disc, osteoporosis and spondylosis. Sometimes back pain can be diagnosed, but often the exact reason is unknown.
Arthritis translates as inflammation inside the joint. Inflammatory arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It occurs when your immune system starts attacking your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an example of this condition. It frequently impacts multiple joints, tendons, and ligaments, which causes both pain and inflammation. These recurrent symptoms can also cause secondary symptoms like exhaustion and irritability, depression, and even flu-like illnesses.
Degenerative or Mechanical
This type of arthritis causes harm to the cartilage which protects the base of the bone. Degenerative or mechanical arthritis makes the cartilage thinner and rougher. While trying to fix the damage, they will sometimes overgrow, changing the structure of the joint. This is called osteoarthritis. It can also result from an impact on the joint due to prior fractures or injury. This type of arthritis occurs more frequently in older people, often impacting areas of the body that are often utilised, like knees and hips.
Soft Tissue Musculoskeletal Pain
This type of pain generally comes from the muscle or soft tissue which supports joints. It is often only in one specific body area and is caused by injury or overuse.
Connective Tissue Diseases
Connective tissue diseases (CTD) are often linked with conditions such as lupus, scleroderma, and dermatomyositis. Pain from a CTD can impact tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Unfortunately, with CTD, you can be affected by an array of other symptoms, such as organ impairment.
If you are experiencing symptoms of arthritis, consult your healthcare provider.
If you are already diagnosed or want to learn more about arthritis, there are links at the bottom of this page that may be helpful to you.
What is the treatment for arthritis?
While there is currently no cure for arthritis, there are treatments available to manage the pain, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and, in rarer cases, surgery. Treatment plans often also use therapies, exercise, and mobility aids. These can help people with arthritis to carry out meaningful lives.
Arthritis is a common condition that afflicts one in four people. It can be a long-lasting condition, so it is essential to help people who develop it access treatments. In addition to medication, using aids and supports can assist in day-to-day life. Symptoms of arthritis can make normal routines challenging, especially when side effects worsen.
Daily-use aids like knee wraps, arthritic gloves, and socks can help to decrease pain and other symptoms. Foot relief socks are useful in minimising friction while walking. They help to prevent ulcers and calluses from occurring. Knee wraps and gloves can help shield and support sore joints while also providing compression and comfort. Wraps are often easy to alter to benefit an individual and include support devices such as velcro straps. For tasks such as getting dressed, there are several aids available to make this a more straightforward process. These can help with tasks such as doing up zips and buttons, and putting on socks, tights, underwear, and bras. In addition, there are also mobility aids that assist with brushing and styling your hair.
Food preparation and consumption
Easy-grip handles and openers give necessary support in the kitchen to help prepare and eat meals. If hands and joints are sore when undoing jars and cans, food preparation aids like an auto can opener or OXO jar opener make this task easier. For people with arthritis, carrying kettles and plates can become a stressful and risky task. Thankfully, products like a kettle tipper or plate holder can aid in pouring and carrying.
Living independently while coping with arthritis is crucial for physical and mental health reasons. Multiple assistance devices help people to remain independent while living with arthritis, especially when it comes to regular bathing and toileting routines. Bath lifts ensure users can access and experience a soothing bath. They give the user various options, such as reclining lifts, inflating bathing cushions, and a selection of other accessories to suit individual requirements.
Assistance tools such as bathroom safety rails are also helpful. These support people with getting in and out of the bath or shower and assist them with getting around their bathroom environment safely.
A higher seat or shaped toilet frame can lessen joint discomfort and alleviate the challenge in everyday toileting experiences. A variety of options are available to meet your requirements. A raised loo seat can reduce pressure on sore knees and hips by stopping the user from putting themselves down too low.
For people who find sitting and standing challenging, a strong frame can give them both support and help. Most seats can be height-adjusted to fit a person’s requirements. Frames come in varying degrees of firmness and softness, depending on what the user requires. Some frames include a built-in raised toilet seat.
Inside and outside the home
Reachers are great tools to have both inside and outside the home. These enable you to access dropped items and reach for anything high-up. A rising aid can lessen personal effort by boosting you from seated to standing.
Using keys often becomes more challenging for individuals with arthritis, restricting their ability to turn a key. In these cases, tools such as key turners provide a more oversized grip handle, easing discomfort. Devices such as car handles and cushions can make car journeys more comfortable. If extra assistance is needed while walking, look into getting a rollator.
Support and more information
If you feel like you have signs of arthritis, consult your doctor.
If you have already received an arthritis diagnosis or want further information, here are some useful links: