Here, we suggest some arthritis aids that may help with a variety of daily activities, which may have become difficult due to arthritis symptoms.
• Preparing food & drinks – if you have arthritis in your hands, or find standing up to prepare food difficult, these products may help:
o Electronic chopper
o Kettle tipper
o Perching stool
• Carrying things round the home – if you have mobility problems, it may be difficult to move around the home whilst carrying items such as drinks or meals, so these products may help:
o Household trolley
o Walking trolley
• Getting around – some people find that arthritis pain or associated muscle weakness may affect their mobility, and mobility aids might be a solution to make getting around easier:
o Walking stick
• Getting in and out of chairs – standing from a chair, or sitting down onto a chair, can be difficult due to stiff or painful joints, but there are ways to increase the height of furniture so less effort is required, or specialist chairs that help you rise and lower:
o Rise and recline chairs
o Furniture raisers
• Using the toilet
– similar to getting in and out of a chair, bending down onto the toilet or standing back up can be difficult, but these products can help:
• Raised toilet seats
• Toilet frames and seat
Getting in and out of the bath – bathing can be beneficial for relieving aches and pains, but some people find it difficult to get in and out of the bath. These items may be of use:
• Bath lift
• Bath step
• Bathroom Rail
Having a shower – standing in the shower may cause some discomfort or pain, but these items may make showering more comfortable and safe:
• Grab rail
• Shower stool
If you are unsure what products for arthritis may best suit your needs, please contact the NRS Healthcare Occupational Therapist product advisors by telephone on 0345 121 8111 or by emailing [email protected]
Diet for arthritis
Healthy eating for arthritis patients is important to help them maintain a healthy weight and reduce pressure on the joints. Some people believe that eating certain foods such as oily fish rich in omega 3, can help reduce arthritis inflammation. People also think that certain foods make their symptoms worse; for example, people with gout may find that eating lots of oily fish actually causes a flare up for them.
There are no hard and fast rules, and there is little evidence to confirm that specific foods are arthritis triggers, so it is best to eat a varied diet. Download this useful Healthy Eating and Arthritis booklet for more detailed information.
Some people choose to take arthritis supplements, such as glucosamine capsules, but there is little evidence to suggest these actually have an effect on symptoms or progression of the condition. If you are considering taking any supplements for arthritis, talk to your GP first, as some herbs, vitamins or minerals can affect medication or have a negative effect on your condition.
Exercise for arthritis
Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of developing arthritis. If you already have an arthritis diagnosis, you are likely to be advised to increase your level of fitness and to undertake regular exercise. This will ensure your joints stay supple and muscles and bones stay strong. Exercise can also be beneficial for mental wellbeing and can help reduce low mood. If you are unsure how to start exercising, or are worried your arthritis will get worse if you exercise, speak to your GP who may be able to refer you to a physiotherapist for further advice.
Some people do find that symptoms of fatigue make them feel as though they have no energy. However, doing less can sometimes lead to more fatigue so it is important to strike a good balance to avoid a vicious cycle. It is important to find the right balance for you whilst aiming to be as active as possible within your physical limits.
Arthritis exercise should include aerobic exercises that get the heart pumping faster (walking, running, biking, dancing), and strengthening exercises to build muscle.
You may also be given specific arthritis exercises to do by a physiotherapist or your GP, including a range of movement exercises or muscle strengthening exercises to do regularly through the day. It is important to keep doing these as instructed.
Download the Arthritis Care Exercise and Arthritis booklet for more information.
Arthritis and employment
Lots of people with arthritis work in a variety of jobs and careers. Some may need support from employers to ensure they can work effectively, without their job having an adverse effect on their physical health or wellbeing. Arthritis Care provides lots of advice and practical information about working, giving up work, finances and benefits.