How to get on top of arthritis according to experts
Don’t let arthritis prevent you from living your best life
Around one in six Australians live with arthritis. The effects can be debilitating but with the right support, you can still lead a full and active life. Arthritis Australia answer our questions!
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Can I still be active with arthritis?
Physical activity and exercise is very important for managing arthritis. It can improve mobility and flexibility of joints, muscle strength, and balance. It can also decrease pain, and improve sleep, energy levels and mental well-being.
Before you start to exercise it is important to ask your doctor and healthcare team to help you develop a program that is right for you.
What exercises are best?
While some people with arthritis will find a five-kilometre walk comfortable, others may find walking around the block difficult. Don’t forget that activities such as gardening, playing with the dog, or taking the stairs can also count as exercise.
There isn’t just one particular exercise or activity that is recommended for all people with arthritis, but low-impact exercises like walking or exercising in water are usually most comfortable.
How can I exercise safely?
Make sure that you listen to your body. A general guide is the “two-hour pain rule” – if you have extra or unusual pain for more than two hours after exercising, you’ve done too much. Next time you exercise, slow down or do less. You can talk to a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to help you avoid an injury or over-doing it, or if you are experiencing pain.
Around one in six Australians live with arthritis. The effects can be debilitating but with the right support you can still lead a full and active life.
How can I adapt my home for daily tasks?
Look for ways that you can use tools to help you accomplish tasks, like non-slip handheld mats which can make it easier to grasp slippery items. Consider devices that will allow you to control your home environment remotely, like remote controls for garage doors and sensor lights.
Organise your storage system and keep items where they can be easily reached, preferably at waist level. Arthritis Australia’s 10 Steps to Living well with Arthritis and At home with arthritis: simple steps for managing in the home booklet has practical tips and information on making daily tasks easier.
What support is available?
You can call our toll free Arthritis Infoline on 1800 011 041 for information about arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions.
The Arthritis Australia website has a wealth of information and resources, and there are organisations in your local state or territory that also offer a range of information.