CAMPAIGN: Help to manage your arthritis

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More than 10 million people like me, live with the daily pain and fatigue of arthritis in the UK.

This can make simple activities like getting dressed, household chores or even picking up cutlery difficult.

I, myself, have severe osteoarthritis in my hands, my back and my knees.

I’m in excruciating pain on a daily basis and I feel that I’m becoming increasingly dependent on others.

This is extremely frustrating, because just last year I was working in a job I loved as a special needs teacher.

As well as having a lot of surgery over the years, I’ve lost so much in my day to day life that most people take for granted.

I can’t drive and I can’t cook any more, people have to cut up my meals for me and I can’t wear anything with zips or laces.

They may seem like little things that I can’t do, but this has a huge impact on my life.

I am sure many people with arthritis like me, will know the all too familiar experience of Googling symptoms, asking questions on social media and trawling through forums and patient websites for answers about your own or a loved one’s condition, and how best to manage all the symptoms.

Naturally, I found this daunting, as it’s hard to decipher what information you can trust, what information is based on scientific evidence and what is based on old wives’ tales.

Indeed, if you Google the phrase ‘arthritis information’ around 2,480,000 results appear.

That’s why I wanted to tell you about the charity Arthritis Research UK.

The leading experts in the field, its latest campaign ‘Ask us your question’, calls for those living with arthritis to pose their questions for help finding trusted answers.

I’ve used their helpline several times since it launched last year to ask about pain management and medication.

I would recommend it as you can trust the charity’s information is based on years of knowledge and research, as well as the experiences of thousands of people like me.

So, whatever your question is – be it about diet, exercise or pain management – check out the website, which has all the details of their helpline, as well as a wealth of online condition information.

Visit www.arthritisresearchuk.org/askus or call 0800 5200 520.

Sue Patey,

Arthritis Research UK