It is estimated that over 10 million people have arthritis in the UK, which is more than 10% of the population, and so if you are living with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, you are most definitely not alone.
A chronic illness that affects people of all ages, even children, arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, tenderness and stiffness, which can make simple daily tasks such as dressing, cooking, and operating any kind of electrical goods or machinery difficult to complete. A painful condition with no cure, arthritis may feel like a life sentence, but it is possible to lead a long and happy life with this common condition, you just need the right diagnosis, effective pain relief medications, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and most importantly of all, to take care of your joints.
Types of Arthritis
The 2 most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. While they are both joint-related conditions, they each affect the joints differently and so an accurate diagnosis from your GP or medical professional is essential.
Osteoarthritis affects over 8 million people in the UK, and is the most common type of arthritis in adults over 50 years old. Osteoarthritis attacks the cartilage lining of the joints, causing it to thin and wear away. This results in joint swelling, stiffness, and pain, and most commonly affects the hands and wrists, the knees and hips, and the spine.
Rheumatoid arthritis is far less common, affecting less than 500,000 people in the UK. It is more commonly found in women, who are 3 times more likely to get it than men, and it usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 50 years. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the body from within. The body’s immune system targets the joints, causing them to swell, change shape, and become extremely painful.
Living with Arthritis
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, it is important to make lifestyle changes both at home and in the workplace to make your life as easy and pain-free as possible. Staying active is recommended, and so speak to your employer about your condition so that they can help you remain a valid member of the workforce, take regular exercise to keep your joints supple and your muscles strong, and take care of your joints to avoid further damage.
Keep heavy lifting to an absolute minimum, don’t grip too tightly, and replace small door handles with larger handles that are easier to grip.
Diet also plays and important role in the treatment of arthritis, and so try to eat a healthy balanced diet rich in foods with anti-inflammatory agents such as oily fish, nuts, garlic, olive oil, soy beans and cherries.
Effective Pain Relief Medication for Arthritis
When you live with a chronic condition such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, it is likely that you will need some form of pain relief medication to manage your systems. You can have your painkillers prescribed by your local GP, or you can buy codeine online from a registered pharmacy. Popular pain relief medicines for arthritis include Celebrex, Co-Dydramol, codeine. Your doctor or issuing prescriber will determine which painkillers are most suitable for your condition during your consultation.
Alternative Remedies for Arthritis
If you prefer not to go down the prescribed medication route, you could try some of the many alternative remedies available such as acupuncture, natural medicines, physiotherapy, regular physical activity such as walking and cycling, topical treatments such as anti-inflammatory creams and gels, and electro stimulation such as TENS.