If you have arthritis, you might find that living with the condition poses significant challenges. Fortunately, there are many services and products available to help you manage your arthritis.
Arthritis and your lifestyle
Except in the case of gout, there is no good evidence that certain foods can make your arthritis worse. However, eating a healthy diet is important for your overall health and wellbeing. Some studies suggest certain foods may help to reduce pain and inflammation and slow the progression of arthritis.
Eating well can help you maintain a healthy weight, which reduces the pressure put on your joints. This might help reduce joint pain.
If you need advice about your diet, ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian.
Getting regular exercise is one of the most effective ways that you can treat arthritis.
Exercise can help in many ways, including:
- helping with balance
- reducing joint stiffness
- reducing pain and tension in your joints
- decreasing fatigue and depression
The type of exercise that is best for you will depend on the type of arthritis you have and your particular circumstances, so it’s a good idea to ask your doctor for advice.
If, for whatever reason, you decide exercise is not for you, try to be as physically active as possible in your daily life.
Arthritis and your home
If you have arthritis, some of your joints are likely to be weak and easier to damage than healthy joints. It’s important to protect these joints by finding the best techniques for doing daily tasks and making good use of equipment designed to make your life easier.
Products and equipment are available that can, for example, help you to:
- turn doorknobs and keys
- reach for and pick up objects
- get in and out of chairs
- get dressed
- prepare food
- do household cleaning
- manage in the bathroom
If your arthritis makes you unsteady, you would also want to make sure you reduce your risk of falls.
To find out more:
- read Arthritis Australia’s booklet ‘At home with arthritis’
- visit Independent Living Centres
- see an occupational therapist
Arthritis and work
Arthritis can affect people of any age, and there are many people living with arthritis who are part of the workforce.
If you have arthritis and you work, there are many services available to help you. Arthritis is a recognised disability, which means you have certain rights. You may also be eligible for extra support, such as by modifying equipment or changing your work schedule.
To find out more:
- read Arthritis Australia’s booklet ‘Stepping out: a guide for young adults with arthritis
- visit JobAccess
Last reviewed: June 2018