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How to live with arthritis

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

Whether you are living with osteoarthritis, living with rheumatoid arthritis, or have another type of arthritis, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help control the symptoms.

Eating well

Except in the case of gout, there is no good evidence that certain foods can make your arthritis better or worse. However, eating a healthy diet is important for your overall health and wellbeing.

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.

Being active

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:

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:

Last reviewed: February 2017

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Sex and arthritis

Sometimes the physical and emotional symptoms associated with arthritis can affect relationships, including sexual expression and enjoyment. However, there are ways to overcome these challenges. This sheet provides general information about how to maintain sexual intimacy while living with arthritis. Further sources of information are also listed.

Read more on Arthritis Australia website

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Arthritis is a very common condition in Australia affecting people of all ages and from all walks of life. Its symptoms often have a big impact on the daily lives of people.

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Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease affecting the lining of your bodys joints.

Read more on WA Health website

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Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the hands, knees and feet. Generally both sides of the body are affected.

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Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and inflammation of the joints. Other parts of the body can also be affected. Inflammation causes the joints to become painful, hot and swollen and movement to be restricted.

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Arthritis Australia

Arthritis is a very common condition in Australia affecting people of all ages and from all walks of life. Its symptoms often have a big impact on the daily lives of people, and although arthritis can be difficult to live with, there are many simple measures that can help anyone manage their symptoms. Arthritis Australia provides support and information to people with arthritis as well as their families and friends.

Read more on Arthritis Australia website

Osteoarthritis

This sheet has been written for people affected by osteoarthritis. It provides general information to help you understand how osteoarthritis affects you and what you can do to manage it. It also tells you where to find further information and advice.

Read more on Arthritis Australia website

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