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Osteoarthritis is UK’s biggest cause of mobility problems

12:00am | & Health

There are many reasons why someone might need a stairlift to maintain or enhance their daily quality of life… but the most likely one is osteoarthritis.

It is by far the most prevalent type of arthritis, often called “wear and tear arthritis” because it develops gradually over time and is usually associated with getting older.

In simple terms, ‘arthritis’ refers to inflammation of the joints, so that most people with arthritis will experience some level of pain, discomfort and difficulty when moving around. Osteoarthritis causes joint pain and stiffness, most frequently in the hands, knees, hips, feet and spine.

It is more common among women and can sometimes be triggered by an injury to a joint, even if it happened many years previously. Although osteoarthritis cannot be cured, the condition may settle down after a number of years and there are plenty of things that sufferers can do to relieve its debilitating effects.

Doctors can prescribe a range of drugs to help manage the pain. These include analgesics (painkillers) and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which reduce inflammation of the joint and in turn reduce pain. Steroids can also be used to reduce inflammation and can be injected directly into a joint for fast and effective relief.

Aside from drugs, there are other measures which people with osteoarthritis can use to help themselves. Massaging affected joints and muscles can help to reduce pain, and several complementary therapies have been found to help in many cases, including relaxation and meditation, acupuncture and aromatherapy.

Losing excess weight will reduce the pressure on weight-bearing joints such as hips and knees. Regular exercises to strengthen the muscles which support joints will also reduce stress on the joints and pain emanating from them. Osteoarthritis patients are often referred to a physiotherapist for practical help and advice on the most effective types of exercise.

Simple changes around the home can also help, such as grab rails and ‘easy grip’ arthritis-friendly tools and kitchen gadgets. But probably the most beneficial of all is a home stairlift. Many people with osteoarthritis find negotiating the stairs in their home difficult and painful, and because of that it can also be unsafe.

But it needn't be that way. Installing a stairlift removes the obstacle and ordeal of climbing and descending the stairs. Acorn Stairlifts are the first to be awarded the Arthritis Foundation's Ease-of-Use Commendation, recognising their user-friendly features and suitability for people with arthritis.

To find out how an Acorn Stairlift could help you cope with osteoarthritis, give us a call today on 0808 223 4871 or click on the green ‘Quick Free Quote’ button at the top right of this page.

l Arthritis is recognised as the biggest single cause of pain and mobility problems. It is estimated that there are currently around 10 million people in the UK living with some form of arthritis, with levels varying from mild to chronic. For more about arthritis, including how to recognise early symptoms, managing the condition and help and support available to sufferers, click here to visit the Versus Arthritis website.

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