What is arthritis?

  • Arthritis is a lifelong condition where the end of the bones in the joints are damaged and worn down.
  • This causes pain, stiffness and loss of function in the joints, often the hands, hips, knees, back and neck.
  • There is no cure for arthritis. The goal of treatment is to limit pain and stiffness so that you can be as active as possible and cope with everyday activities.

What can help you reach your goal for arthritis?

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Be as active as possible, but rest if your joints suddenly become very painful. 

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Look after your mental health.
Having pain most of the time is stressful. Looking after your mental health using these tips.

Lose weight if you need to. If you are overweight, losing weight might decrease the pain in your knees and feet.

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Do not smoke.
Stopping smoking may help your pain. If you need help to quit, ask your healthcare worker.

Keep a check on your condition

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  • Keep a symptom diary. Record when you have pain, which joints it affects and what might have triggered it.
  • Take the diary to your appointments to help the healthcare worker decide if and how to adjust your treatment.

Take your medication as instructed

  • Take medication for pain when needed. Pain medication can have side effects. Check with your healthcare worker if it is safe for you to take the pain medication and how to take it properly.
  • Check the medication list  to understand how your medication works and what side effects it might cause.
  • If you are unsure how to take your medication, ask your healthcare worker.
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Know when to seek healthcare

Make contact with your healthcare facility if:

  • You need more medication.
  • You don’t know how to take your medication.
  • You have an appointment for a check-up.
  • You develop a side effect of your medication.
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