Managing arthritis

A older person swimming in a pool and smiling.

Are you looking for ways to manage your arthritis so that you can keep doing the things you love?

Arthritis is the name given to a group of conditions that cause damage to your body’s joints, typically resulting in pain and stiffness.

Osteoarthritis, the most common type of the disease, is caused by mechanical wear and tear on the body’s joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the joints.


Try to move more

There can be a fine line between getting the rest you need and reaping the benefits of physical exercise.

An exercise regime will help you manage pain and increase flexibility, strengthen your muscles and improve your posture and balance. It will also help you maintain positive mental health.

It’s important that you listen to your body – and your health care professional – so that you can develop a management plan that suits you and your lifestyle.


Kathleen’s story

Anglicare client Kathleen Moylan of Kingston has had arthritis for around two-and-a-half years and finds walking difficult.

A regular set of exercises developed by her physiotherapist helps with balance and muscle strengthening. She also has a weekly massage, which she highly recommends. A cleaning service from Anglicare helps with the more physically tiring household tasks and she also receives assistance with her shopping.

Kathleen has a strong faith and she says this helps her to manage her condition.

“I also enjoy taking my cat out on a lead for several short walks a day. It gets me out in the fresh air so that I can catch my breath and gain some energy.

“I’m not saying that I don’t have pain, but I am comfortable and I feel that I have it under control,” she said.

Anglicare supports its clients in several ways, depending on the level of support they are eligible for. These may include:

  • occupational therapist assessments that will identify assistive devices such as tap turners
  • physiotherapy assessments for mobility aids and a suitable exercise program
  • devices for pain relief such as heat pads
  • massage therapy
  • cleaning and shopping, to give you a break from heavy physical tasks.


Resources and other information

The Arthritis and Osteoporosis Tasmania website is a one-stop shop for people living with arthritis, their support networks and health professionals.

The organisation has a free telephone information service for people with arthritis; their carers and family members. It is staffed by specially trained volunteers who are able to answer most questions about living with arthritis. They cannot provide medical advice. Call 1800 011 041 between 10 am and 4 pm on Monday to Friday. You will be provided with a free, individually tailored information pack afterwards.

Download a booklet called ‘Taking the first step’.

Find out how to join a support group.

If you live in southern Tasmania, you might be interested in the Smoother Mover Strength training program.

For health professionals, there is a dedicated online learning site.

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