Arthritis Action - Guest Post
Arthritis Action is the only UK charity giving hands-on, practical help to improve the quality of life for people affected by arthritis. The Charity offers healthy eating and nutritional advice; access to clinical appointments with its network of osteopaths, physiotherapists, and acupuncturists; exercise tips; and pain management techniques, to help people with arthritis gain the knowledge and confidence to manage their condition themselves and live life to the full.
Here, Tom Roberts shares his inspirational story of getting a diagnosis for arthritis and finding out how self-management can give a new lease on life. Tom has a very ‘DIY’ attitude to life and is truly inspirational in his positive attitude and interest in taking his own wellbeing in his hands
“You learn to accept what you can’t do, and you develop what you can do.”
I am Tom Roberts. I spent a long time as a secondary school Teacher and have been retired for quite a while now.
Before I had arthritis, I used to be a very active person; I did a lot of jogging, I played badminton.
Discovering that I’ve got arthritis was an absolute shock. It’s a thing for old people. At the time I was 48 years old and I didn’t think of myself in that light at all. I was upset, I resented it. But I began to realise that it’s part of the human condition – it’s what’s going to happen. Turn it around and accept it and then learn to deal with it and learn to manage it.
I used the computer and did a lot of online research. Through that, I discovered there were a number of charities in the field, but the one that focused most on helping individuals was Arthritis Action.
Arthritis Action was particularly useful because they help individuals. I was able to see individual stories of other people who had gone through what I’d gone through. Promoting exercise in whatever form you are able to do it, and changing/modifying your diet, to reduce the risk factors, that’s what helps.
There are a lot of benefits to going to the sauna and what I found is it relieved pain virtually instantly. As it's dry, I can read the paper, I can use my iPad and there’s a sound in there Wi-Fi and I could just sit in there for a long period of time and get really comfortable, and my bones and joints and muscles just relax. It is the best painkiller I know and has no side effects!
I would always recommend somebody to join Arthritis Action because it’s a supportive network. You learn a lot of things about the condition that you have, from other people who also have it. Their experiences and what they’ve learnt along the way. There’s a myriad of little tips of what you can’t do and things that you might not have thought of that someone else has been trying.
There’s mutual support there, and to be honest in the general sense, apart from the arthritis, I have never felt better! You can read more about Arthritis Action HERE
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