UK National Arthritis Week

Kiain McKean Read 1329 times

UK National Arthritis Week

With UK Arthritis Week starting Sunday 9th of October, there is no better time to talk about the condition...

Arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints of the body. It is where the joints deteriorate, which may cause pain, swelling, stiffness and weakened joints. According to the NHS, the most common types of arthritis is osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

What is Osteoarthritis?

This is probably the most common type of Arthritis, affecting about 9 million people.

Initially, the condition will affect the smooth cartilage of the joint, making the movement more difficult. It will also often cause pain and stiffness, especially once the lining starts to roughen and thin out. This also means that the tendons have to work somewhat harder, which can cause the swelling.

The joints that are most commonly affected by osteoarthritis include the hands, spine, knees, and hips, which is more severe cases can cause mobility problems.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people. It often starts between the ages of 40 and 50 years and is three times more likely to affect women.

It is different to osteoarthritis in that it is the body’s immune system that will attack the affected joints and unlike many others, this condition likes company, so people who are suffering will commonly develop some other issues with body tissues and organs.

Any more?

Other less common types include Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Gout; information on which would be readily available from your GP and the NHS websites.

What are Arthritis symptoms?

There can be a range of symptoms, but some of the most common to look out for include;

  • Joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness
  • Inflammation and swelling around the joint which can cause restricted movement
  • Warm, red skin over the affected joint
  • Overall weakness and muscle wasting

If you suspect that you, or a family member, or someone that you care for is suffering from these symptoms, it is always best to get it checked out by a doctor. Muscle pain and joint stiffness can sometimes be caused by other things, but it's best to make sure and may put the individual's mind at rest.

What are the causes of Arthritis?

Arthritis Action, a charity that supports people with the condition, says that as there are so many different types of arthritis, it is difficult to know what the exact cause is. However, all of the following factors have been known to be an influence;

  • Genetics - a person is more likely to develop arthritis if there is a significant family history.
  • Gender - Research has shown that women are more likely to suffer than men.
  • Age - as we get older, our bones and joints become more frail and brittle – this can bring the onset of arthritis.
  • Injury & Infection - either of these can significantly weaken a joint, therefore making it more susceptible to arthritis and muscle weakness.
  • Lifestyle - Obesity, unhealthy diets, smoking, and drinking can also cause problems with our joints – drinking can cause problems with gout. Also, not exercising enough can increase the chances of stiffness.

How can I care for someone with Arthritis?

So how is best to care for someone with arthritis? Probably the question on the kips of many friends, families and carers across the UK. Well, to answer that question, some helpful advice was given in a document by Arthritis Research. They summarise 4 steps about how we as carers can help:

  1. Understand their arthritis – find out what it is, what has caused it, how it affects people? This is something that you and the person you are caring for can do together – both of you can learn about it which may help in the future when it comes to caring for them.
  2. Communicate – Arthritis Research highlights the importance of effective communication. Make sure that you discuss with the person who has arthritis, how you are both feeling. Find a common ground and make an agreement to work together, This will enable the client you are caring for to be able to ask for the extra help if they need it.
  3. Help and encourage their treatments – Understand what they have been given/advised to do and why. This way you can help and support them through any treatments as much as possible. Drugs are commonly the most popular way of treating the pain and irritation caused by arthritis so make sure that the individual and you know the benefits and side effects of each one.
  4. Advice about benefits – some people with arthritis may be entitled to benefits – make sure that they know how to apply and find out more information. Any financial help might mean that they are able to adapt their home to get around easier.

At Radfield Home Care (Herefordshire and Shropshire), this is advice that we will listen to. We want to take on board everything that will allow us to provide as much support to our clients as possible.

We always aim to keep our standard of care in Herefordshire and Shropshire extremely high, treating our clients like they would want to be treated – like members of our family, adhering to our values.

Kiain’s belief and passion is that we should treat and look after those we care for, in the same way, that we wish to be looked after ourselves.

In honour, Kiain has named his business Gracemere’s (trading as Radfield Home Care Herefordshire & South Shropshire). Gracemere was his grandmother’s home address - a place full of a happy and fond memories.

Radfield Home Care Herefordshire and South Shropshire serve Hereford, Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye, Leominster, Ludlow, Tenbury Wells and all surrounding area.

Please contact Kiain to discuss ways in which we could help you or your loved ones on 01531 630 298 or email herefordshire@radfieldhomecare.co.uk or via their website at www.radfieldhomecare.co.uk.

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