The hints box
My osteoarthritic knees have improved thanks to pilates
I have had osteoarthritis in both knees for about 12 years. My greatest help has been a well-qualified pilates instructor. After a year attending weekly classes my knees have improved so much, my walking is better, is less painful, feels good, and I’m generally more mobile. Perhaps this letter might prompt others to think about this route.
Janet Breadmore, Almondbury, Bristol, North Somerset
Ayurvedic medicine helped my rheumatoid arthritis
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 12 years ago at the age of 28 and over the last couple of years my condition was getting worse and I was experiencing flare-ups on a more regular basis. In 2009 I visited the Yoga Show in London, where I attended an Ayurveda lecture. I was so inspired by the lecture that I decided to have an Ayurvedic consultation and after my first set of five massage-based therapies, herbal enemas, and Ayurvedic herbal medication I was amazed and delighted at how my body had improved. Throughout this period, I was very careful with my Ayurvedic diet, yoga (postures, breathing techniques, meditation) and other lifestyle instructions.
Following the second set of treatments, my rheumatoid arthritis is now 100 per cent better. Occasionally, due to the cold damp weather or if there is a change in routine, my arthritis and bowels can be disturbed; however, this is bought back into control simply by itself by my Ayurvedic diet and the instructions given by Vishal Kohli, my Ayurvedic consultant. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have been guided towards Ayurveda Retreat. I am now a changed person on a journey to a healthier, more peaceful and happier life. For further information on Ayurveda Retreat please visit: http://www.ayurveda-retreat.co.uk/
Jagruti Mistry, Grays, Essex
Editor’s note: Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine originating in India. A herbal Ayurvedic preparation called Articulin-F scored two out of five for effectiveness in osteoarthritis in Arthritis Research UK’s complementary medicines report.
I’m looking forward to buying comfortable, stylish shoes!
I was so pleased to read your article about designing better shoes for arthritis sufferers. At last someone has taken notice of an obscure side-effect of rheumatoid arthritis. I have had the condition for many years and have always had difficulty finding comfortable, smart shoes. So many of the wider shoes that you can buy look very frumpy and don’t have the support that is needed. I find that Hotter Shoes, though comfortable, do not really fit properly. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers tend to have pain in the ball of their feet and toes that become deformed. If I order a wide fitting, the whole shoe is wide and therefore does not fit at the heel, which in my case is normal width. Wider shoes are perfect for people with swollen feet, but not for rheumatoid toes. When I walk it is like walking on pebbles, so I need very thick, cushioned soles, but not floppy ones as they don’t support enough. It is hard even to buy a pair of supportive slippers. I also have a particular problem, in that my right foot has been operated on for hammer toes and is therefore a different shape from my left. While this made my foot straighter it didn’t actually stop the pain!
Thank you to all of the team who did this research; I look forward to one day being able to buy elegant, but comfortable shoes.
Sally Smith, Calne, Wiltshire
Don’t slouch – sit straight!
For all the current and future treatments for arthritic problems, there are still some very simple rules we arthritics should be observing from the outset. The first two are personally relevant:
- However good the armchair, slouching will, over time, result in a curved spine and damaged discs…you should see my MRI.
- Had I religiously carried out the exercises for good hand structure I would not now have ‘fly away’ fingers.
I do wish there as an equally efficacious alternative to diclofenac, which creates real stomach problems for me and has ruined my appetite.
William Elliott, Deal, Kent
Apricots ease the problem of constipation
There is a very simple and easy way of solving the problem of constipation when taking certain painkillers – eat dried apricots. I have to have co-dydramol spread throughout the day without any problems and my bowels open every day without any problem so try it for yourselves! I eat two to four apricots a day. You can safely eat more but remember they do act as a diuretic so experiment to see what suits you. But they do work – so persevere! I also have a high fibre diet including prunes and bran.
Gwynette Kern, Shrewsbury, Shropshire