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Living with osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can affect many different areas of your life, but there are things you can do to help reduce any problems it’s causing.

Sleep and osteoarthritis

If pain is a problem at night, try the following to help you get to sleep more easily:

  • Take a painkiller two hours before you go to bed to reduce night-time pain.
  • Have a hot bath before you go to bed.
  • Use a hot-water bottle, wheat bag (which you can heat in a microwave) or electric blanket in bed.

Read more about sleep and arthritis.

Work and osteoarthritis

Most people with osteoarthritis are able to continue in their jobs, although you may need to make some changes to your working environments, especially if you have a physically demanding job. Speak to your employer’s occupational health service if they have one.

Your local Jobcentre Plus can put you in touch with Disability Employment Advisors who can arrange work assessments. They can advise you on changing the way you work and on equipment to help you to do your job more easily. They can also help with retraining for more suitable work.

Read more about work and arthritis.

Dealing with stress when you have osteoarthritis

Living with a long-term condition like osteoarthritis can lower your morale and may affect your sleep. It’s important to tackle problems like these as they could lead to depression and will certainly make the osteoarthritis more difficult to cope with.

It often helps to talk about negative feelings, so it could be useful to speak to your healthcare team, or your family and friends. Support groups are also available – your doctor may be able to tell you about organisations in your area.


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