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What can it do?

Welcome to the beta Arthritis Virtual Assistant. At the moment it can give you general information about your condition and medication, and provide you with useful exercises to help manage your arthritis.

Why do we need your help?

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant has been built to learn and improve with every use. That way, whenever you use it, you’re indirectly helping another person get the answers that they need for their arthritis.

What can you ask?

You'll get the best response if your question relates to a single type of arthritis, and is expressed as clearly and simply as possible. For example, "What are the best exercises for osteoarthritis?" or "What are the side effects of methotrexate?"

Are you sure you want to close your conversation?

Your conversation will not be visible the next time you visit the Arthritis Virtual Assistant. If you want to keep a copy of the advice you've been given, you can print it using the button at the top of the chat window.

Arthritis Virtual Assistant

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant is being developed into a brand new type of tool which will help you to get the answers you need for your type of arthritis.

This automated chat service is designed to provide general information about your condition and ways you can manage it. It’s been developed from over 80 years of our research work and also learns from the experiences of its users. It’s a ‘beta’ version which means it’s still learning from you, and others. It uses artificial intelligence to decide which are the best responses to give you and it will improve each time it’s used. The better the information we can provide then the more people we can help to manage their condition too.

The advice in this service isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice so we’d always recommend speaking to your doctor about your treatment. When you use the Arthritis Virtual Assistant, you’ll be asked for your first name and the type of arthritis you have, there’s no need to tell us anything more personal than that.

By using the Arthritis Virtual Assistant you confirm that you understand and accept the terms of use and consent to how we will use the information you provide.

Helpline 0800 5200 520 More information

Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.

Exercise for osteoarthritis

It’s very important to keep your joints moving. You’ll need to find the right balance between rest and exercise – too much activity may increase your pain but too little can make your joints stiffen up. Little and often is usually the best approach.

There are two main types of exercise that you’ll need to do:

  • strengthening
  • aerobic.

Strengthening exercises for osteoarthritis

Strengthening exercises will improve the strength and tone of the muscles that control your joint. This will help to protect your joint and make it more stable. It’s also been shown to reduce pain.

Thigh (quadriceps) exercises will help to stop your knee giving way if you have osteoarthritis of the knee, reducing the chances of stumbling or falling.

Because knee and hip osteoarthritis may come to affect both sides of your body, and because both legs work as a unit when you walk, it’s helpful to:

  • do strengthening exercises on both legs
  • do hip exercises if you have knee osteoarthritis (and vice versa).

Aerobic exercises for osteoarthritis

Aerobic exercise is any exercise that increases your pulse rate and makes you a bit short of breath (for example a brisk walk, swimming or using an exercise bike). The benefits of regular aerobic exercise can include:

  • better sleep
  • better general health and well-being
  • reduced pain (exercise raises the levels of pain-relieving hormones called endorphins).

physiotherapist can advise on the best exercises for you, but you’ll need to do them every day to get the most from them. You can also talk to your GP about the Exercise on Prescription scheme that’s available in some areas.

Swimming can be very good for osteoarthritis. Because the water supports the weight of your body, you won’t be putting a lot of strain on your joints. Your physiotherapist may also recommend hydrotherapy, which is special exercise done in a warm water pool.

T’ai chi has also been shown to be helpful at reducing the pain from osteoarthritis. Many people find that regular t’ai chi also makes them feel better in other ways, for example, less stressed during the day and better able to sleep at night.

Helpline

0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.