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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.

Reducing the strain on your joints

Apart from keeping an eye on your weight, there are a number of other ways you can reduce the strain on your joints:

Pace your activities through the day – don’t tackle all the physical jobs at once. Break the harder jobs up and do something more gentle in between. A chart can help you to plan your daily activities and monitor when they cause extreme tiredness (fatigue) or affect your symptoms.

Download a sample daily activity and fatigue chart (PDF, 128 KB).

Wear low-heeled shoes with soft, thick soles (trainers are ideal). Thicker soles will act as shock absorbers for your feet, knees, hips and back. High heels will alter the angle of your hips, knees and big toe joints and put extra strain on them.

Read more about choosing footwear when you have arthritis.

Use a walking stick to reduce the weight and stress on a painful hip or knee. A therapist or doctor can advise on the correct length and how to put your weight through the stick instead of your affected joint.

Use the handrail for support when climbing stairs – this is particularly important if you have osteoarthritis of the knee.

Keep your joints moving – in particular, don’t keep an osteoarthritic knee bent for too long as this will come to affect your muscles.

Think about modifying your home, car or workplace to reduce unnecessary strain on your joints. An occupational therapist can advise you on how to protect your joints and on special equipment or gadgets that will make your daily tasks easier.

Learn to relax your muscles and get the tension out of your body. A physiotherapist or occupational therapist can advise you on relaxation techniques.

Try a different position if sex is painful.

Apply warmth to a painful joint to help ease pain and stiffness. Heat lamps are popular, but a hot-water bottle or reheatable pad are just as good. This can be helpful if you have a flare-up of pain when you’ve done a bit too much. An ice pack can also help, but don’t apply either ice or heat packs directly to your skin.

More evidence to support the use of knee braces for osteoarthritis is becoming available. Several types of brace can help to stabilise your kneecap and make it move correctly. You can buy knee braces from sports shops and chemists, but you should speak to your doctor or physiotherapist first. They may also be able to provide braces or recommend the best ones for you.

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.