Ice pack in a hot-water bottle!
Like many people with rheumatoid arthritis I find ice packs reduce heat from inflamed joints. However, my symptoms can worsen at night, creating difficulties getting up to get the ice packs from the freezer downstairs. So I fill a hot-water bottle with cold water, keep it beside my bed, use when needed, it works as good as ice!
Pamela, Northumberland (Spring 2014)
Pilates, exercises, spacers and copper insoles help my knee pain
I'm 81 years old and enjoyed exceptionally good health until last August, when I had to withdraw from a bowls competition due to being diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee. Some months before, I could comfortably run the length of the green, and suddenly I could hardly walk across the room.
The solutions offered to me were to take a raft of painkillers (which did not control the pain), or have a new knee. I asked if I could try a cortisone injection and, despite the dismal forecast from the medics, it helped – although the effect only lasted a limited time.
At the same time as we were discussing knee replacements I was told that it was essential to build one’s calf muscles. So I went and obtained some wide (circa 150 mm) rubber strips which are used for Pilates and started doing 50 pushes a day using two together as a loop beneath my left foot. There was some improvement.
My next move was to visit a shop selling standard spacers beneath the shoe to correct one’s balance for about £30, and these also helped a little. I bought a pair of copper shoe inserts and a pair of leather inner soles to be able to use in different pairs of shoes.
I'm now playing bowls regularly, have no pain at all in my left knee, and really cannot still believe this transformation.
Dennis, via email (Winter 2014)
Anti-arthritis gloves and magnetic bracelets help my painful hands
I've found relief for osteoarthritis in my hands with anti-arthritis gloves, which are obtainable from Healthy Living (www.healthyliving.com). I'd got to the stage of not being able to dress myself because my hands were so painful and stiff, but since wearing them I've had no trouble at all.
I also wear a magnetic bracelet. After two weeks I couldn't believe the difference it made to my well-being.
Mary, Devon (Winter 2014)
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