We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you're agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
You are here:
> > > > > Making small changes has helped Nora feel in control

Making small changes has helped Nora feel in control

Nora, aged 68, used to struggle to cope with the pain of osteoarthritis. Her muscles and joints had become stiffer and more painful, making it harder to enjoy interests like jam-making, gardening and art classes. Nora decided it was time to make some changes to push back against the negative impact arthritis was having on her life.

Nora says: "Thanks to the small changes I’ve made, I feel like I’m back in control."

Nora found an exercise routine that works for her

After taking advice from healthcare professionals and doing online research, Nora started an exercise routine that worked for her, incorporating Pilates, low-impact exercise on a cross-trainer or a bike and swimming. Nora explains: "I was also lucky enough to be part of a study for the Trust Me, I’m A Doctor TV series. The show’s experts gave me a series of exercises designed to strengthen my thighs, helping my knees and back, and my forearms, to help my arms and wrists."Thanks to the small changes I’ve made, I feel like I’m back in control."

"I don’t need to go to the gym to do them, they’re great because they fit into everyday life. I lie on the floor and watch TV while I do the leg exercises and I can work on my hands while I have a friend around for tea. I also work some of the stretching into jobs around the house like ironing.

"I’m feeling the benefits of exercise in so many ways. I actually feel taller, as I'm not stooping over now! Since I’ve been exercising I can manage without painkillers. Medication always made me feel rotten, really sluggish, so not only is my body getting the wider benefit of keeping active, I don’t have to deal with the side-effects of my tablets."

Looking out for trigger spots

Another small change Nora has made is looking out for trigger spots for everyday pain and working out ways to manage them. She says: "If I do a repetitive job for too long, I get muscle aches in my back and shoulders. I stop what I’m doing, and then stretch, exercise or just rest.

"It can happen when I’m stirring some cake mixture or I’m driving and the journey takes longer than it should. I can get very stiff and achy, but by planning, resting and breaking things down into manageable chunks I find I can manage my pain.

"Though I'm a positive person, there are days when all I want is to be able to go out and do something fast! Arthritis affects the speed I can do most things and this sometimes gets me down. At the beginning of this year I felt I was on the road to slowing down for good, but by making small changes I feel I’ve kept that at bay for longer.

"My advice to anyone with arthritis is to keep moving. I know everyone says that but take it from me I’ve seen such positive changes in my life since I’ve been exercising. It’s the small things you notice that make the biggest difference to how you feel. For the first time in years I’m able to make jam from the fruit I grow in my garden without taking medication. That means the world to me."

For advice on finding exercise that works for you, read our exercise and arthritis information.


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.

Ask a question

We're now

Versus Arthritis.

You're being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation.

Thank you for your generosity.

For more information, go to
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.