Practical tips for living with arthritis

12 October is World Arthritis Day.  

The annual campaign aims to increase awareness around arthritis and offer support to those living with this challenging condition.

From useful lifestyle changes to simple tricks to make everyday jobs easier, here are some practical tips for living with arthritis. Share yours in the comments below

Get sleep

Consistently getting a good night’s sleep can go a long way, as studies have shown lack of sleep can worsen symptoms. Good sleep not only helps your body repair itself, but can also support your mental wellbeing when you’re dealing with pain regularly. Chronic arthritis sufferers will know this is sometimes easier said than done – but by helping to create the right conditions for sleep you can increase your chances of getting good rest. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – keeping this routine is essential. Keep technology like televisions, tablets and smartphones out of your bedroom. Many people find nightly rituals like a warm bath, reading before bed, meditating or listening to music can help them wind down and drift off to sleep easier. Experiment and find a routine that works for you over time and if you’re struggling make an appointment to discuss it with your GP.


When you’re struggling with joint pain, exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, but it truly can help. It will not only help you keep your joint mobility up, but can help you sleep better and improve your mood. Try and do a combination of aerobic, strengthening and stretching exercises. Swimming and aquafit, gentle yoga, tai chi and walking are all good options.

Stretch in the bath

Warm water is ideal for helping your muscles to relax and to get some pain relief. Epsom salts can be extremely beneficial and are inexpensive and readily available from most chemists. Set the temperature to warm but not too hot, and when you’re in the bath take the opportunity to stretch and move your joints.

Use rubber bands and scissors

Rubber bands placed around jar lids can help make gripping easier if you have arthritis in your hands or wrists. Carrying a small pair of scissors with you when you go out also makes it easier to open packages instead of using your teeth.

Make a heat pack

You can make your own heat pack by filling a large sock with rice and knotting it closed. Put this in the microwave to heat up – you can use it to help ease tension wherever you feel it.

Choose pre-cut ingredients

Most supermarkets now offer dozens of pre-prepared ingredients including chopped garlic, chopped onions, and pre-cut parchment paper to make everyday tasks like cooking dinner less troublesome.

Look for tools

For arthritis sufferers, one aspect of the condition that can be particularly upsetting is the loss of independence when it comes to everyday tasks. Think about your routine and look for places you can make life simpler for yourself by making one or two simple changes or getting some tools to help you. For example, a small trolley on wheels can make moving things around the home easier. Switching to a smaller, one-pot kettle or using a pod coffee machine can also help ease the burden of small at-home tasks like making a cup of tea.



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13th Oct 2020
Thanks for voting!
Helpful ideas but I have already made these suggested changes and the pain in my hand prevents me sleeping. I have also tried copper/magnetic bracelet and compression gloves. Nothing helps.
21st Nov 2020
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I purchased SALONPAS pain patches and find that they work really well. They are not expensive and easy to use. (lasts up to 12 hours) You could also try heat wraps that are designed for hands/wrists
12th Oct 2020
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My Mum is like a new women since being put on pin killer patches ,has pain killer was making her constipated ,some great new medications out there now.
19th Nov 2019
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GInger. Bring grated or thinly sliced giner to boil simmer for 20 mins covered. Dilute with more very hot water into a bowl and soak hands in water as hot as you an bear withut scalding yourself
25th Oct 2019
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I suffer with Fingers, base of my Thumbs, Elbows, Hips, and Ankles, but because I am Diabetic, I can not take Ibuprofen but can use their cream, which does take the pain away for a while, it's called Fenbid Gel, from Doctors on Prescription.
1st Aug 2019
Thanks for voting!
Thank you for the sharing useful information!!
10th Apr 2019
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I think that is what I have in two fingers on my right hand, some mornings I can't straighten them and they are very swollen too, any handy tips please anyone thanks x
1st Nov 2020
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Compression gloves or finger splints may help you. Your arthritis nurse should be able to advise you. Available from Amazon or Boots. Check out what others use on the forum arthritis community.
22nd Feb 2019
Thanks for voting!
Anyone any tips for making ironing easier, apart from taking it to a professional. I can only manage a couple of pr trousers and my fingers become so painful.
12th Oct 2018
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Thank you for inviting me
12th Oct 2018
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Looking forward to keeping in contact.
12th Oct 2018
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Hi diversified looking forward to being with you. Thank you.
12th Oct 2018
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Just joined today thank for tips on arthritis just found out in last few months this is what i have.have some ibuprofen gel also 400mg pills both are helping. Christine thank you
Margaret Hart
8th Oct 2018
Thanks for voting!
Arthritis is a very painful condition but not many of us can avoid it. If we can keep as warm as possible and active both help to keep the worst at bay. It helped with the special be rub on creams but it is wise not to use the same cream for a prolonged length of time.

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