As many as 8.75 million people have osteoarthritis and I am one of them, but I wasn’t prepared to give in to it. I wanted to carry on playing tennis, do yoga and tai chi. So as any health journalist would do, I researched osteoarthritis and found there were loads of things I could do and now I’ve put them in my book, One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis.
Professor Sir Sam Everington, GP in Tower Hamlets, Chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, board member of NHS Clinical Commissioners, wrote in his Foreword to the book: ‘This book is not just about length of life, it is about something much more important, a happy and healthy life, whatever is thrown at you. It is about self-motivation and well-being. It should be prescribed on the NHS by all doctors. It can’t be, but if you have osteoarthritis or want to live a happier and healthier life, buying this book is the best investment you could ever make.’
The aim is to stay mobile and active and continue with a good quality of life.
So what can you do?
- Diet: Look at what you eat and drink, perhaps trying a new way of eating and cutting down on acidic foods that may be aggravating osteoarthritis. Use turmeric in cooking – see The Spice of Life.
- Exercise: Ensure you do regular exercise or activity that is right for you, and try exercises that are specific for osteoarthritis in the knees, hips and hands. The purpose of exercise is to build up muscles to protect the joints they surround. Swimming, walking, Pilates, yoga, tai chi, and many more activities are good for osteoarthritis.
- Weight management: It makes sense that the more you weigh, the more pressure you put on the lower part of your body – particularly feet, knees and hips. Just losing a few pounds can make a big difference.
- Supplements: There are choices and people tend to find that one works better than another. We’re all different so try them out – turmeric, rosehip, glucosamine, Boswellia (Indian frankincense), and many more.
- Therapies: If you can afford to have acupuncture, massage, osteopathy, chiropractic or visit a herbalist, these therapies can relax your joints and get your circulation moving.
- Cider vinegar: it may not taste nice but it turns from acid to alkaline in the body and can help to reduce inflammation in arthritic joints when taken daily in water.
One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis, Frances Ive, Hammersmith Health Books. Forewords by Professor Sir Sam Everington & Barbara Cousins; Good health and osteoarthritis; Looking at weight loss; Finding exercise to suit you; Protect and strengthen your body: pilates, t’ai chi, yoga, Alexander technique; What is ‘healthy eating’? Food and drink – acid or alkaline? Supplements and herbs; Helpful complementary therapies; Practical solutions; The power of sleep and the weather; Lonely, depressed and stressed; Emotional support; Soups, juices and meals with turmeric and ginger; Further information