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GPs encourage patients to be more proactive in arthritis care

 

In Lewisham it is estimated that there are over 7,000 people living with severe knee and hip arthritis aged 45 years or over.  GPs in Lewisham are supporting Arthritis Week to encourage people with arthritis to play a more active role in managing the painful joint condition with greater emphasis on diet and exercise.

 

Osteoarthritis is the most common musculoskeletal condition in older people.  It can develop in any joint in the body and when it affects the knee or hip, mobility can be affected leading to disability.  NHS Lewisham CCG helps tackle the problem through funding musculoskeletal services.

 

National Arthritis Week (October 12-19) is highlighting the problem and says one-in-four people live with the condition in the UK, managing their condition with a combination of pain killers and anti-rheumatic drugs.

 

Regular exercise is recommended with fried and processed foods, sugar, dairy products and alcohol ideally off the menu or reduced.

 

Dr Marc Rowland, Chair of NHS Lewisham CCG said: “It can be a painful and even crippling condition but drugs shouldn’t be the only option because lifestyle changes can have a very positive impact and drugs can have side effects.

“Some people are just fatalistic and just accept it as part of the ageing process but there are enough sprightly over 40s out there to show otherwise.

“There are so many conditions that can be avoided or noticeably improved by lifestyle changes, and arthritis is one of them”

It is the single biggest cause of pain and disability in the UK with musculoskeletal conditions collectively costing the NHS around 10 billion a year.

 

For details of your local arthritis support group Patient Support Groups

Arthritis Care
www.arthritiscare.org.uk

BackCare
www.backcare.org.uk

British Sjogren's Syndrome Association (BSSA)
www.bssa.uk.net

Fibromyalgia Association UK
www.fibromyalgia-associationuk.org

Hypermobility Syndrome Association (HMSA)
www.hypermobility.org

Lupus UK                                                                                     
www.lupusuk.org.uk

National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS)
www.nass.co.uk

National Osteoporosis Society (NOS)
www.nos.org.uk

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) 
www.nras.org.uk