Has your partner recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or arthritis? This can be a difficult time for both their life and yours. For them, they’re coming to terms with not being able to do the things they used to love doing, and you’re coming to terms with not being able to do the things you love with them.
How do you help them through this hard time in both your lives?
There are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to keep your relationship happy and healthy. In this article we will walk through what osteoarthritis is, as well as how you can best support your partner through their condition.
What’s the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis?
Both arthritis and osteoarthritis are commonly confused – probably because they both have the word “arthritis” in the name. But did you know that they are actually quite different?
Osteoarthritis is a mechanical condition that is developed by years of wear and tear on your joints, which deteriorates cartilage. Usually this is something unavoidable by ageing.
On the other hand, arthritis is a condition that is not caused by wear and tear, and instead is an inflammation that secretes substances into your joints, gradually destroying the structure. It can be of infectious, genetic, or metabolic origin.
If you think you’re suffering from osteoarthritis, you should consult your GP for a proper diagnosis. However, some of the symptoms include:
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Problems with moving your joints
- Clicking noises when moving your joint
- Grating sensations when moving your joints
- Less joint flexibility than you used to have
Sometimes these symptoms might only exist after doing some sort of activity. If that’s the case it’s still a good idea to consult a GP so you can get the right diagnosis and treatment – they will send you to the right clinician for treating joints and muscles.
There’s no specific cause for osteoarthritis other than stress on the joint. What does this look like? Well some of the causes include:
- Excessive weight
- Previous injuries
- Frequent kneeling, climbing or squatting
- Heavy lifting without form
- Repetitive use of hands
How to prevent osteoarthritis
Preventions for osteoarthritis aren’t guaranteed to stop you from getting it, they only reduce your risk. Some of the prevention methods include:
Low impact exercise
Overdoing exercise that is hard on your joints, like running, may increase your risk of getting osteoarthritis. However, exercises like cycling or swimming that have a low impact on your joints will actually lower your risk of getting osteoarthritis. Every week you should aim for 150 minutes of low aerobic activity in order to live a long and healthy life. If you need help staying active, you can buy pedal exercisers and fitness equipment from a specialist mobility store.
Have good posture
Being told by parents and teachers to have good posture isn’t just some old wives tale. Having good posture comes with a whole range of long term health benefits that includes preventing osteoarthritis. Making sure you have good posture is especially important if you work at a desk, so make sure you take regular breaks to walk around and stretch.
The more weight you have on your joints the more likely you are to damage them over your lifetime. This is why you need to maintain regular exercise and have a health-conscious diet, so you can stay lean and keep the total load on your joints to a minimum. If you need help choosing a health regimen, speak to your GP.
Tips to help your partner through osteoarthritis
- Acknowledge your new life
Once your partner has been diagnosed with arthritis or osteoarthritis, you should acknowledge it and adjust accordingly. Understand that they may need to walk a little slower these days, and understand they might not be able to do everything that you can do. Sometimes they might complain about their condition, and sometimes it might be annoying, but that’s okay – try your best to stay calm and help them through this time.
- Help with feeling isolated
Your partner may start to feel isolated with osteoarthritis because they can no longer do the same things that others can. If you are with friends and you decide to go for a long walk or hike, and your partner can’t go as well, this may hit them hard. Make sure they are always feeling heard and ask if they are okay with you going as well – most of the time they will be and they just want to know that someone cares about them.
- Prepare for good and bad days
Sometimes your partner may be fine, and their condition limits them very little, and sometimes they may be severely affected. Keep in mind that their level of pain won’t always be the same and try to not get frustrated that they can only sometimes do things.
- Don’t let a condition define your relationship
Don’t let an osteoarthritis prognosis tell you that you can’t have fun. You can still do fun things together almost exactly the same as before your partner was diagnosed with a condition. However, now you just need to work within their limitations. Keep enjoying your lives together and keep doing things together!
How can mobility aids help with your osteoarthritis and arthritis?
Mobility aids can help with your condition by taking pressure off your aching joints. If you’re struggling to walk, walking aids like rollators, walking sticks and crutches can reduce your fear of falling and reduce your pain. If you have sore joints in your hands, a range of gripping aids will help with your day-to-day tasks. Speak to a mobility store team member to address the best solution for your needs.
Where to buy aids to help with osteoarthritis & arthritis in Australia
A dedicated mobility store will have the widest and most helpful aids, so if you’re searching for osteoarthritis aids near me, or any mobility that matter, pop into The Mobility Store.
By visiting The Mobility Store today, you can get access to one of the most comprehensive ranges of mobility aids in Melbourne, Perth, and across all of Australia.
While here, you will be able to speak to one of our friendly and highly-trained mobility team who will closely discuss your needs and match you with the best product.
If you can’t make it into our store, you can give us a call and we can help you navigate our online shop, so that you can get your mobility aid sent to you from the comfort of your own home.
Get in touch with us so that you can improve your mobility today.