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Arthritis – why is it flaring up now?




Over the last month I have had more enquires about joining my low-impact classes from people who have arthritis in their joints than for any other condition. And many of my existing clients who also have joint issues because of arthritis have found that it has really flared up now too. There could be a few reasons why this would happen but the main one that I feel, is the fact the weather is getting colder and damper.


Without fail, every year this change in the weather causes everyone to sit up and think about their joints. One solution could be to move to a warm, dry country where your joints are less likely to cause you any issues. I have had many clients say to me that when they lived in countries with this kind of climate they never had any issues with their joints. I often joke that this is what a GP should really prescribe as treatment for arthritis! Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing! However, in reality not many of us can relocate as a solution so we need something else.


Exercise can help if you have mild to moderate arthritis. It cannot remove the arthritis in the joint but by exercising you can help improve the muscle strength and flexibility in and around the joint, thereby protecting it the best you can and so improving your quality of life. However, what if the joint pain is so severe that surgery is the only option?

I recently watched a BBC Panorama programme about whether you should pay to have surgery such as knee replacement privately, or wait until the NHS has availability. Waiting lists were always long when I worked in the NHS over 3 years ago, but right now 5.6 million people are on an NHS waiting list – that’s 1.3 million more than before the Covid-19 pandemic. Numbers like these and waiting times of months and years rather than the 18 week pre-Covid target, are enough to make you think seriously about paying for treatment yourself.


I have seen both in my NHS days and my role now, that knee and hip surgery is so important. It can be such a debilitating condition when you have bone grinding on bone and there is nothing you can do about it until that surgery takes place. But with waiting times of 6, 12, or even 24 months when you are in so much pain your life goes on hold until the surgery goes ahead. The trouble is that it costs approx. £20,000 per knee replacement, not an option for many people.


I am of the opinion however, that if you can afford to get it done privately then do it. If it makes life easier for you and frees up the waiting list for people you can't afford it this could help tackle the situation a bit more head on. I do know that £1bn in funding is being provided to help address the waiting lists but will that really be enough?


To put a slightly different slant on this, the average person with arthritis is already spending £1,700 on treatments such as physiotherapy and the use of painkillers per year while they are waiting for surgery.


I make sure my clients due for surgery are as fit as they can be so they can recover more quickly. I can also make sure that as early as two weeks’ post-surgery and with medical permission I can start to help people get moving again.


I would also suggest that, with all these huge cost being bandied about, if you haven’t’ currently got any problems with your joints or it is still just in the early stages, investing in a low-impact class like those 1st Step runs will cost you way, way less than this and keep you moving and as pain free as possible. Prevention rather than cure has got to be the best way forward.


So if you are reading this and you are getting joint issues especially with arthritis please do something about it sooner rather than later. Not only will it be cost effective but you also may not have to get to such a stage where your life goes on hold while you are waiting for surgery.


If you would like to know more about how I can help keep you moving with arthritis or any condition, then please do get in touch: kksaggu@1ststeprfs.com or call 07846597460 and we will be happy to help.



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