Tips on coping with a flare-up

Coping with a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis can be hard. But what really helps me is some gentle exercise (if I can manage it), a bag of frozen peas to bring down swelling and microwaveable wheat bags to ease pain (which work extremely well).

I also take paracetamol and naproxen to reduce inflammation. But sometimes, in the end all I can do is have a good cry and rest. I do take several supplements every day that I believe limit my occurrences of flare-ups and I find it is important to keep moving if at all possible. Hope this helps.

Lynn, Cheshire - 2010

Tips on pain relief

Like many people with rheumatoid arthritis I find ice packs reduce heat from inflamed joints. However, my symptoms can worsen at night, creating difficulties getting up to get the ice packs from the freezer downstairs. So I fill a hot-water bottle with cold water, keep it beside my bed, use when needed, it works as good as ice!

Pamela, Northumberland - 2014

Tips on positive thinking

Many years ago my son, a research scientist into bone diseases and arthritic conditions, gave me a piece of advice that has lived with me ever since. For over 40 years I had suffered with arthritis, gradually losing the ability to perform many tasks originally well within my capabilities. The suggestion, while sounding simple, was not to dwell on all the things I could no longer do but to concentrate on the things that I could still accomplish.

This took away the feelings of inadequacy and drove me to pursue a dream I had nurtured for many years. In 2012 I had a first book, 'Curse of The Mardale Skull', published at the age of 77. I hope this encourages others! One other motto that always springs to mind is: “It’s only a hill – get over it!”

George, via email - 2014