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The Painful Frustration of Arthritis

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Think about your morning. How easy was it to get out of bed, brush your teeth, make a cup of tea and open the front door? Imagine if your joints were so still and painful that even the most basic, everyday tasks such as these become impossible.

We all find some things frustrating in life, but that's what it can be like to live with arthritis, which can often be dismissed as a condition that only impacts older people, an inevitable part of ageing.

The reality is that people living with arthritis experience severe pain and stiffness in their joints and muscles.

When the hands are affected, arthritis can prevent people from fastening buttons, lifting a kettle, writing and opening food containers. Arthritis in the hips or knees can restrict mobility, limit walking, climbing stairs, bathing and personal care, and driving a car. As people become more dependent on loved ones to do day to day tasks for them, relationships and their sex life can be affected.

Pain is often invisible. People with arthritis often tell us that other people are just not aware of how severely it can impact on their life. This National Arthritis Week we want to bring to life the impact of living with arthritis. We are asking people to think about the daily things that frustrate them - like having transport issues, getting locked out, not being able to open containers, fiddly gadgets. These frustrations probably annoy them for a few minutes and then go away.

We asked the general public to imagine how they would feel if they couldn't do some of the day to day things that many people with arthritis struggle with due to joint pain.

Three quarters of people would be annoyed if they had difficulty walking, getting dressed, or doing basic household tasks like cooking, cleaning or washing dishes. Two thirds would be annoyed if they could not open containers. And more people would be frustrated if they had difficulty making a cup of tea versus having sex.

For the one in six people in the UK who are living with the daily, invisible pain of arthritis, they don't have to imagine the pain, it's with them every day.

We hope that this National Arthritis Week, you will be inspired to find out more about the condition and the work that we are doing to take the pain away.

Please go to nationalarthritisweek.org and make your Joint Effort Pledge to learn more about arthritis, give to help to support our work or, if you are a person with arthritis, share your story through our National Arthritis Survey.

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