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Airing Pain 83: Arthritis: From self-help to cutting edge research

Getting moving with tai chi, staying in work and why arthritis pain is not all about the joints

This edition is funded by the Agnes Hunter Trust.

Over ten million people in the UK live with arthritis and it is the most common cause of pain. Professor David Walsh of Arthritis Research UK explains what causes the different types of arthritis, why the nervous system is the main culprit in arthritis pain and he updates us on the most promising lines of current research into drug treatments.

But there is much more to living well with arthritis than taking medication as producer Paul Evans finds out at an Arthritis Care Wellbeing Day in Renton, Scotland. He joins a specially adapted tai chi lesson and finds out from Sharon MacPherson about what to eat and drink and what to avoid when managing the condition: ‘Sassy Water’ is in, alcohol is out.

The workplace can be a challenge for anyone managing pain with 50 per cent of those with rheumatoid arthritis leaving work within a year. Hazel Muir explains the importance of knowing your rights and being able to explain about your pain to employers and colleagues.

Issues covered in this programme include: Arthritis, medical research, tai chi, employment, exercise, fibromyalgia, joint pain, brain signals, gabapentinoids, elderly people, diet, breathing exercise, alternative therapies, and accessibility in the workplace.


  • David Walsh, Professor of Rheumatology, University of Nottingham and Director, Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre
  • Sharon MacPherson, Project Officer – Joint Activity, Arthritis Care
  • Hazel Muir, Employability Officer, Arthritis Care.

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