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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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