Some key tips on how to cope with arthritis

DUBAI - The UAE, and Dubai in particular, is a haven for shoppers especially at this time of the year during the Dubai Shopping Festival.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Thu 5 Feb 2004, 12:15 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:36 PM

The influx of visitors from all over the world coming to the country for the festival is proof of its growing popularity as a major shopping event. Shopping with arthritis, however, can be a painful activity.

If you have arthritis, shopping, which includes hours of walking, climbing stairs and carrying shopping bags, could trigger arthritis pain.

Mobility is something that arthritis patients need in spite of the modern comforts found in shopping centres. The prevalence of arthritis worldwide is increasing every year.

It constitutes the biggest cause of disability for millions of people. In fact, in the United States alone, it is estimated that 2.8 per cent of the population, or seven million people, cite arthritis as a major cause or contributing factor of activity limitation.

"Arthritis should not deter people suffering from the disease from enjoying the pleasures of shopping. Knowing how to manage and prevent the pain caused by the swelling of the joints would allow patients to perform the activity," said Dr Bahaa Khair El Din, Orthopaedic-Traumatologist at Jebel Ali Medical Centre.

According to Dr Khair El Din, it is important for that those suffering from arthritis allow extra time to get from place to place, especially if the patient has to use the stairs. There are times when crutches may be needed to help in walking, thus allowing the sufferer to maintain independence.

"Knowing when to stop and when to take some rest from shopping will also help. If you overdo it, and your arthritis flares up, your shopping may not be an enjoyable experience."

"Patients suffering from arthritis should keep walking to the minimum. In some cases, a knee support must be used to restrict the friction of the knees. It is advisable that you plan your shopping ahead of schedule to minimise unnecessary walks or other activities," explained Dr Khair El Din.

Carrying your shopping in two equal-sized bags is better than one big bag. If that is impractical, then a wheeled trolley could be used. Alternatively, if there is somebody who could help with the shopping trips, so much the better.

Understanding arthritis, what causes it, how it develops and how it affects you will help you cope with the disease and will enable you to get proper care and support. Good communication with your doctor is an essential part in dealing with the disease.

The latest developments in pain management medication also offers relief from arthritis pain.

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