Arthritis Action held its fifth self-management event in Basingstoke on the 7th and 14th of September. Sixteen people attended, representing members of Arthritis Action and also a few non-members living with arthritis.
The purpose of the event was to introduce self-management techniques to those with arthritis to enable them to take control of their arthritis symptoms so they can lead a fuller and more active life.
Led by Debbie Rose, a Trustee for Arthritis Action with vast experience in pain and self-management, the programme centred on pain management techniques including the pain cycle, dealing with emotions, positive thinking and goal setting. Martin Lau, our registered dietitian, spoke about healthy eating and weight management techniques, and demonstrated a couple of simple exercises to help keep the pain away. On day 2 he was able to ‘bust the myths’ surrounding food, supplements and the relevance to arthritis.
Heather Baumohl, Arthritis Action’s membership director, discussed distraction techniques to help people with arthritis, and Dr Wendy Holden, the Charity’s medical advisor, gave an overview of physical therapies, the importance of breathing properly and what happens when you first visit an Associated Practitioner.
Participants shared their unique experiences with their arthritis and how they manage it on a day-to-day basis. They brainstormed techniques to help them manage their time and pain better.
Attendees took away key lessons, including the importance of setting realistic and attainable weekly goals, and were encouraged to continue to do this so they could feel better about their achievements and progress.
Some memorable quotes from participants on the day:
“Very pleased to learn about distraction techniques”
“The mind can control pain”
“Useful tips for managing pain and fatigue”
“I learnt that I am not alone”
“I learned about the importance of positive thinking”
“I will remember to do the exercises and that other people feel the same way”