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Arthritis

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Published: 29 September 2021

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As a student, there are many things you need to think about when it comes to your wellbeing. Poor health impacts your ability to study and enjoy your time at the University of Sunderland in London.  

This week, the Health and Wellbeing team are talking about an area that affects over 10 million people in the UK alone – arthritis.  

What is it?   

With it being such a common condition, it’s not widely understood by people in the general public.  

It’s essentially a pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints, but there are lots of kinds of arthritis and they don’t all have the same symptoms.  

Or, for that matter, is it always caused by similar things. Your family history, gender, age, and lifestyle are all thought to be factors.  

But if you have arthritis you’re likely to experience inflammation around your joints, a restriction in your movements, warm skin and weakness in your muscles.  

Support  

All of this can make it difficult to do things like move around the campus or even hold a pen to take notes in class.  

That’s one of the reasons the UK government recognises the condition as a disability which gives sufferers access to the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) 

Funding from the DSA can help towards things like laptops to make university life easier. 

We’re also here to help, with things like lift access to ensure you can get to class without worrying about the stairs.   

Treatment  

There are a few things you can do to lessen the impact of arthritis or lower your chances of developing it if you’re at risk.  

Generally speaking, a healthy lifestyle is an important part of the process. Doctors think that your weight and eating habits can have a major effect.  

Speaking to your GP or a dietician is a good start in finding out the kinds of foods that should be in your fridge.  

You are more likely to develop arthritis if you’re overweight so healthy eating and exercise are vital.  

A common myth is that you shouldn’t work out if you have the condition but done right it can help to reduce some of the pain and swelling as well as boost your general energy levels.   

As always, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re worried you might be at risk of arthritis.   

There are also several charities that give free, confidential advice on the condition.  

Visit the Versus Arthritis and Arthritis Action websites for more information or get in touch with the University of Sunderland’s Disability Support team.  

If you need to talk about medical conditions like arthritis and find out what help the University can provide, the Health and Wellbeing team are here for you.  

Book your appointments through Compass, email them at londonhealth@sunderland.ac.uk or call on 0207 531 7343.

Find out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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