It is estimated that around 10 million people in the UK today suffer from some form of Arthritis.
Arthritis is a group of conditions that can effect people of all ages, and commonly causes joint pain, inflammation and stiffness.
Some sufferers experience inflammation of the joints, coupled with restricted movement leading to weakness and muscle wasting.
There are some 100 different known types of Arthritis, the most common being Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease, currently without cure that causes most sufferers to experience “flares” of pain, inflammation, swelling and reduced movement of joints. It tends to be symmetrical in that if a joint on one side of the body is effected the joint on the other side will also show symptoms.
Whilst there is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, early diagnosis and treatment can help to give remission from the symptoms.
There are more than 400,000 sufferers in the UK today, starting usually in people aged between 40 and 50 years old, with women 3 times more likely to be affected than Men.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the UK, affecting an estimated 8.5 million people.
Osteoarthritis is where the cartilage between the bones gradually wastes away, leading to painful rubbing of bone on bone in the joints. The most frequently affected joints are in the hands, spine, knees and hips.
Osteoarthritis often develops in over 50’s, however can occur at any age due to injury or other related joint conditions.
Common causes are:
1. Age – Wear and Tear plays a part in the onset of Osteoarthritis, the older you are the more your joints will have been used, however whilst your risk factor is increased with age it is not inevitable you will suffer from it.
2. Obesity – The heavier you are the more pressure your body places on your joints. Hips and knees in particular carry the burden of excess weight. Scientist also believe that excess body fat causes chemicals to travel throughout the body which can cause joint damage.
3. Injury or over use – Athletes or people with repetitive jobs that require the same motion being performed over and over again (typists, machine operators) have a higher risk of developing Osteoarthritis due to increased use and stress to their joints.
4. Genetics – Inherited abnormalities of the bones that affect the shape or stability of a joint can lead to osteoarthritis, although it isn’t a certainty.
Osteoarthritis mostly develops slowly, starting with soreness and stiffness that is more an inconvenience than a concern. For some it will develop no further, but for others their arthritis will progress to a level where it interferes with daily activities, and the pain and stiffness make it difficult to walk, climb stairs or sleep.
A healthy lifestyle, and regular exercise are all recommended to improve the physical and mental health of arthritis sufferers, as is making the most of independent living aids on the market today designed to help with a variety of daily tasks.
Whilst it is vital to maintain as much physical activity as possible there will be times when the symptoms are so bad that this becomes unbearable and another solution needs to be at hand.
A Mobility Scooter may be the answer for those times when you simply cannot manage your daily routine, and need a solution to maintain your independence. This may only be a temporary solution until the symptoms subside, or a more permanent arrangement to give you the additional help you need.
Mobility Scooter manufacturers have been developing and designing new and improved features on their Scooters for years to help to make using a Scooter easier and more enjoyable to those with reduced joint flexibility, pain and stiffness.
Features such as fully swiveling seats to enable the user to sit comfortably on the seat before turning onto the Scooter. This reduces the need for climbing, straining, and twisting to get on.
Fully adjustable seats and armrests to give maximum support for good posture, and a comfortable riding position.
Delta handlebars, designed to reduce the pressure on the wrists from standard handlebars and with thumb or finger controls for ease of use. Fully adjustable tillers to get the right riding position for you ensuring no additional pressure is put on your joints. Dual controls allow the rider to use one side or the other, ideal if discomfort is centralised to one joint only.
Mobility Scooters which provide additional legroom to allow you to stretch out, reducing pressure on your knees, and ankles.
Portable Mobility Scooters which can be dismantled with “one hand” are perfect if you need to take your Scooter with you, but need to be able to transport it yourself, without strain on your joints.
There is such a wide variety of Scooters on the market today that it is possible to find one which will enhance your life, and give you the freedom and independence to maintain an active lifestyle.