One of the first things people ask when they find out about their osteoarthritis is “what next?”. We spoke to Stephen, whose first question was “what lies ahead?”
Stephen has lived with osteoarthritis in his back and thoracic area for the past thirty years, but is still positive, happy and active. “You learn how to manage it, and live with it,” he said when we caught up, “You have to take care of what you’re doing and manage your situation.
“When I first found out, it was made clear to me that I’d just have to live with it. Over time, one tries all sorts of things to remedy or alleviate osteoarthritis. Chiropractic, physiotherapy, osteotherapy.”
For Stephen, and most people with osteoarthritis, there’s no silver bullet, but there are many ways to manage the condition. “I walk and I play music. Generally, I just try to keep active, and I use antiinflammatory medications that I get on prescription when I need them.”
Stephen also uses a TENS machine, a device commonly used for relieving pain and tension associated with osteoarthritis. “It relieves the immediate and acute pain for me,” says Stephen.
Ultimately, Stephen seems positive: “Osteoarthritis doesn’t really stop me from doing anything. I’m careful not to do anything silly like heavy lifting.
I’m pretty careful but I play guitar, the blues, and I like that.”