You’ve been busy writing to us, tweeting and having your say in our Online Community

Letters Youve been busy writing to us, tweeting and having your say in our Online Community Heat relief istock.com / wernerimage s My rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed in 1997 and, because of the amount of steroids I have had, I have osteoporosis everywhere. However, apart from an excellent rheumatologist, I find a back heat pad brings me great relief. I sleep on one all night and have another in my recliner chair. Hopefully, someone else may benefit from this. Heather Carnegie-Brown, Hants Shock diagnosis I am 67 and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis three years ago. It was a shock at first, but I have come to terms with it after a lot of pain and side- effects from drugs. I have experienced one really bad flare-up with pain all over and feeling completely exhausted. Can you give any reason as to the cause? Mary Rabton, Glasgow Ed says: Really sorry to hear of your pain and exhaustion. Rheumatoid arthritis develops because of a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as diet, weight and smoking. And its thought that youre more likely to develop the condition if you have a relative with it. Flare-ups can happen at any time, but are more common after a period of stress or an infection. If youre having regular flare-ups, you should mention it to your GP or specialist, as they may need to review your treatment. You can read all about the condition and its causes on our website go to versusarthritis.org/ about-arthritis/conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis, or call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520. Get in touch! Send your letters to: Inspire magazine, 1 Cambridge Technopark, Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8PB or email inspire@versusarthritis.org Tips from Social Media If cooking potatoes, vegetables, pasta or boiled eggs, use a chip basket in the saucepan. You can then remove your food without lifting a heavy pan of boiling water. Let the water cool before you move the pan to reduce risk of scalding. Ellie Chan, Facebook A walking stick or pole can be useful, particularly for gradients. I have found a huge difference having stopped taking a handbag with me [on walks]. It has really reduced the impact on my knees. Ruth Kirby, Facebook I use a bathroom shower caddy for shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. It fixes on the wall and I just press a button to get the contents. Once filled, it saves me having to handle bottles daily. Christine Clark I bought some silicone gloves. They are like big rubber gloves so you can feel what you are holding and grip better. Mandy West