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Ruth asks This Morning doctor about milk helping arthritis

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Another study, this time conducted by the Royal Society of Public Health, on the impact of homeworking on the public’s health during lockdown found that half (48 percent) of workers who worked remotely from a bedroom or sofa said that they had developed musculoskeletal problems since working from home. A musculoskeletal disorder or injury affects the human body’s movement or muscles and includes arthritis. Talking exclusively to about her experience with the condition, Joanne said: “I’m mainly a ballroom dancer rather than latin – the one in hold that you see on Strictly – and so I have danced all my life on bent knees like in a squat position.”

The professional dancer explained that she always had pain, especially when she used to train and compete: “I thought while I was competing and training that it just meant that I’m working hard because it is hurting, so I never got it checked out.

“Then I came over to Strictly and on the Strictly tour of 2015 my knee swelled up. It was massive and it went really stiff. I couldn’t do anything.

“I had to do physio there and then and she gave me some injections and some straps around it to get through the show, but then I was advised to get an MRI scan and in fact I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. And I was told at some point they’ll have to operate.”

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and causes joints to become painful and stiff. Some people also have symptoms such as: swelling, tenderness, blood sugar and prednisone grating or crackling sound when moving the affected joints.

Over the lockdown the star – who is set to perform as Mortician Addams in the next UK wide tour of The Addams Family Musical – realised just how tricky managing the condition could be when lockdown struck.

She added: “Since the theatre world shut down I was like, well what am I going to do. Being stuck in my house as well as not being active, makes my knees stiffen up as much as being too active.

“So it was kind of balancing out too much dancing or too much sitting around.

”One thing that massively helped the dancer out throughout this period was Arthr products. Arthur was created by Versus Arthritis to design and create products that make everyday life easier for those living with arthritis.

Bobby Watkins, Managing Director at Arthr commented: “Whilst the emergence of the pandemic meant that people were forced to spend more time at home, we were not at the time aware that working from home would be here to stay.

“It is therefore important that people make positive lifestyle changes to protect their MSK health when continuing to spend more time at home. This includes participating in regular physical activity and finding functional solutions that they are happy to use in their homes.

“We start with the needs: how, what, who and as such we then try and solve it in some cases. We have improved on products that already exist by taking feedback from our community but then there is a whole range of stuff we have designed ourselves.”

Arthr products allow people to discreetly manage and complete tasks around their homes, without the need of excessive “hospital” like equipment.

“We want all our products to be designed as an extension of someone’s life,” Bobby added. “Arthr products are very discreet. It’s not like ‘Oh I have arthritis I need help’ they are so discreet they are designed to make the little things in life easier.”

The range of products that the company has can be used for all rooms around the house. As the NHS echos, osteoarthritis is a long-term condition, so it’s important you receive support to help you cope with any issues such as reduced mobility, and advice on any necessary financial support.

For Joanne personally, the product that has made the most difference in her life is a device that can assist her getting in and out of the car. A full list of Arthr products can be found here Home | Arthritis products that make the everyday easier.

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