12 Aug 2005, 03:10:10 PM

Reporter: Natalie Bonjolo

Arthritis can affect anyone, at any age, almost anywhere in their body, and when it does it can be crippling. But because you can't see it, many people suffer in silence.

In Australia at any given time about 30% of the population will be suffering from one form of arthritis.

There's no cure for the disease, but Sophie Coleman from Arthritis Australia says new research proves there is a way to beat the pain.

The breakthrough by the Perth research team comes after one of the most extensive studies into managing arthritic pain ever done in Australia.

"Some people have had a reduction of 30% in pain, now that could make a big difference to the quality of their life," Sophie said.

Sophie says what sufferers don't realise is they can stop their joints from aching - with a very simple 'do it yourself' exercise plan.

The theory works like this - if you build up the muscles it will take a load off the joints, which makes it easier for the joints to move. When joints become stiff they can also become deformed.

Participants in the research trials were asked to do certain exercises, after eight weeks on the program, Sophie says they all recorded a dramatic reduction in pain.

For more information or a free copy of "10 steps for living well with arthritis" contact Arthritis Western Australia on:

(08) 9388 2199 or for country callers 1800 011 041

Or visit the website