Arthritis Therapy Wales

View of waves striking cliffs

Bridgend, Port-Talbot and Neath District

There is, as yet, no cure for most kinds of arthritis, except joint replacement. Many people get depressed thinking there is nothing they can do and even restrict their activity in the hope of improvement.
However this attitude is counter productive and in most cases adopting a program of suitable exercise is essential to tone the muscles around a joint to help prevent further deterioration, reduce pain, and much improve the future quality of life.

Not all types of exercise are however suitable. It is important to adopt a program using the correct types of theraputic exercises suitable for arthritis. Doctors may give helpful medicines, but can rarely provide patients with long term programmes of suitable complementary exercise, or have the information needed to refer patients to an exercise suitable for arthritis provided by lay instructors. Short term advise and help from a qualified physiotherapist will give important valuable individual advice,such as when, and when not, to exercise. But they cannot normally provide low cost suitable exercise long term.

What is suitable exercise? Suitable exercise needs to have the following three criteria.

1. The affected joint or joints must be moved through a range of different movement directions.
2. The movements must be slow.
3. The exercise must be of a low impact type, with no sudden jerking stops.

A possible fourth criteria is that as the exercise must be long term, it must not be boring.

High impact takes place in fast sports where the foot hits the ground hard in order to come to a sudden stop, or jumping or running etc. Tennis, line dancing, jogging would not normally be suitable for most people with arthritis.
Tai Chi, swimming, walking with suitable footware, are good. Yoga and Pilates etc would normally be suitable as long as you can get back up from the floor.

Where then in the above district can people with arthritis turn to for suitable long term exercise meeting the criteria?

We hope this site will help to give that information in one place. We also invite comments and help from medical personnel or others involved with arthritis.

To start the ball rolling, a very suitable exercise is Tai Chi where the movements are slow and there is very low impact. Particularly good is the Sun Style of Tai Chi in which there is zero impact and has higher narrower postures than other styles, with without the wide stance low squats seen in other styles.

In Porthcawl and Bridgend town, we have available a special easy to learn and teach short version of the Sun Style of Tai Chi that we are providing as a therapy to those that want it, and training those that want to teach it. It is called the "Variable Easy Tai Chi for Health" (VETCH)exercise therapy. You do not have to have arthritis to join our own therapy classes or train to be a licensed instructor of the VETCH therapy. The therapy is also good for health in many other ways, such as improving balance, mobility, relaxation, blood pressure, muscle tone, posture etc. Classes are now available all over the above district.
See website
To find out where there are classes now running in the Bridgend, Port-Talbot and Neath District  Email
However the purpose of this website is to advise the public about any available suitable exercise venues where suitable exercise is also provided in the District. To ask about the having other suitable exercise venues for other suitable exercise added to this website please send details by email to:

E-mail Arthritis Therapy Wales on

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Bridgend County Borough Council can take no responsibility for the contents of this site.
Last Updated:2015-10-02