What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is one of the most common, chronic musculoskeletal disorders. There are many different types of Arthritis that affect around 10 million people in the U.K. (www.nhs.uk). The two main types of arthritis are inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. Inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack healthy joints, leading to pain and swelling. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is more common and occurs when the cartilage surface in the joints becomes soft and starts to break down, resulting in joint ache, stiffness, and restricted movement.
Other types or related conditions include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Cervical spondylosis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Enteropathic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Secondary arthritis
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
Symptoms of arthritis
The symptoms of arthritis vary from person to person and depending on the type of arthritis. Which highlights the importance of having it accurately diagnosed. Common symptoms include:
- Joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness
- Inflammation of joints
- Restricted movement
- Redness increase heat around joints
- Weakness and muscle wasting
People living with arthritis can experience very different symptoms and their symptoms can also vary from day to day. As a result, treatment options vary and the appropriateness of each treatment strategy is different from person to person, this is also affected by the joint of the body which is affected.
Even though there is no cure for arthritis it can be managed well with the combination of medication, physiotherapy, exercises, and other self-management techniques.
Good self-help strategies include keep physically active, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy body weight, and attending regular GP check-ups. Your GP may prescribe you medication for helping reduce your symptoms, these include pain reducing medications, anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, but the appropriateness of these depend on the type of arthritis so consult you GP on this.
How can Physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy and prescribed exercises can help to manage some of the symptoms of arthritis. Physiotherapists work towards restoring function, improving quality of life and the ability to complete common activities of daily living. Physiotherapists can also give advice and educate about the disease and how to modify activities to make them more manageable.
Here at Physiotherapy Matters, our physiotherapists can provide advice and education about exercises to help improve your pain, increase your muscle strength and mobility. We are also able to offer other treatments including manual therapy, Acupuncture and Ostenil joint injections to help with pain management and joint stiffness.
At Physiotherapy Matters, we understand the impact arthritis can have on your daily life and are committed to providing comprehensive care and support. Don’t let arthritis hold you back – schedule an appointment today and take the first step towards a more comfortable, active life.
Contact us today