Spotlight on Arthritis

Spotlight on 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 major types of Arthritis

  • Inflammatory Arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. This is an “auto immune” disease in which the body’s immune system starts attacking healthy joints. It leads to inflammation of the joint lining. This causes pain and swelling of the joint. It causes damage to the surface of the joint and underlying bone.
  • Osteoarthritis, is more common. This is where the normally smooth cartilage surface softens and becomes pitted and frayed. As the cartilage breaks down, the joint may lose its normal shape. The most frequent joints affected are in the spine, hips, knees and hands. Symptoms consist of joint ache, stiffness and restricted movement. It can be as a result of injury but often develops in people over the age of 50.

Physiotherapy can help manage these symptoms and set realistic goals for you to achieve.

Treatment may include:

  • Home exercise programme including strengthening and range of movement exercises is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines. By strengthening the muscles around the affected joint and improving the joint mobility this can reduce symptoms.
  • Acupuncture
  • Electrotherapy
  • Advice on activity and exercises.
  • Advice on managing arthritis and pacing of activity.

Come and see one of our experienced Physiotherapists for a thorough assessment and individual treatment plan.