Arthritis.org defines Arthritis to be “very common but is not well understood. Actually, it is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease”. There are many types of arthritis that a person can experience throughout life all of which have varying degrees of impact on the body.
Who gets affected by Arthritis?
Arthritis affects people from all backgrounds, ethnicity and age groups. Though it is commonly perceived to be an “older person illness” it is often seen in children, young adults as well as older Australians. However, it is more common in women and people are more susceptible as they age.
How do I know if I have this condition?
To be diagnosed you need to speak to your GP who will run the appropriate testing. However if you’re worried you may be suffering from this condition, common arthritis symptoms include swelling, pain, stillness and decreased range of motion of the joints. Your symptoms can stay the same for years but can also progress and get worse over time as you age. It can be experienced in varying degrees of severity from mild or moderate to extreme. Severe arthritis can leave a patient feeling chronic pain which can be debilitating and make you unable to do daily activities such as climbing stairs, dressing or walking long distances.
How does physiotherapy help manage the pain?
Physiotherapy is a great tool to ensure your joints and muscles are performing at their best. Techniques used by your Physio are able to help you preserve your joint mobility which helps ensure your symptoms don’t get worse. If you suffer from the side effects of arthritis your physiotherapist will be able to assess how your condition affects you and assist you to put together a programme of advice, exercises and other therapies to reduce your pain.