Arthritis is a name for a group of conditions affecting the joints. It affects around 1 in 5 people in the community, and although it is associated with getting older, the majority of people with arthritis are aged between 15 and 60 years. Arthritic conditions cause damage to the joints, usually resulting in pain and stiffness. They can affect many different parts of the joint and nearly every joint in the body. Arthritis can be disabling because of restricted mobility from severe joint pain.
There are many different forms of arthritis and each type affects a person’s joints in different ways. The most common forms of arthritis are:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- ankylosing spondylitis
Arthritis can result from injury, infection, accumulated wear, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, autoimmunity or other causes. Children can also develop arthritis in a number of forms, which together are grouped under the name juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Important Things to Know
- The treatment of arthritis and related chronic pain conditions is a core function of physiotherapy, and the physiotherapists at PhysioFit are well trained and experienced in treating arthritic conditions.
- People with arthritis may benefit from physiotherapy treatment or services such as joint mobilisation, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, and muscle strengthening exercises.
- PhysioFit is also a provider of the GLA:D® Australia program (“Good Life with osteoArthritis from Denmark”), an evidence-based education and exercise program aimed at improving pain, function and quality of life for people living with knee and hip osteoarthritis. The program was developed in Denmark and has been implemented internationally with success. Research from the GLA:D® program in Australia (GLA:D® Australia Annual Report 2020) found an average reduction in pain of 27% (hip) and 33% (knee), improved quality of life by 20% (hip) and 29% (knee), and reduced usage of pain medication by 45% (hip) and 49% (knee). It was also found that less people desired surgery after completing the program.
- Although arthritis is a chronic disease and there is no known cure, treatments and management techniques can help control and reduce symptoms and prevent further deterioration, and may also aid in the prevention of flare-ups and reliance on drug therapy.
For more information about Arthritis, including support services, courses, seminars and upcoming events for those with Arthritis, please see the Arthritis Victoria website.