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8th September World PT Day - This Year We Focus On Some Forms Of Inflammatory Arthritis

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is defined as an acute or chronic joint inflammation. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, stiffness, and redness which may contribute to reduced function and dexterity. There are many different types of Arthritis.

Who is affected?

It can affect people of all ages and physical fitness - including children, teenagers and athletes. Some forms of arthritis are more common in older people.

Should I rest or exercise with Arthritis?

Regardless of which type of arthritis you have, remaining physically active and choosing healthy lifestyle behaviours will help you stay mobile and able to participate in activities that are meaningful to you.

Living with Arthritis

Arthritis can make life difficult by reducing mobility and making everyday activities harder to do. It can affect peoples ability to work and aprticipate in social and leisure activities. Arthritis is commonly associated with depression or anxiety.

The symptoms of arthritis can vary from week to week and even from day to day. However, with the right treatment and approach you can manage your symptoms and live well.

Types of Arthritis

There are many different types of arthritis. Some of the most common include:

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Gout

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

  • Spondyloarthritis

Symptoms of Arthritis

Athritis affects people in different ways and each condition will have specific symptoms. However, some common joint symptoms are

  • joint pain

  • stiffness, especially early in the morning

  • inflammation (swelling)

  • warm or red skin over the affected joint

  • weakness ad loss of muscle mass

Certain types of arthriris can have symptoms not directly related to your joints:

  • widespread pain

  • extreme fatigue

  • scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis)

  • changes to finger or toe nails

  • rashes

  • fever

  • weight loss

  • symptoms that affect other body systems, including eyes, heart, lungs and nerves

How physiotherpay can help

It is important to stay active and keep moving when you have arthritis.

Physiotherapists, along side other health professionals, can help you manage your arthritis.

Your physiotherapist will assess your condition and abilities and guide you on how to keep active and help manage your symptoms. Strategies might include:

  • devising an exercise programme tailored to your needs

  • building your strength, stamina, mobility and activity levels

  • helping you find the balance between rest and activity

  • helping you identify helpful lifestyle choices

  • supporting you to develop skills to manage pain, swelling, and stiffness

  • helping you modify activities at work and home

  • assess you holistically and refer you to other medical professionals as appropriate, such as occupational therapist, psychologist, etc

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