What is it?
Arthritis is a group of conditions which affect the joints. These conditions can present as pain, stiffness or reduced movement, swelling, redness or feeling unwell. There are different types of arthritis. Each type will affect your joints differently. The most common forms are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Arthritis can affect anyone from children to older adults. In Australia 1 in 6 people have arthritis. Most people believe that arthritis is a normal part of getting older, however this is not entirely true. Arthritis typically starts with no clear reason, lasts for more than a few days and comes on with swelling, redness and warmth of your joints.
Do I need a joint replacement?
Having arthritis does NOT mean you need to get a joint replacement. Whilst in severe cases or when pain limits daily function it can be helpful, for most people a conservative approach (advice, exercise, hands-on therapy) is best.
Aiming to improve the strength, stability and mobility around a joint can be helpful at reducing or resolving pain. Having a plan and working together with your health professional is important. We often see people return to the activities they enjoy like playing with their grandchildren, playing sports or walking up to the shops.
How can we help you?
Our understanding of arthritis is constantly improving. There are some great resources available which can help you manage your arthritis pain better. Some simple things you can do are:
- Find out what type of arthritis is affecting you
- Stay active – keep your joints moving and your muscle strong
- Learn ways to manage pain – this is where we can help educate you on strategies to help
- Manage tiredness – learning to balance rest and your normal activities
- Keep a healthy weight
- Acknowledge your feelings and seek support – it is natural to feel scared, frustrated, sad and sometimes angry. Get help if they start affecting your daily life.
Resources to help you manage arthritis pain:
Arthritis Australia Website: https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/
My Joint Pain Website: https://www.myjointpain.org.au/
Joint Action Podcast with Prof David Hunter: https://www.jointaction.info/podcast