Your body is constantly changing. If you can adapt, you can manage, reduce or even remove pain or discomfort.
Arthritis is inflammation, pain, stiffness or damage to the joint cartilage and/or the underlying bone and connective tissue around the joint. Symptoms arising from arthritis include joint pain, stiffness, weakness, dysfunctional movement, instability and deformity.
Arthritis is a general term that encapsulates more than 100 different conditions. The most common conditions in Australia accounting for 95% of arthritic presentations include:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
The causes of arthritis are varied from genetic causes to the consequences of previous joint injury and autoimmune disease. There is no cure for arthritis, however, research shows that the onset may be delayed, and the quality of life for the patient may be improved by early intervention and good management.
Management of arthritis includes:
- Surgical intervention (e.g. joint replacements)
- Exercise for arthritis
- Manual therapy
- Complimentary therapy (e.g. glucosamine/chondroitin)
- Psychological support
Link to PDF arthritis Australia web site
How Spring Can Help
Exercise is vital to help manage arthritis. It can be broken down to 3 basic different types of exercise, all of which are important in the management of arthritis.
Exercise for flexibility helps to regain or maintain your range of movement. Range of movement exercises are very important to prevent deformities associated with arthritis.
Exercise to restore muscle strength helps to maintain healthy bones and lessen the impact through your joints by better absorbing those forces through the muscles.
Exercise for your cardiovascular system helps to improve and maintain fitness and general physical and psychological wellbeing. It will help you to train your heart and lungs to improve endurance and control your weight by lessening the impact on your joints.
What exercise should I do?
An exercise programme should be guided by your physician and physiotherapist. Together they can educate you on what is the best type of exercise immediately and into the future as you manage your arthritis.
It is also important to learn how to modify your exercise regime during a flare up and when it is safe to push yourself to a higher level.