Article by John Miller

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is an umbrella term for over 100 medical conditions that affect your joints.

Arthritis-related problems include pain, stiffness, inflammation, and damage to joint cartilage (the tissue covering the ends of bones, enabling them to move against each other) and surrounding structures. Arthritis can result in muscle weakness, joint instability and physical deformities. These physical deficits can interfere with your most basic daily tasks, such as walking and eating. Plus, it can limit your ability and drive a car, open jars, reach high shelves, put on your shoes etc.

The number of people who have arthritis is growing as our population lives longer. There is a belief that arthritis is simply a consequence of age. But, arthritis is not merely a natural part of ageing. There are millions of working-age sufferers. Researchers have identified that individual families are susceptible to arthritis through genetic predisposition.

However, the early diagnosis seems to be a key to better management of your arthritis. Research suggests that early intervention can delay the onset of the disease and reduce the number of cases of osteoarthritis.

Common Causes of Arthritis

While there are about 100 forms of arthritis, the three most common causes account for 95% of all arthritis. These are:

Less Common Causes of Arthritis

General Arthritis Information

What is Arthritis?

Rheumatology Conditions

Rheumatoid Conditions – Overview

Osteoarthritis Conditions

Osteoarthritis – Overview

Peripheral Joints

Common Arthritis Treatments

There is no known cure for arthritis. However, arthritis is usually manageable but can impact your quality of life and includes varying degrees of discomfort and pain.

With accurate assessment and early treatment, most arthritis sufferers respond effectively to physiotherapy allowing you to resume pain-free and healthy activities of daily living.

Please ask your physiotherapist for their professional treatment advice.