Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. There are various forms including, amoungst others, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis and gout but osteoarthritis is the most common type.
Pain is the major complaint by individuals, its usually localized to the joint(s) and is worst first thing in the morning or after a period of rest.
The pain is caused by inflammation in the joint, damage to the joint surfaces from disease, daily wear and tear and muscle strains caused by forceful movements against the stiff, painful joints.
While osteoarthritis is common in the elderly, it also occurs commonly after traumatic joint injury and it can affect the large and the smaller joints.
Symptoms may also include swelling, redness, muscle aches, tenderness, fatigue, weakness and reduced range of movement.
A diagnosis is made by clinical examination from e.g. a Physiotherapist and may be supported by other investigations such as radiology and blood tests.
Osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis can not be cured and while exercise may initially aggravate the symptoms, in the long-term the symptoms and disability associated with arthritis may be significantly reduced by doing the appropriate prescribed exercises. Strengthening the muscles and improving the range of movement is vital in managing arthritis.
Treatment options to reduce the inflammation and slow the condition progression include Physiotherapy, lifestyle changes (weight-loss, exercise, diet), medication and, as a last resort, joint replacements.
Shoulder and Arm
Elbow and Forearm
Wrist and Hand
Upper Back and Chest
Hip and Thigh
Knee and Leg
Ankle and Foot
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Valley Centre Offices
396 Jan Smuts Avenue
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You must not rely on the information on this site as an alternative to medical advice from your physiotherapist or other medical practitioner. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult directly with your physiotherapist or other medical practitioner. If you think you may be suffering from any condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.