'Physiotherapy': the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage and exercise.
The Oxford English Dictionary
Arthritis an umbrella term used to describe the pain, inflammation and stiffness of a joint. It is commonly used to include all joint disorders and rheumatic diseases. While often referred to as if it were a single disease, there are actually over a hundred different types of arthritis. Their causes, symptoms and how they affect your muscles and joints can vary greatly. Arthritis can occur in both children and adults. Therefore an early and accurate diagnosis increases the chance for its successful management and treatment. If your doctor has diagnosed you with arthritis, it is important that you understand how the condition affects you individually. Many people with serious forms of the condition lead full and productive lives so there is plenty that you can do to manage your symptoms, improve your mobility and relieve your pain. Together with your doctor, consultant, family and friends, physiotherapists are part of the large team that will support you and help you manage your arthritic symptoms. By identifying and discussing any physical limitations that you face daily, we can work together to set realistic goals to help you achieve your maximum physical potential.
Managing your pain on a daily basis is very important so that you can carry out your daily tasks independently with minimal discomfort. We can help to relieve your pain and restore your mobility by strengthening the muscles that surround and support your joints. We can also work with you to find out what triggers your discomfort, and discuss how you can do everyday tasks differently so that you will feel more comfortable. We can also advise you on strategies that will allow you to manage your symptoms and flare-ups, thus maintaining your independence both at home and at work.
Osteoarthritis is most commonly associated with growing older or 'wear and tear'. It can be caused by aging, being overweight or certain types of physical activity which put a lot of strain on some or all of your joints. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage, which covers the surface of the bones, becomes roughened and thin. As a result, the underlying bone becomes damaged. The affected joints then start to deteriorate, and the surrounding muscles supporting them weakens, thus restricting your movement and causing pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of many systemic forms of arthritis that occurs when the body's own immune system malfunctions. It can affect the internal organs as well as bones and joints, and symptoms usually appear when a person is quite young. Other common forms of arthritis include Ankylosing Spondilytis which is usually associated with severe joint stiffness within the spinal column, and gout where crystals build up in the joints.