There are various types of arthritis the main ones being osteo and rheumaotid arthritis with different physiotherapy treatments available. Many people suffer with joint arthritis which can have a large effect on their day to day health.
The pain arthritis brings depends upon the disease type This can vary and affects the symptoms that you have and treatment offered.
Both arthritis types it can lead to joint deformity, pain, stiffness and sometimes swelling.
Physiotherapy treatments may include manual therapy, exercises rehabilitation, acupuncture, TENS and lifestyle advice to reduce the disease pain.
Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis in the UK and it causes the joints to become painful and stiff, normally developing over time and can affect different joints, most frequently seen in the hands, hips, feet and spine. Osteoarthritis is normally associated with the aging process but it can occur earlier in some individuals. There are some inherited and lifestyle factors which can affect how early or late that you may develop the symptoms
With Osteoarthritis there are changes in joint surface cartilage, the underlying bone thickens and broadens to reduce the load on the cartilage, bony growths form at the outer edges of the joint giving the appearance of a knobbly joint, the synovial membrane and joint capsule thicken, reducing the space inside the joint, this leads to a stiff joint, joint pain and inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune chronic progressive disease causing inflammation which affects the joints and tendons. It is also a systemic disease meaning that it doesn't just affect the body's joints.
With RA, the immune system becomes too active and attacks the synovial lining of your joints, this causes the inflammation and tends to affect the body symmetrically. It tends to affect the small joints in hands and feet first, often the knuckle joints in the fingers.
If Rheumatoid arthritis is not treated or is inadequately treated, it can cause irreversible damage to joints and lead to disability. The sooner RA is diagnosed and treated, the better the long-term outcomes are likely to be.
As there are many forms of arthritis there is also a wide range of symptoms you should be looking out for things like early morning joint stiffness, a decrease in the range of motion with worst symptoms in the morning, tiredness or fatigue, generally feeling unwell, joint tenderness or pain during movement or while at rest, sometimes with an associated redness around the joint of the skin.
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