Do you suffer from Arthritis? We can help!
POSTED: 24 May, 2021
Arthritis is a condition characterized by stiffness and inflammation, or swelling, of the joints. It’s not one type of disease, but it’s a general way of referring to joint pain or joint diseases.
While you may only experience mild discomfort at the beginning of the condition, symptoms can worsen over time. They may eventually cause work limitations and affect your day to day. While your risk for arthritis can increase with age, it’s not limited to older adults. Furthermore, there are different risk factors associated with different types of arthritis.
1 in 6 Australians has arthritis. That’s 3.9 million people in the country.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis currently known. We will be talking about 2 main types osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The most common type is osteoarthritis.
OA is degeneration in the surfaces covering the joint – cartilage (which cushions the ends of bones at joints). Cartilage breakdown causes bones to rub against each other, which can cause pain and loss of movement. OA can range from very mild to very severe. It affects hands (especially physiotherapist’s thumbs!) and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and the spine. Obviously, OA is more common in middle and older age groups, almost everyone over the age of 60 will have signs of OA on X-ray, and 1 in 3 will feel some associated symptoms, we don’t necessarily have to have OA pain at any stage in life.
RA is an auto-immune disorder resulting in red hot and swollen joints in a number of locations around the body. Other symptoms of RA include, fever, anaemia, loss of energy and loss of appetite. This condition can occur in children (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis -JRA), but more commonly in adults.
What causes arthritis?
While there are many underlying factors which may contribute these are the most commonly associated factors with arthritis:
- Wear and tear
What increases your risk for arthritis?
Sometimes arthritis can occur with no known cause. But there are also factors that can increase your risk for all types of arthritis these may include: Age, Family history, Gender, Obesity & History of previous injuries.
The team at IntegratePHYSIO is dedicated to improving quality-of-life for all our patients living with arthritis through education, advice, exercise programs and hands on treatment.
Some general recommendations as to how you can prevent arthritis include:
- Eating a Mediterranean-style diet. A diet of fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, beans, and whole grains may help with inflammation. Decreasing your intake of sugar, wheat, and gluten may also help.
- Eating a diet low in sugars. Sugars can contribute to inflammation and gout pain.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. This reduces the demands on your joints.
- Exercising regularly. Physical activity can help reduce pain, improve mood, and increase joint mobility and function.
- Refraining from smoking. The habit can worsen autoimmune disorders, and is a major risk-factor for rheumatoid arthritis
- Seeing your doctor for yearly check-ups. Remember to report any symptoms that may be related to arthritis.
- Wearing proper protective equipment. When playing sports or doing work, protective equipment can help prevent injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
At IntegratePHYSIO all our team members regularly upgrade our knowledge on management strategies to help our clients suffering with arthritis. We use a multimodal and multidisciplinary approach in helping our clients which may include LASER therapy, soft tissue and joint mobilisation, acupuncture, land based or water based guided exercises, home and work modification advice and much more.
Strategies such as weight management, improving the flexibility and strength of the surrounding muscles under guidance of a qualified health professional, dietary and lifestyle modifications such as regular light to moderate intensity exercises have proven to improve symptoms and assist in living a pain free life.
Research shows Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulfate have a role in helping patients with arthritis. Glucosamine is a form of amino sugar that is believed to play a role in cartilage formation and repair it is derived from prawn and crab shells. Chondroitin sulfate is part of a large protein molecule (proteoglycan) that gives cartilage elasticity; it is derived from shark cartilage.
A study published in 2001 in the well-respected Lancet Medical Journal. Patients were all sufferers of OA of the knee, and 106 assigned 1500 mg of glucosamine Chondroitin complex daily, the other half were given placebo. The treatment group had a slight increase in joint space and noticeable decrease in reported pain. The placebo group had increased pain and decreased joint space.
Glucosamine sulfate: 1500 mg/day
Chondroitin sulfate: 800-1000 mg/day
Fish oils are oils found in the tissues of fish. They contain a certain type of fat called omega-3. Certain types of omega-3 fats can reduce inflammation from arthritis. This may help to relieve joint pain and stiffness in a similar way to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Long-term intake of fish oil has been shown to reduce the reliance on NSAIDs in some cases of arthritis. This can help decrease the risk of side effects from these medicines. Fish oils can also help reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Should I take fish oil or krill oil? Nearly all of the information about omega-3 fats and arthritis has come from studies of fish oils. To date, there is very little evidence to show whether krill oil is useful for arthritis.
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