There are 100s of different sub-types of arthritis, with three types being the most common.
Osteoarthritis (OA): The protective cartilage inside the joint breaks down making movement difficult and painful. Pain can also come from parts of the joint other than the cartilage, such as bone, synovium and the ligaments.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): A chronic inflammatory disorder that can damage a wide variety of body systems such as your joints and other systems in the body including skin, eyes, lungs heart and blood vessels.
Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints called the synovium, causing painful swelling that can lead to bone erosion and joint deformity.
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA): An auto-immune inflammatory disease in the immune system attacks the body, causing inflammation and pain. Psoriatic Arthritis affects the joints and the connective tissue where the tendons or ligaments attach to the bone causing enthesitis. It also affects the skin causing Psoriasis.
Taking a detailed history with a focus on history and quality of symptoms
A thorough physical examination is then performed to establish joint range of motion and motor control of the region, as well as what contributions if any are from higher or lower in the Kinetic Chain.
Goals and Expectations are discussed and a management plan is established together.
Current evidence supports exercise therapy that addresses joint range of motion and mobility, motor control and balance, hydrotherapy and other general health factors such as weight management and diet, suitable daily exercises such as walking to improve cardiovascular fitness, sleep management and advice on simple pain medications.
Arthritis Australia has developed a fantastic free online support website with up-to-date information on facts and management ideas to help.
Check it out at: www.myjointpain.org.au/
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