What we’ll cover
  1. What is arthritis?
  2. What are the common symptoms of arthritis?
  3. What is the role of physiotherapy in managing arthritis?
  4. What exercises should I do for arthritis?

Arthritis including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are common conditions that our team see at ME Physio. Whilst physiotherapy is not a cure for arthritis, it is a very effective way to reduce and manage the symptoms associated with arthritis. This includes reducing pain and swelling, improving flexibility, improving strength and preventing further deterioration to the joint.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a common disease that affects the joints. The most common type of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It involves the wear and tear and breakdown of cartilage in the joints. It most commonly affects the hip, knee and ankle. As the cartilage breaks down and deteriorates, it can cause pain, stiffness and swelling.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It results in the body’s immune system irritating and attacking healthy joints. It commonly affects the peripheral joints including the fingers and wrist.

Whilst arthritis cannot be cured or reversed, there are numerous treatments to assist in relieving pain, reducing stiffness and prevent further deterioration. Treatment and management for arthritis commonly involves a team approach including your trusted General Practitioner and Physiotherapist.

What are the common symptoms of arthritis?

Arthritis has a wide range of symptoms. This can include:

  • Pain. This can include a sharp pain or a constant dull ache.
  • Stiffness and reduced mobility. This may vary from day to day.
  • Swelling and/or warmth around the joint.
  • Crepitus which includes joint noises such as clicking or creaking.
  • Changes to the shape and look of the joint. In some cases it can change alignment of the joint.

What is the role of physiotherapy in managing arthritis?

Physiotherapy plays an important role in the management and treatment of arthritis. Not only can physiotherapy help with reducing symptoms, but physiotherapy will assist in preventing further joint deterioration. Our team at ME Physio have extensive experience with a wide variety of arthritic conditions.

The role of physiotherapy in arthritis includes:

  • Reducing pain. Physiotherapists can use a variety of techniques to reduce pain and swelling including massage of the surrounding muscles, mobilisations and dry needling.
  • Improving flexibility and stiffness. Physiotherapists can improve and restore flexibility by stretching and gently mobilising the joint, it’s surrounding tissues and structures.
  • Protecting and offloading the joint. In some cases, in order to reduce symptoms, protecting the joint is required. This is often the case when the joint is acutely painful or irritated. Protecting the joint can include taping and/or bracing in some cases. This is often temporary to allow time for the joint to settle and time for surrounding strength to be built. In some cases, gait aids such as walking sticks or frames can also be prescribed by your physiotherapist to help offload weight through the joint. This is usually only done in cases to ensure normal gait and avoid bad habits.
  • Preventing further joint deterioration. Strengthening the surrounding muscles will help to reduce further deterioration to the joint. Physiotherapists are able to prescribe and tailor the right exercises specifically for you to improve your strength without exacerbating your symptoms.

What exercises should I do for arthritis?

Exercise is one of the best treatments for the management and prevention of arthritis.

Improving flexibility. Mobility exercises such as stretching can assist to regain and restore normal mobility. These exercises should not be painful or exacerbate symptoms. This often includes exercises designed to stretch the joints through comfortable ranges of motion.

Exercises that maintain strength around the joint is the best way to prevent symptoms and further joint changes. The best form of strengthening exercises for arthritis varies from person to person. Strengthening exercises for arthritis includes resistance training. Resistance training for arthritis can include body weight exercises, resistance bands, weights or hydrotherapy.

Managing overall health and fitness is also a healthy compliment to your physiotherapy specific exercises. Cardiovascular exercise that you enjoy and can do without exacerbating symptoms should compliment any physiotherapy exercises. This can include exercises such as cycling, swimming or walking. If you are unsure, your physiotherapist can assist and recommend different cardiovascular exercise options.

To get started with physiotherapy to manage your arthritis, contact our team or book online.

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Back to school 🔙📚

Last week we were fortunate enough to head back to uni and refresh our anatomy knowledge at @latrobeuni in the anatomy labs. 

Thank you to the Latrobe School of Physiotherapy for inviting us! Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

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