Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint. In the U.K around 10 million people suffer from arthritis. The two most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.

Managing Arthritis

Osteoarthritis  (wear and tear arthritis) is the most common type of arthritis in the U.K. It usually affects adults in their late forties onwards or those with a family history of the condition. Sometimes if a joint is affected by injury it can develop arthritis earlier.

Osteoarthritis initially affects the cartilage (the strong, smooth surface that lines the bones) and allows joints to move easily. When the cartilage wears away, it makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness. As the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the lining of the joint called the synovium may get inflamed causing the joint to swell.

Severe loss of cartilage can lead to bone rubbing on bone, altering the shape of the joint and forcing the bones out of their normal position.

First4Therapy Advice

  • What should I do if I have Osteoarthritis?
  • What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  • What should I do if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  • Can First4Therapy help you?
What should I do if I have Osteoarthritis?

If you have joint swelling, applying a cold pack can help reduce pain and swelling.

Take painkillers and anti-inflammatories (provided there are no contra-indications)

If it is affecting a weight bearing joint such as your hip or knee avoid excessive activity or try using a walking stick to take the weight off your joint.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

This is an auto-immune condition which causes inflammation of the lining of a joint, which is called the synovial membrane. The affected joint gets hot, red swollen and very painful. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects more than one joint at a time.

If you have joint pain, swelling and stiffness on waking that lasts for more than half an hour, you should see your G.P. Early diagnosis and management of Rheumatoid arthritis leads to better outcomes.

What should I do if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Following examination, your GP will request blood tests and X-Rays and refer you to a specialist Rheumatologist if he suspects that you may have Rheumatoid arthritis.

If the Rheumatologist confirms the diagnosis then in most cases the condition will be treated with specific medicines.

Can First4Therapy help you?

Yes. While there is no cure for arthritis, treatment is aimed at reducing the symptoms of pain, swelling and stiffness.  I will advise you on various ways in which to protect your joints. When you have joint pain and swelling your muscles are inhibited and tend to weaken. Doing appropriate muscle strengthening exercises helps to protect joints by reducing the stress on them.

Looking after your joints is very important in the treatment of arthritis. Exercise is an important part of this, and I can suggest different exercises that may help ease your symptoms, strengthen muscles and stretch your joints safely. I can also give you advice regarding ways in which to protect your joints.

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    First4Therapy are a Chartered Physiotherapy and Acupuncture Clinic based in Laindon. We also treat patients from the surrounding areas including Basildon, Horndon, Billericay, Brentwood and Stanford-le- hope.

    We provide physiotherapy and acupuncture for a wide range of conditions. Our chartered and state registered physiotherapists will provide a comprehensive assessment and treatment that is tailored to resolve your particular problem.

    First4Therapy are a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy; Health Professions Council; Manipulation Association of Chartered Physiotherapists; Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists; British Association of Hand Therapists.

    Registered Physiotherapy provider for BUPA, AXA PPP, WPA, Exeter Friendly, Aviva, Cigna and Vitality Health.

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