Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that causes pain and immobility, ranging from mild to severe. In Ireland around 1 million people, including 1,000 children, are suffering from arthritis, making it the single biggest cause of disability.

There are over 100 types of arthritis but the most common forms are:

• osteoarthritis (OA),
• rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (also known as rheumatic arthritis) and
• fibromyalgia.

The common symptoms of arthritis are the likes of pain, fatigue and inflammation. Arthritis effects all ages with the average age of 35 for people diagnosed with RA.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Where the arthritis is quite advanced and the cartilage has degenerated a lot the bone under the join might experience some erosion. Usually the area that is affected with arthritis will be inflamed, swollen, painful and the joint will be stiff.

Treatment of Arthritis

Physical therapy plays an important role in treating arthritis by helping with increasing mobility, strength and flexibility. Treatment may include soft tissue techniques, joint mobilisation, relaxation techniques, pain relief advice and advice on how to manage the condition daily. In addition a balanced exercise program can be developed to ensure strength, mobility and pain management is included.