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Arthritis

Arthritis is an umbrella term for over 100 medical conditions that affect your joints.

let that sink in. OVER 100 MEDICAL CONDITIONS!!!! that's a lot! so lets just go over a few basics of arthritis and then see where that takes us!


Arthritis-related problems include pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage to joint cartilage (the tissue that covers the ends of bones, enabling them to move against each another) and surrounding structures.

Arthritis can result in muscle weakness, joint instability and physical deformities. These physical deficits interfere with your most daily tasks such as walking and eating. Plus, it can limit your ability and drive a car, open jars, reach high shelves, put on your shoes, and even get to your most beloved Pilates classes!!!

The number of people suffering from arthritis is growing as our population lives longer. There is a belief that arthritis is simply a consequence of age. But it is not simply a natural part of ageing. In fact, there are millions of working age sufferers. Researchers have identified that certain families are susceptible to arthritis through genetic predisposition.

However, early diagnosis seems to be a key to better management of your arthritis. Research suggests that early intervention can delay the onset of the disease and may reduce the number of cases of osteoarthritis.


 

Osteoarthritis


Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is often referred to as degenerative arthritis.

Basically, everyday wear and tear damage your joints. The joints show signs of wear: joint cartilage becomes thin, extra bony spurs grow in response to joint stress, and joint motion lessens. In advanced stages, osteoarthritis can be painful, functionally limiting and depressing. 


Osteoarthritis Symptoms


You can suspect osteoarthritis if you experience one of more of the following symptoms:

joint pain or tenderness that intermittently returns stiffness, particularly early morning stiffness joint swelling or deformity obvious joint heat and redness joint movement is difficult.

Osteoarthritis Cure?


Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. But the good news is that there are some better ways to manage your osteoarthritis and slow the degeneration process.  This will result in making your life easier and more comfortable. Physiotherapy is a very important part of making your life living with osteoarthritis less painful, comfier and keeping you active. 

When it comes down to it, listen to your body, if something doesn't feel right then don't do it, but the more you more in a supportive manner then the better your body will feel. Please inform your instructor as soon as you can so that they can best support your body in the ways you need so that you keep feeling like the best version of you!


 

Rheumatoid Arthritis


What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?


Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in your joints. The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling. Rheumatoid Arthritis can also be referred to colloquially as Rheumatism and is best treated by a physiotherapist with a special interest in Rheumatoid Physiotherapy.


Rheumatoid Arthritis causes inflammation in the synovium (covering of the joint which produces a small amount of synovial fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joint). This results in red and swollen joints that produce extra fluid and pain. The inflammation is caused by a build-up of fluid and cells in the synovium.


Your joint hurts for two reasons:

  • Your nerve endings are irritated by the chemicals produced by the inflammation.

  • The capsule is stretched by the swelling in your joint.

When the inflammation goes down, the capsule remains stretched and can’t hold your joint in its proper position. This can make your joint unstable, and it can move into unusual or deformed positions over time.  Make sure your Pilates Instructor is keeping an eye on your movement patterns and is using the correct support and props to support you best.


What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?


Rheumatoid Arthritis varies from one person to another but it usually starts quite slowly. Symptoms tend to come and go. You may also have flare-ups when your symptoms become worse than normal. 

Common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis include:

  • joint pain and swelling (fingers, wrists or the balls of your feet)

  • stiffness (morning stiffness lasting over 30 minutes)

  • tiredness (fatigue)

  • depression

  • irritability

  • anemia

  • flu-like symptoms

  • feeling hot and sweating

  • rheumatoid nodules (fleshy lumps below the elbows or on hands and feet)


What’s the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis?


There is currently no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis but there are a variety of treatments available that can slow down the condition and keep joint damage to a minimum.   

The three main aspects to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are:

  • physiotherapy

  • pilates (gentle and supportive)

  • drugs

  • surgery




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