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By Ms. Shahana Parveen, Neuro Physiotherapist – AktivHealth™

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?
“Arthritis” means joint inflammation. Arthritis is often used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints. There are many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the commonest one caused by wear and tear of joints especially weight bearing joints. The older we get, the more likely we are to have arthritis: by the age of 80, it affects 57% of women and 40% of men approximately.

Warning signs of arthritis
Pain, stiffness, swelling with tenderness, difficulty moving a joint, redness around a joint, weight loss, breathing problems, rash or itch, deformity.

What causes Arthritis?
Sometimes the cause is simply unknown, but many factors including lifestyle disorders such as smoking, being overweight, repeated strain on joints, poor diet, lack of exercises and family history of having arthritis.

Arthritis and physical activity
People with arthritis are less likely to be physically active than those not affected, although physical activity is effective to relieve pain and improves function. One third of working-age people with arthritis have limitations in their ability to work, hence increases their absenteeism, poor performance and affect quality of life.
Management through exercises.

Usually, the effects of arthritis are long term, continuing to varying degrees over many years. All joint pain is not arthritis, hence proper diagnosis should be done before planning a treatment.It’s just a myth that once diagnosed with arthritis, there isn’t much you can do about it. Exercise can help you get moving, working and doing daily activities to help you remain independent. Exercises should be targeted to relieve pain and inflammation, conditioning and aerobic fitness training to improve overall body health, resistance training to strengthen the weak muscles surrounds affected joint and functional training to improve work performance and quality of life.

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