How Physio can help Arthritis
Keeping moving is vital if you have arthritis. Physios are qualified and skilled in getting you moving around more freely despite your arthritis. They'll start by talking to you about your symptoms and your medical history so they can understand how your life is affected.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis means inflamed joint, when the joint is inflamed it can be sore and stiff. Sometimes it can be hot, red and swollen. People with arthritis can find it difficult to do everyday things such as getting dressed, walking to the shops, cooking and playing sport. More than half a million New Zealanders will be affected by arthritis at some time in their life. There is currently no cure for arthritis, but there are effective treatments, physiotherapy can help.
How can physiotherapy help?
A physio can help you manage your arthritis and continue (or return to) an active life doing the things you enjoy. Physio can also help with;
- Managing your pain
- Becoming stronger, fitter and more flexible
- Staying active and independent
- Avoiding or delaying the need for surgery
Exercise and arthritis
Your physio will work with you to develop an exercise plan that's right for you. This may involve some strengthening and stretching exercises. It'll also include general activities such as walking, swimming or whatever you enjoy that's beneficial to you. Your physio will help you get the right balance between activity and rest so you keep active without feeling undue pain.
Exercises you can try
If you are looking for exercises you can try then check out this ebook; exercises to keep you moving. Produced in partnership with Arthritis NZ it details simple exercises that you can do while sitting, standing or lying in bed. We hope this makes it easier for you to pick out a few exercises for the areas of your body that are causing you problems and ﬁt them into your daily routine. Most exercises in this guide are stretches to help you get the basics right. There are also a few to help you improve strength. If you are unsure which type of exercise is best for you, we recommend you consult your health professional before beginning.
Does it really work?
Physiotherapy has helped people with arthritis reclaim their lives by increasing their movement, functioning and decreasing their level of pain. For some real stories watch our case studies on this page – they feature:
- Jocelyn – who worked with a physio before and after her hip replacement, she is now enjoying being able to climb stairs again – without the pain or fear.
- Whai – was told he’d soon be in a wheelchair, Whai’s now pursuing his career as a musician after his physio got him walking unaided in just a few months.
How does physio fit with my medical treatment?
Your physio assists with the physical side of your treatment and your doctor with the medical side. Your physio will work closely with you and your doctor to share information and review your treatment.