Arthritic Conditions

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the most common types of arthritis in New Zealand. At the clinic, we are well equipped to deal with the pain and dysfunction associated with both of these conditions. We are also trained in identifying and treating less common conditions such as polymyalgia rheumatica, fibromyalgia, gout, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects over 400,000 New Zealanders, with 7,000 new cases per year. It is a process that can affect any joint in the body, but it mainly affects the knees, hips, spine, hands and feet. There is localised loss of cartilage in the joint affected by osteoarthritis, which causes changes to the surrounding area of bone, soft tissue and muscle. The affected joint can often be very painful, swollen, stiff and warm to touch. Early detection and treatment of osteoarthritis can reduce your pain and halt the worsening of your symptoms. There is a plethora of research now showing how beneficial exercise programs are at reducing pain and improving functional capacity in people with osteoarthritis. These exercise programs can range from doing simple exercises at home for 10-20 minutes a day, to one-on-one or group exercise sessions of longer duration. Your physiotherapist can assess your condition and provide specific exercises tailored to your condition and the time you have available to exercise. Manual therapy techniques and acupuncture can also be useful at certain stages of the disease to decrease pain, improve function and get you back doing what you love. We will work closely with your GP or specialist to get you as pain-free as possible.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This type of arthritis is an autoimmune condition, which means that the body’s immune system starts to attack its own tissue. The tissue affected in rheumatoid arthritis is the synovium, which is the part of the joint responsible for producing the fluid that helps it move smoothly. The synovium gets thickened and can eventually lead to deformity of the joints if not treated appropriately. It usually starts in the small joints of the hands and feet, and causes inflammation, stiffness and pain. If your physiotherapist suspects that you may be developing rheumatoid arthritis, they can refer you to your GP for blood tests and possibly a referral to a rheumatologist. Medication is often prescribed to help manage the condition, and physiotherapy can help to maintain as much function as possible, and to help reduce the associated pain. This may include exercise prescription, acupuncture, manual therapy and education about the disease and home therapies that can help.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the most common types of arthritis in New Zealand. At the clinic, we are well equipped to deal with the pain and dysfunction associated with both of these conditions. We are also trained in identifying and treating less common conditions such as polymyalgia rheumatica, fibromyalgia, gout, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects over 400,000 New Zealanders, with 7,000 new cases per year. It is a process that can affect any joint in the body, but it mainly affects the knees, hips, spine, hands and feet. There is localised loss of cartilage in the joint affected by osteoarthritis, which causes changes to the surrounding area of bone, soft tissue and muscle. The affected joint can often be very painful, swollen, stiff and warm to touch. Early detection and treatment of osteoarthritis can reduce your pain and halt the worsening of your symptoms. There is a plethora of research now showing how beneficial exercise programs are at reducing pain and improving functional capacity in people with osteoarthritis. These exercise programs can range from doing simple exercises at home for 10-20 minutes a day, to one-on-one or group exercise sessions of longer duration. Your physiotherapist can assess your condition and provide specific exercises tailored to your condition and the time you have available to exercise. Manual therapy techniques and acupuncture can also be useful at certain stages of the disease to decrease pain, improve function and get you back doing what you love. We will work closely with your GP or specialist to get you as pain-free as possible.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This type of arthritis is an autoimmune condition, which means that the body’s immune system starts to attack its own tissue. The tissue affected in rheumatoid arthritis is the synovium, which is the part of the joint responsible for producing the fluid that helps it move smoothly. The synovium gets thickened and can eventually lead to deformity of the joints if not treated appropriately. It usually starts in the small joints of the hands and feet, and causes inflammation, stiffness and pain. If your physiotherapist suspects that you may be developing rheumatoid arthritis, they can refer you to your GP for blood tests and possibly a referral to a rheumatologist. Medication is often prescribed to help manage the condition, and physiotherapy can help to maintain as much function as possible, and to help reduce the associated pain. This may include exercise prescription, acupuncture, manual therapy and education about the disease and home therapies that can help.