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Understanding Arthitis

Arthritis is a broad term to describe a number of rheumatic diseases and conditions which affects specifically the joints or connective tissue associated with the joints. Arthritis is a progressive inflammatory disease which affects one or multiple joints, with the most commonly affected joints being knees, hips, hands and spine (Agoivlasitis et al. 2018). There are various forms of arthritis which affects more than 3.9 million Australians. Arthritis affects an individual's ability to complete daily activities and is one of the leading causes of disability (Arthritis Australia 2019; Agiovlasitis et al. 2018). Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis which the joint cartilage is damaged causing bone on bone contact and friction. This causes the joint to become aggravated and can influence the function of the effected joint(Osteoarthritis: Symptoms, Treatments, and Causes,2019).

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which affects joints. An autoimmune disease refers to when your immune system identifies specific parts of the body as foreign and attacks healthy tissue. Specifically,rheumatoid arthritis affects the joint tissue which can cause pain and discomfort to the effected joint (Arthritis Australia, 2019: What are the causes and types of arthritis, 2019).

Risk factors
The cause of arthritis is not clearly known however there are risk factors associated with developing arthritis. These include both modifiable and non-modifiable factors such as:
-         Overweight or obesity
-         Injuries to joints
-         Surgery on joints
-         Genetic predisposition
-         Ageing
-         Autoimmune dysfunction
(What are the causes and typesof arthritis, 2019: Agiovlasitis et al. 2018).

Characteristic of arthritis
Arthritis is characterised by the following:
-         Pain, stiffness and discomfort around the joint
-         Inflammation around the joint
-         Decrease function in activities
-         Decreased joint range of motion
(What are the causes and types of arthritis, 2019: Agiovlasitis et al. 2018).

What exercise can do to help with Arthritis

The main barrier for individuals with arthritis and commencing an exercise program is the fear of aggravating the joint and increasing the pain in the effected joint. However, exercise has been shown to assist in pain management through appropriate exercise prescription. The exercise program should start with simple movements and gradually progress in intensity and duration. Pool based exercise can assist in reduce pressure on joints and allow the individual to complete exercise with decreased pain. The exercise program can aid in reducing the pain in the joint by increasing the strength of the muscles surrounding the joint and therefore the pressure going through the joint.
(What are the causes and types of arthritis, 2019: Agiovlasitis et al. 2018)


Osteoarthritis: Symptoms,Treatments, and Causes. (2019). Retrieved 29 August 2019, from
Agiovlasitis, S., Riebe, D.,Ehrman, J., Liguori, G., & Magal, M. (2018). ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Philadelphia [i pozostałe]: WoltersKluwer.
What are the causes and typesof arthritis (2019). Retrieved 29 August 2019, from
What is arthritis? — ArthritisAustralia. (2019). Retrieved 29 August 2019, from

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