arthritis – cause, symptoms, physiotherapy treatment at home & more

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what is arthritis?

Content is medically reviewed by:

Shruti Bangera, Masters In Neurological Physiotherapy, Senior Physiotherapist & SME, Portea

Arthritis is the inflammation of one joint or multiple more joints. There are various types of arthritis that can be found among people, each of the arthritis types causes physical pain in dissimilar ways. The most common arthritis types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis causes pain and stiffness in the joints and may accelerate with age, however, sometimes they may appear unexpectedly as well. Most of the times, arthritis develops in adults over the age of 65 and rarely amongst children as well. Women are more prone to arthritis than men, especially in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, gout, another type of arthritis is more commonly found in men. Obesity is a major cause for arthritis is often found in people with excess body weight.

what are arthritis symptoms

Knee arthritis symptoms are the most prominent and common amongst all other. Some of the general arthritis symptoms for all arthritis types are as follows:

  • Extreme pain in the joints
  • Stiffness of joints
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Difficulty in motion of the joint

Most of these symptoms are more likely to be experienced during the mornings. Rheumatoid arthritis causes also a lack of appetite or fatigue due to the inflammation of the immune system. This may further develop into anaemia or experiencing a slight fever.

the common arthritis types

Here is a little more detail on the two common types of arthritis:


When the flexible cartilage covering the end of each bone/joint wears down, the affected is diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis causes extreme pain, swelling and difficulty in moving the joints and most commonly occurs in knees, hips, lower back and neck.

Rheumatoid arthritis

This is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints and the tissues around it. It can also cause swelling in other multiple body organs and thus is also known as systematic illness.

Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis

JIA or Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis is also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and both the terms are used interchangeably. Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis is basically a chronic, non infective, inflammatory and autoimmune joint disease. Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis mainly affects children and adolescents.

arthritis treatment:

Arthritis treatment depends on the type of arthritis and degree of it. The main function of taking arthritis treatment is to ease out the pain in the joints.  What may work for one person, may not for other. Some of the common care techniques used to treat arthritis pain are to place heating pads or ice packs to the joint. People with arthritis knee use assistance devices for mobility like walkers and or canes to reduce the pressure applied on the joint while walking.

In more serious cases, doctors may suggest the following arthritis treatment to diagnoses this ailment:

Medication for Arthritis

There are a certain number of medications that can be taken for treating arthritis.

  • Analgesics – Helps for pain management
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – these medicines help in controlling pain and inflammation caused due to arthritis
  • Menthol or capsaicin – these creams block the spread of pain indications from the joint to other parts
  • Immunosuppressant – these medications help with reducing inflammation on the joint

Note: medications for arthritis treatments are only to be taken by recommendations of a doctor depending on the severity of it.

Surgery for Arthritis

A common method would be to replace that particular joint with an artificial one through surgery. The most common joint replacements are for arthritis knee and hips.

In case of severe arthritis in your finger or wrists, a joint fusion where the ends of your bones are put together until they heal and set is performed. These methods are only for severe cases of arthritis, where the arthritis pain is extreme and when no kind of medication or physiotherapy in arthritis helps with the healing.

physiotherapy for arthritis

Physical therapy for arthritis involves exercising the affected joints that help strengthen the muscles around the joint. Physiotherapy for arthritis is one of the more natural ways to heal your joint and is recommended to start with at the beginning stages itself. Physiotherapy for arthritis is most commonly practiced for arthritis in knee, when there is arthritis back pain and arthritis neck pain.

what are risk factors for arthritis:

  • Family history – arthritis can also be genetic or hereditary due to the environmental factors that one is exposed to.
  • Age – Arthritis pain and arthritis symptom is seen to increase with age.
  • Earlier joint injury – those with a joint injury, probably due to a sport, is more likely to develop arthritis in that joint. For example: The most common are arthritis in knee due to a bad landing on the ground during basket ball, long jump, etc.
  • Obesity – Excess body weight puts stress on the joints that is one of the major arthritis causes. The most common case of arthritis knee is due to obesity.

complications of arthritis:

Severe cases of arthritis in joints such as wrists, fingers, etc. may cause trouble in performing daily tasks due to the arthritis pain. Similarly, arthritis in knees or hips, ankles, etc may cause discomfort in walking or sitting comfortably. It is thus, extremely important to give attention to the problem as soon as you detect an arthritis symptom and start with arthritis rehabilitation or physical therapy for arthritis.

lifestyle changes to help with arthritis

Arthritis knee pain is the most common and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the effects of arthritis, if a joint has already been affected by it. A healthy diet also contributes in controlling symptoms of arthritis, be it arthritis back pain, arthritis neck pain or inflammation of joints. Physiotherapy for arthritis is the best form of treatment for the joints. Physical therapy for arthritis is not limited to just physiotherapy, but also extends to other exercises such as swimming which is a great form of exercise without putting pressure on the joints.

Arthritis can also be caused due to fixed or bad body posture while sitting and working. Simple exercises at home or office can help in preventing arthritis. Some simple stretches include:

  • For neck relief – head tilts, neck rotations.
  • For people with desk jobs – finger and thumb bends and wrist rotation to ease the tension in those joints
  • For leg relief- hamstring stretches, leg raises and other leg stretches. These are important stretches for those developing knee arthritis symptoms.

We are experts at treating arthritis through our physiotherapy for arthritis. We recognize the stages of your symptoms and pain, especially knee arthritis symptoms with our detailed check up. And by understanding the discomfort faced by you already, we make it a lot easier by bringing our services to you at the comfort of your house.

So without much thought, contact us for the best arthritis treatment immediately. You can book an appointment right away through our website or by calling us and we will be at your doorstep to ease your pain.

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