The term arthritis literally means inflammation of the joints and can affect any synovial joint in the body.
In broad terms, there are two types of arthritis namely osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
There are a variety of different inflammatory arthritis, but the following are the some of the other inflammatory arthritis conditions most commonly seen:
Often called a soft tissue rheumatism as it affects the muscular system and not the joints. It is associated with widespread muscular pain and generalized fatigue and is more common in women. On examination there are active tender points in the muscles that are causing the pain and can be found in a characteristic pattern around the body.
Systemic Lupus Erythemaosus(SLE)
This is a chronic rheumatic disease that affects many parts of the body including joints, muscles, skin, heart, lungs, kidneys and eyes. The cause of Lupus is unknown.
A collection of diseases fall into this group including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and Chrohn’s disease. The most common type is ankylosing spondylitis which produces pain and inflammation in the lower back (the sacroiliac joint) is more common in males than females.
Treatment for arthritis can be very effective and requires a team approach. Your rheumatologist will put a plan that is appropriate for your condition and which will generally include medications, regular follow up and testing, and physiotherapy.
Once the joint is more stable and the episode of flare up has passed, prevention and management of future episodes is important. Your physiotherapist will guide you through and advice on appropriate exercises that should be done to strengthen muscles supporting the joints and to maintain range of motion.