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What is Arthritis

Arthritis has no known cure at present and it is not fully understood what causes it. However, it is believed that arthritis is caused by inflammation and degeneration of the tissue lining the joints. People suffering arthritis are likely to experience pain and fatigue in carrying out daily tasks.

In Ireland there are estimated to be 915,000 people, including 1,100 children, living with the condition.

Arthritis can be very painful and debilitating but there are relatively simple steps to help control symptoms and reduce pain. Getting the right support and treatment can help arthritis sufferers cope much better day by day.

Physiotherapy can play an important role in helping treat arthritis by providing you with pain relief, improved mobility, strength and flexibility.

Following a full assessment of your joints, muscles, and posture, treatment and general advice may include:

  • exercise
  • mobilisation techniques
  • acupuncture
  • pain relief
  • walking aids
  • advice on posture

Different types of arthritis

Did you know there are over 100 types of arthritis.

Two most common types being osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Is considered the most common form of arthritis and usually comes with age and most often affects the fingers, knees, and hips. Osteoarthritis sometimes follows an injury to a joint and can be many years after that arthritis sets in around the original injury site.

Rheumatoid arthritis

This condition is when the body’s own defence system doesn’t work properly. It affects joints and bones, again often of the hands and feet, and can also affect internal organs and systems. Other symptoms could include:

  • fever
  • feeling tired
  • generally unwell

Together with manual therapy techniques, medical acupuncture is an effective pain relieving treatment for arthritic symptoms and has been shown to be particularly effective for osteoarthritis of the knee.

Further reading - 'Managing an arthritic hip for young and old'
By Lorraine Carroll, Clinic principal

For further detailed information about this condition please see this useful resource - Arthritis Ireland

by Simon.