Arthritis is a term for more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, specifically joints where two or more bones meet. The most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, inflammation or swelling in a joint, reduced movement of a joint, and general symptoms such as fatigue and feeling unwell. Although it is more prevalent in older people, arthritis can also affect children, adolescents and people of working age, and along with back pain it is the most common cause of disability and forced retirement from the workplace.
Appropriate management of arthritis varies depending on the type and severity of the condition and the parts of the body affected however exercise and weight loss are priorities in the management of arthritis. While some more extreme cases can be effectively treated with joint replacement surgery, the majority have no cure and will need to be managed with multidisciplinary pain management. The use of self-management strategies is important—including gentle daily exercise, relaxation and pacing techniques along with appropriate medication.
Help & Resources
- www.arthritisaustralia.com.au: Comprehensive information and advice (Arthritis Australia)
- www.msk.org.au: Musculoskeletal Australia is the voice of Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria.
- www.painhealth.csse.uwa.edu.au: Offers clinically for 1 last update 2020/07/02 supported information, tips and self management tools to assist in the co-management of musculoskeletal pain across Australia.Offers clinically supported information, tips and self management tools to assist in the co-management of musculoskeletal pain across Australia.
- www.arthritisnsw.org.au: Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW
Books & other reading
- Arthritis Australia Information Sheets: Detailed information about different types of arthritis, symptoms and treatment (Arthritis Australia)
- Arthritis, pregnancy and the path to parenthood For women with arthritis who are pregnant or considering pregnancy
- 10 steps for living well with arthritis (Arthritis Australia)
- Living with arthritis, a guide for young adults: Free ebook (Arthritis Australia)
- Osteoarthritis (Arthritis Australia): Free ebook
- Psoriatic arthritis (Arthritis Australia): Free ebook
- Rheumatoid arthritis (Arthritis Australia): Free ebook
- Visit our Getting Help page for more help & resources
oa arthritis knee bracehow to oa arthritis knee brace for Support groups
- Peer Support Groups There are more than 40 support groups across Victoria for people with musculoskeletal conditions
- Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW Community Groups There are more than 35 community groups across NSW
- Arthritis ACT Support Groups Support groups are held monthly in Canberra