What is Arthritis?
- Arthritis is a formal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. It is not a singular disease
- Occurs primarily in load-bearing areas
- Occurs primarily in articular cartilage (diarthrodial joints)
- Occurs more in women than men – 9.7% women, 5.9% men (1.6million)
- Arthritis can be broken into 4 categories
● Degenerative Arthritis – The most common type eg. Osteoarthritis.
● Inflammatory Arthritis
● Infectious Arthritis
● Metabolic Arthritis
● The most common type of arthritis. Esp Osteoarthritis (OA).
● Risk factors:
○ Family Hx
○ Excess Weight
○ Previous Injury
○ Balance exercises
○ Hot cold therapies
○ Regular physical activities
○ Weight reduction
○ Pain medications
○ Avoid repetitive movements.
Note* OA can be prevented by staying active, maintaining healthy body weight, avoiding injury.
● Bacterium, virus or fungus enters the joint and triggers the inflammatory response.
○ These include:
■ Hep C
● Occurs when bodies inflammatory immune response is active and mistakes joints for
disease and infection (i.e Rheumatoid Arthritis).
● Enzymatic degeneration of joints (interaction between proinflammatory factors and
anti-inflammatory markers) resulting in loss of cartilage.
● Current research indicates genetics and environmental factors can trigger autoimmunity
● Early diagnosis is critical.
● Use of one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD’s).
● The goal is to reduce/slow joint destruction.
● Uric acid accumulation – occurs through the breakdown of purines (found in human cells and
● High accumulation or bodies’ inability to remove uric acid quick enough results in
needle-like crystal growths in joints. ‘AKA Gout’.
Arthritis and Exercise:
A study done by Westby (2001), found numerous exercise modalities are suitable for
individuals suffering from varying forms of arthritis. These exercise modalities included aerobic
and resistance exercise, aquatic and even dancing.
● The exercise should be performed at a moderate intensity. Too low won’t promote
improvement and too intense with increase symptoms.
● What is moderate exercise?
○ Heart rate between 60-75% HR max (HR max = 220-age)
○ An easier way to tell is you should be able to talk during exercise but not be able to sing due to light puffing.
So get moving and find something that suits your lifestyle and don’t let Arthritis keep you from doing what you love.