Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in Canada. Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. When the cartilage – the slick, cushioning surface on the ends of bones – wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Over time, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic.
A physical therapist (PT) can help you get moving safely and effectively. Physical therapy focuses on the body’s ability to engage in movement. Goals of physical therapy in arthritis include improving the mobility and restoring the use of affected joints, increasing strength to support the joints, and maintaining fitness and the ability to perform daily activities.
Tendinitis (also called tendonitis) is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle. Tendinitis is most often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the affected area, or from a sudden more serious injury. Tendinitis can occur in almost any area of the body where a tendon connects a bone to a muscle. The most common places are:
- Base of the thumb
- Achilles tendon
The symptoms of tendinitis include:
- Pain or tenderness at or near a joint, especially around a shoulder, wrist, elbow, or ankle
- Stiffness that, along with the pain, restricts the movement of the joint involved
- Mild swelling or thickening of the tendon near the joint
Physiotherapy can help you manage your tendonitis symptoms and other associated problems. The kind of physiotherapy treatment that you will receive will depend on the specific type of tendonitis that you have; your symptoms and other related problems; whether you have had surgery or not; and your overall rehabilitation goals.