Arthritis is a general term given to a group of conditions that affect the joints in the body. Arthritis-related problems include pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage to joint cartilage.

physiotherapy for arthritis

The major complaint by individuals who have arthritis is joint pain. Pain is often constant and may be localised to the joint affected. The pain from arthritis occurs due to inflammation that occurs around the joint, damage to the joint from disease, daily wear and tear of joint, muscle strains caused by forceful movements against stiff, painful joints and fatigue.

Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy has helped many clients from Gungahlin and the wider Canberra community with all types of arthritis pains. There are over 100 different types of arthritis but some of the more common ones include:


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and refers to wear and tear of the joint, particularly of the joint surface cartilage, which causes pain, swelling and loss of range of motion. It affects approximately 15% of the Australian population with the knee and hip the most commonly affected joints. Mild osteoarthritis symptoms can be eased with physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. For more severe osteoarthritis, a total joint replacement may be warranted. We can work with your surgeon to make sure you make a complete recovery from any joint replacement. A guided exercise programme can help both pre and post-replacement to ensure a speedy recovery.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks synovial joints. About 1% of the world’s population is afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis, women three times more often than men. Onset is most frequent between the ages of 40 and 50, but people of any age can be affected. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which can lead to substantial loss of function and mobility if not adequately treated. It typically affects the small joints of the hands and feet.

arthritis old hands


Lupus is a common collagen vascular disorder that can be present with severe arthritis. Other features of lupus include a skin rash, extreme sensitivity to light, hair loss, kidney problems, emotional lability, lung fibrosis and constant joint pain.


Gout is caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint, causing inflammation. In the early stages, the gouty arthritis usually occur in one joint, but with time, it can occur in many joints and be quite crippling. The joints in gout can often become swollen and lose function.


Psoriasis is another type of arthritis associated with the skin condition of the same name. Usually, the skin problem starts first and then the arthritis. The typical features are continuous joint pains, stiffness and swelling.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic, inflammatory arthritis and autoimmune disease. It mainly affects joints in the spine and the sacroiliac joints in the pelvis, and can cause eventual fusion of the spine. Men are affected more than women by a ratio about of 3:1, typically presenting between the ages of 20-40 years. Initial symptoms include morning lower back stiffness. Inflammation of the eye occurs in 40% of cases.


How can Physiotherapy help Your Arthritis Pain?

During your first visit, we will examine your affected joint(s) to determine what structures have been damaged. Establishing the correct diagnosis early is imperative as different arthritis conditions mimic symptoms yet have different treatment protocols.

Strong evidence confirms the effectiveness of physiotherapy to treat arthritis with interventions to control pain and improve physical function. Backed by strong evidence from research, the treatment of arthritis with physiotherapy can delay disease progression, reduce symptoms, improve joint mobility, improve balance and strength, and prevent further problems. Land-based and water-based therapeutic exercises can help manage chronic and acute arthritis conditions. Hydrotherapy in particular can be helpful amongst older arthritis sufferers and those with rheumatoid conditions. Podiatry may help lower limb joint arthritis sufferers by improving alignment and altering stress to the affected joint.


Arthritis Pain Treatment at Sport & Spinal Physio –  Gungahlin & Canberra City West

Our highly skilled physiotherapists can prescribe tailored exercises and aquatic programs to increase physical activity and function without aggravating any coexisting problems. We also provide realistic advice to encourage self-management and build your confidence to make daily decisions to cope with your condition.

We use our unique ‘phase-based rehab system’ to ensure all aspects of a full and lasting recovery are delivered. You will receive a tailored treatment plan to suit your needs, with you involved in the decision making to make certain that we address your biggest concerns. Our physios will use hands on therapy techniques to improve joint mobility and muscle flexibility. We will nearly always at each session provide home exercises of stretches and strength work so that you keep improving between sessions. Early treatment will be focused on reducing pain and swelling and regaining range of motion. The physiotherapist will then prescribe an exercise program to improve the strength and coordination of your arthritic joint, which are important for preventing re-aggravating your arthritis injury. Towards the end of the treatment program you will be given prevention strategies to keep the pain away.


Why choose us for your arthritis joint pain?

  • We listen, we care and we get results
  • We have physiotherapy and podiatry for even the most complex lower limb arthritis conditions
  • Our podiatrists can prescribe custom moulded orthotics to help lower limb arthritis pain
  • We can prescribe tailored hydrotherapy exercises to improve function for all types of arthritis
  • We have therapists who have special training in arthritis joint pain having completed further studies
  • Our physios and podiatrists can recommend the ideal footwear to suit your lower limb arthritis injury
  • We have extensive experience in dealing with all types of arthritis
  • Our massage therapists can sort out any tight muscles associated with arthritis
  • We can refer you for further investigations such as x-rays, blood tests or bone scans if required
  • Our therapists have been recognised for their expertise having been national sporting team consultants
  • We provide braces or taping to protect your arthritic joint from further injury
  • We have practitioner only fish oil and glucosamine supplements for osteoarthritis sufferers
  • We supply natural anti-inflammatory supplements for a long-term solution for arthritis-related inflammation
  • Our physios and podiatrists can recommend the ideal footwear for any lower limb arthritis pain
  • We have advanced gym equipment to improve strength and coordination
  • Many of our physios work with local, state, national and international teams and athletes
  • We provide you with the tools to look after your health long after you leave our care
  • We can recommend referral to a medical specialist if required