Arthritis and Exercise

Arthritis is a chronic condition affecting synovial joints. Swelling, changes in joint structure and pain are all associated with arthritis. There are many forms of arthritis, however, Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are the most common.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.

Many of your joints have cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. This allows the forces that are going through a joint to be spread evenly over the bony surface. Also, the synovial fluid within the joint decreases friction during movement. Research shows that when your joints are already sore, inefficient loading will likely worsen your symptoms.  Considering that, OA is a result of when the body breaks down cartilage faster than it can rebuild it. Symptoms associated with OA include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the area. The common sites for OA are the hip, knee, foot, hands, and spine. Exercise can correct your biomechanics and the way your body distributes forces through your joint, helping decrease pain and discomfort.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease that affects the lining of your joints.

RA usually affects both sides of the body. Common sites for RA include wrists, hands, elbows, shoulders, knees, and ankles. Symptoms associated with RA include morning stiffness, swelling, and joint pain.

Your doctor can refer you for tests, imaging and further referrals for treatment. However, a referral is not necessary to make an appointment at Bodyworks and you should book in if you are experiencing any joint pain.


Regular exercise can help you manage your arthritis. Strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint will help to relieve pressure and improve movement. Exercise will also help increase flexibility, endurance, and knowing where your body is in space. Regular movement can help move the synovial fluid within your joints, bringing in fresh nutrients and cleaning out waste products. Our rehabilitation services can help you deal with the tasks of everyday life and better manage flare-ups. As a result, supervised and appropriate exercise will not cause any extra damage or progress in your arthritis.

You will need to book a Rehabilitation Physiotherapist Initial Consultation to provide your physiotherapist with an in-depth history of your condition. Furthermore, we will look at your current level of function and goals to customise your rehabilitation management plan. You can then get started straight away with a rehab plan created by a physiotherapist, tailored to you and your goals.

Help You Need When You Need It

Our patient-centred and holistic approach to Physiotherapy means we have a strong connection with our patients, and individually tailor treatment programs to deliver the best outcomes throughout your recovery process.