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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, such as our elbow, shoulder or knee. This can cause pain, heat and stiffness in your joints and can affect people of all ages. In Ireland, it currently affects one in five people. There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the most common forms are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia. Arthritis has no cure but its symptoms can be successfully managed with exercise, weight loss, lifestyle changes and appropriate medication.

How can Physiotherapy help?

A physiotherapist can help you manage your arthritis and continue (or return to) an active lifestyle and doing the things you enjoy. The aim of treatment is to manage pain, keep joints mobile and help people stay active and healthy by developing safe, personalised exercise programs. Physio can also help with:
• Becoming stronger, fitter and more flexible
• Staying active and independent
• Avoiding or delaying the need for surgery

What will happen when I visit a physiotherapist?

Your physiotherapist will work with you to develop a safe, personalised exercise plan that’s right for you. This may involve some strengthening and stretching exercises. It will also include general activities such as walking, swimming or whatever you enjoy that’s beneficial to you. The aim of treatment is to manage pain, keep joints mobile and help you stay active and healthy.


Be Active with Arthritis

Be Active with Arthritis is an adapted exercise programme developed by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists and Arthritis Ireland. This is a one-hour class held over six weeks directed by a chartered physiotherapist.
In order to respond to the need for the Be Active with Arthritis programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic, Arthritis Ireland is now providing the course through online video workshops using Zoom.

To enquire about courses available for your area just email Please note that pre-booking is absolutely essential.

Programme information:
This programme will help to reduce pain and stiffness and maintain or improve mobility, muscle strength and functional ability.
Two essential components to the programme will be included in every session:
• Exercise — including range-of-motion and stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, balance and coordination activities, and endurance routines.
• Relaxation Activities — introducing and practicing various stress management techniques which are helpful for stress and pain reduction
Regular exercise is proven to be one of the most effective treatments for arthritis. It reduces pain, keeps joints moving, restores flexibility and strength and protects joints against further damage. However, only 30% of the 915,000 people in Ireland with arthritis get enough exercise as overcoming fears about exercise can be very difficult – especially when in pain.
To attend these classes, participants will have to be independently mobile and a basic general health screening will be performed in advance of the class.
Participants are not advised to attend these classes if they have the following:
• Poor balance
• Unable to follow commands clearly
• People with active inflammation

Links and further information


The content on this page is provided for general information purposes only and is not meant to replace a physiotherapy or medical consultation. The ISCP is not responsible for the content of any external sites, nor should selection be seen as an endorsement of them.

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