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Rheumatological / Inflammatory Conditions

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Introduction

Rheumatological problems are a collection of auto-immune problems whereby there is often higher levels of inflammation in the blood. It is normally categorised by multiple joint pain often associated with heatswelling and pain in the joints and soft tissues

 

There are many different types of rheumatological problems (over 200 types!) which behave in different ways. It is a problem that is not reversible but can vary in its intensity and can be well managed

Signs & Symptoms

  • Inflammation – swelling, redness and pain  
  • Fatigue 
  • Reduced joint range of motion  
  • Joint stiffness (normally that lasts more than 60 minutes in the morning) 

 

Common Rheumatological Variations

  • Sometimes other associated inflammatory problems (IBS, uveitis, dactylitis, skin problems such as psoriasis) 
  • Family history of Rheumatism  

Causes

As these group of conditions are usually autoimmune issues in which the body incorrectly attacks normal, healthy tissue, the possible causes are not well understood.

Prevalence

More than 400,000 people in the UK have rheumatism. It affects more women than men – roughly two to three times as many women than men. The most common age for people to develop a rheumatological condition is between 40 and 60.

Assessment & Diagnosis

Your Physiotherapist may be able to help in the diagnosis process and are highly trained to recognise the signs and symptoms. This complex group of problems may fit into the Spondyloathropathy (spinal vertebrae problems) family or Rheumatoid Arthritis which are types of inflammatory problems we can help with

 

To assist diagnosis and identify which form of rheumatism you may have, your Physio will work alongside Rheumatologists or general medical practitioners to ensure the process is smoothAs previously mentioned these problems can vary in the areas they affect you. It can affect an isolated area such as the hands or a combination of areas causing pain/stiffness in the back and neck also 

Self-Management

Those with rheumatological problems often experience ‘flare ups’ that have various triggers e.g. over/under-exerting, prolonged positions, weather and even certain foods. These ‘flare ups’ can vary from minimal pain and good function to higher levels of pain and reduced function sometimes affecting general mobility. 


Knowing more about your condition will enable you to have the best chance of avoiding flare ups, knowing what to expect in the future and help to maintain your 
function, strength and mobility. Pure Physiotherapy can assist with this. Some athletes have a form of rheumatism and achieve physical triumphs – so it does not need to stop you from doing what you want to do or achieve. 

Physiotherapy

We will work with you to form a bespoke rehab plan to help improve strength & mobility. This is vital for the long-term management of these conditions in terms of managing pain & stiffness and can help slow down or in some cases help reverse some symptoms.

 

Exercise and keeping active are an essential part of this but you may have to modify how you do things a little. At Pure Physiotherapy, our skilled and experienced clinicians can instruct you on how this can be achieved by implementing a bespoke home exercise and self-management plan. 

 

 If you would like to discuss the treatment options available, please get in contact and one of our team will be happy to discuss this with you. 

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