How Can Physiotherapy Help With Arthritis?  

Many clients who come to our Ottawa physiotherapy clinics experience symptoms of arthritis in its many forms. Still, many people also ask the question: since the condition is progressive, can physiotherapy really help?

The answer is yes. Physiotherapy can help you manage symptoms and improve your quality of life as part of a multi-faceted treatment plan. Here’s a look at how.

Benefits Of Physiotherapy For Arthritis

After a thorough assessment by your treating physiotherapist or other sports medicine specialist, a range of options and goals for improvement will be suggested and discussed. That evaluation will include elements such as ease of movement, basic physical condition, among others.

Expertise & Advice

Along with specific treatment options, your physiotherapist can give you the benefit of their expertise and advice. That may include issues such as correcting posture imbalances, lifestyle elements, and straightforward advice such as how to pace your activities and modify them to avoiding overusing an arthritic joint.

  • Example: A cold pack used on the joint can help to reduce inflammation and pain, however it can also reduce circulation in the area if it’s left on too long – which works against healing.

Your physiotherapist can give you practical advice you can use everyday.


When you have arthritis, are feeling in pain and fatigued, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. But, staying active helps keep you mobile. It’s that simple.

  • Exercising in the water can be a good option, since it works various muscle groups, and does not involve bearing weight on the joints.
  • A customized exercise regimen will help you target the areas that will benefit your condition the most.
  • Strength training is an important part of an arthritis exercise regimen, along with stretching and flexibility exercises.

Strong muscles support joints in a balanced way, and avoid putting too much stress on areas with arthritis. An exercise regimen that’s been customized to your current condition will keep you mobile longer.

  • It will help to reduce pain levels;
  • Movement keeps joints as flexible as possible 

Keeping your joints moving as much as possible, while also avoiding overuse, is your best approach. In some cases, walking aids or a brace may be a good option.

They will also look at any barriers to your recovery, which may include other medical conditions as well as other issues. They’ll help you not only devise an exercise regimen, but advise you on how to correctly perform them for the maximum benefit.

Rheumatoid arthritis

In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, which is an autoimmune condition, causes painful joints and notorious morning stiffness. Physiotherapy can help in a number of ways.

  • The painful symptoms of RA can be lessened by regular exercise.
  • The everyday function of joints can be recovered and improved.
  • The American College of Rheumatology recommends moderate-intensity and weight-bearing exercises.
  • The exercise can help reduce the overall damage to smaller joints such as wrists and ankles, as well as bone loss.

Understanding your illness, and its progression, will help you set everyday goals as well as adjust your lifestyle in areas that will help.

If you live with arthritis, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Ottawa physiotherapy, chiropractic and sports medicine clinics today for a consultation. 


Blog Archives