According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, inflammatory arthritis affects about 14% of the Australian population.
Despite its prevalence in Australia, the majority of arthritis sufferers don’t get the right care from their doctors, dietitians, exercise physiologists and physiotherapists.
In 2012, I was definitely guilty of being one of those practitioners who was not providing the right care for arthritis sufferers.
A patient presenting with an inflammatory arthritis condition, from what I recall being taught at university, had little room for improvement. Treatment consisted of general exercises, advice to use heat packs to manage pain and to walk for exercise, while avoiding doing too much to avoid exacerbating the condition.
In 2012, for me, arthritis was the end game.
In 2016, I’m glad to say I am a physiotherapist who can help guide arthritis sufferers on the road to management of their condition, and I'm proud to do so!
At BJC Health, seeing people with ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is an everyday occurrence for our physio team. Working closely with BJC rheumatologists has enabled us to learn why it is so important that their condition is managed well by a physiotherapist.
Our evidence-based protocols for osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, along with help from our rheumatologists, exercise physiologists and dietitians, have led arthritis sufferers to return to work, play more golf, and my personal favorite, be fit and ready to enjoy more holidays.
I’m so glad I am now part of a team that knows how to manage arthritis, and manage it well!