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Arthritis: The Use of Physical and Occupational Therapy Essay

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Updated: Mar 19th, 2022


Arthritis is one of the major prevalent health conditions that affect most people in Australia. The symptoms have impacted the lives of the larger population of Australians. Arthritis has been prevalent among women aged 45 to 65 years. This paper discusses the significance and issues of arthritis in Australia. Incorporating credible evidence, the paper expounds on biological factors such as unusual bowel permeability, genetic and microorganism as the causes of arthritis

The paper examines the use of physical and occupational therapy, as some of the strategies which should be practiced to curb the spread of arthritis. Consequently, the paper looks into the determinant of arthritis in Australia. Moreover, the paper explores how my research has developed my skills, and lastly, the paper concludes by summarizing up the main points.

Significance of Arthritis

Arthritis is commonly called a “single disease”; this is because it is a word that is used to describe an illness of more than a hundred medical situations that affect the “musculoskeletal system” mostly the joints (Clough 2006). Arthritis exists in different forms such as; Rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, juvenile, gout, spondylitis, and scleroderma among other forms of arthritis.

Consequences associated with arthritis include; inflammation, pain, stiffness, and joint cartilage damage. The problems can culminate in weaknesses of the bones, bone instability, and general deformity which can lead to interference in a person’s daily chores such as; food preparation and walking among other imperative duties. Arthritis is one of the major diseases that cause chronic pain and disability in Australia. Arthritis has waged a significant challenge to the government and Australian population in a variety of ways (Victorian Government Health Information 2006).

First, the illness has contributed to 3.85 million disabilities in the country; this has been mainly among women and the elderly. Secondly, the illness has brought about suffering to million populations in Australia (Victorian Government Health Information 2006). Pains, fatigue, incapacity to a quality life, and disability have been major hindrances to individuals suffering from arthritis.

Thirdly, the Australian government has faced reduced production in its economy due to the illness, this is because people who have arthritis face difficulties in aiding the economy and increasing medical attention hence they have been a big liability in terms of production and medical costs (Clough 2006).

Furthermore, seeking treatment among poor people has been an exigent task. This is because arthritis involves incurring a lot of medical bills of which ordinary poor person cant afford, the rich have had an advantage of accessing better medical facilities in both private and government hospitals which have better and efficient facilities because they can easily afford (Kamhi and Cameron 2009).

And lastly, the government has intensified research, equipped hospitals with drugs, and disseminated health personnel to curtail the existence of arthritis. This has been done in both public and private hospitals and health centers.

Biological Determinants of arthritis

Clough (2006) suggests that research evidence has shown the causes of arthritis are due to autoimmune body reactions, where the antibodies expand against an element of joint tissue. Clough (2006) points out that the cause of the autoimmune reaction is widely unknown. Research has narrowed to microorganisms, genetic susceptibility, and unusual bowel permeability as the major biological factors causing arthritis.

The unusual bowel permeability is a biological determinant linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have shown increased “intestinal” permeability. An allergy to certain kinds of foods has been considered as a contributing factor to the intensity of intestinal permeability regarding rheumatoid arthritis.

The presence of a permeable gut influences the larger absorption of bacterial and diet molecules. This is because, the molecules are blocked from being engrossed due to their size, but in rheumatoid arthritis, they are engrossed into the body system and as such the body respond by forming antibodies to engulf them (Kamhi and Cameron 2009).

The body system in some cases may generate antibodies to its “own” tissues by budding cross-reacting antibodies. The “intestinal permeability” and bacterial alteration causes antigens which are analogous to antigens in joint tissues to be absorbed (Kamhi and Zampieron 2009).

The second biological determinant associated with arthritis is microorganisms. Barlow (2009) suggests that amoebic, rubella virus and mycoplasma kind of microorganisms are agents of the cause of arthritis. Though knees are major areas predisposed to septic arthritis, other important joints in the body are also vulnerable to contamination leading to arthritis (Barlow 2009). Microbial have increased the level of “circulating” immune and hence its complexity has contributed to the growth and development of arthritis (Barlow 2009).

Staph bacteria largely contribute to the development of septic arthritis. Individuals who are suffering from respiratory or urinary tract infections are prone to microorganism infection because the microorganism enters the bloodstream from the infection site. The microorganism in the blood which is aided by blood circulation finds its way into the bone joints by piercing the lining covering the joint. Septic arthritis is built as a result of bone infection (Barlow 2009). The cells responsible for immunity moves to dispel the microorganism, hence resulting in inflammation and pains in the joint affected.

The third and last biological determinant associated with arthritis is genetic factors. Nay and Garratt (2009) point out that in e 70% of people suffering from arthritis a genetic factor plays a role. This is an indication that there is a likelihood of arthritis disease being developed due to the influence of genetic factors. Nay and Garratt (2009) also point out that children are likely to be are severely affected by arthritis illness four times if their parent suffers from arthritis.

A clear interaction exists between the unusual bowel permeability, microorganisms, and genetic factors. This is because microorganisms influence Microbial activity in accelerating circulating immune hence providing complexity in the body in response to antibodies reaction to “threats” hence affecting the other two factors.

Intervention measures of Arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic disease which is characterized with systematic inciting and its etiology is widely unknown. The main intervention for arthritis especially rheumatoid arthritis is to prevent occurrence or contain damage of the joints (Australian Government 2008). Interventions such as physical and occupational therapy, self management and surgical among other interventions are necessary to contain the pain, fatigue and psychological agony of an individual.

Early diagnosis coupled with treatment is a sure alternative to achieve this objective (Nay and Garratt 2009). However streamlining intervention measures plays a crucial and vital role in tackling this challenge. One of the intervention which has to be instituted is encouraging people to involve in involve physical therapy. Physical therapy is one of the strategies that have been proven to ease the pain and exhaustion caused by arthritis.

Regular participation in physical activities aids in building and maintaining healthy bones, joints and body muscles (Carrier 2009).Physical exercise strengthens and consolidates body muscles, improves bones flexibility and mobility thereby protecting the bones from further harm.

Performed carefully and frequently, application of isometric exercises can contribute to strengthening the muscles in the joints thereby helping to reduce wear ad tear. Experienced and qualified physician should be involved to ensure that the exercise is done in a professional way (Carrier 2009).

Consequently having a good and well maintained weight can aid in the reduction of developing risks associated with osteoarthritis which is associated with the knees, hips and hands. Another strategy which can be applied appropriately for the intervention of arthritis effectively is occupational therapy (Carrier 2009).Occupational therapy is concerned with teaching the individual how to cope with arthritis in their daily lives especially if they haven’t known how to cope with the illness. It helps the individual on identifying the measures to help them cope effectively with the symptoms and illness itself.

Occupation therapy intervention brings more benefits in treating the arthritis. It encompasses methods such as; appreciating the importance of rest, physical exercise and the use of ice and heat. Ice and heat are appropriately applied in treatment of arthritis at different stages. Moreover, an occupational practice such as using assistive devices is incorporated in aiding performance of daily duties (Weissman 2009).

The intervention mentioned above is majorly midstream and the play an important role of managing arthritis (Victorian Government Health Information 2006). This is especially osteoarthritis and osteoporosis which is caused due to; physical idleness, poor diet, weight and use of tobacco

Relevancy of the assignment to my future employment

The assignment has influenced my life and deepened my skills and understanding about arthritis. Ability to conduct a research and Critically analyzing about arthritis in terms of significance, biological determinants associated with it and mode of intervention has deepened my awareness and knowledge so that I will be informed, have relevant facts and be able to deal with a similar situation confidently as a future professional.


Arthritis is a complex disease which can lead to disability and other undesirable health issues in a person. Its complexity can cause significant influence in a person life thereby interfering with basic functioning of a person such as mobility, comfort and happiness. The paper focused on individual between the age group of 45-65. Moreover, biological determinants such as genetic and microorganism contributes to the development of the illness.

Intervention methodologies such as; incorporating physical and occupational therapy, self management and surgical to contain arthritis swell should be adopted to grant arthritis free environment. Consequently, this will guarantee the Australian governments spend fewer amounts of funds to finance the treatment of arthritis hence the money can be used in other development projects in the country.


Australian Government, (2008), Arthritis and osteoporosis in Australia. Web.

Barlow, J., (2009) Living with Arthritis. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Carrier, J., (2009) Managing Long Term Conditions and Chronic Illness in Primary Care: A Guide to Good Practice. London: Taylor & Francis.

Clough, J., D., (2006) Arthritis.Minnesota: Cleveland Clinic Press.

Kamhi, E., and Zampieron, E., R., (2009) Arthritis: reverse underlying causes of arthritis with clinically proven alternative therapies. California: Celestial Arts.

Nay, R., and Garratt, S., (2009) Older People: Issues and Innovations in Care. Amsterdam: Elsevier Australia.

Victorian Government Health Information, (2006) National Health Priority Areas. Web.

Weissman, B., N., W., (2009) Imaging of Arthritis and Metabolic Bone Disease. Amsterdam: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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