Hyderabad: Healthcare professionals emphasize that physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the comprehensive treatment of arthritis, helping individuals struck by this condition strike a harmonious balance between rest and physical activity. Traditionally, physiotherapy was recommended primarily for those who had already been diagnosed with arthritis, tailoring exercise regimens based on the severity of the condition. However, it is increasingly recognized that physiotherapy can also serve as a preventive measure against arthritis by designing custom exercises and advocating lifestyle modifications. These holistic changes encompass injury prevention, early management of symptoms such as joint swelling, and ergonomic guidance.

Historically, physiotherapy's scope was limited to patients dealing with bone, joint, and muscle issues. But in recent times, physiotherapists have expanded their roles to become instrumental in the treatment and recovery of individuals grappling with neurological disorders like stroke and Parkinson's disease, as well as heart and lung conditions such as coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In fact, it has become commonplace for individuals recovering from various surgical procedures to be prescribed tailored physiotherapy-based recovery programs.

Every year, on September 8, World Physiotherapy Day is celebrated to honor the invaluable contributions made by physiotherapists in the realm of patient care. This year's focus centers on arthritis in all its forms, including rheumatoid arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis.

Dr. Kishore B Reddy, Head of Orthopaedics & Orthopaedic Oncology at Amor Hospitals, reveals that arthritis affects approximately 15 percent of the population in India, totaling over 210 million individuals, contributing significantly to the global burden, ranging from 22 to 39 percent. This condition predominantly impacts the joints, with women being three to four times more susceptible than men. Arthritis typically manifests in the age group of 35-55 years, while inflammatory arthritis is more prevalent among men aged 50 and above, especially those who are obese.

Physiotherapy is not just a treatment option but also a potent tool for the prevention of arthritis, demonstrating its expanding role in healthcare beyond musculoskeletal issues, encompassing neurological and cardiovascular conditions. On World Physiotherapy Day, we acknowledge and celebrate the pivotal role played by physiotherapists in enhancing the well-being of countless individuals, with this year's spotlight shining on the fight against arthritis in all its forms.

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