What is Arthritis?
Arthritis refers to changes in our joints that cause pain and stiffness. There are many types of arthritis. The most common form that most people think of is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs because of ‘wear and tear’ to the joint cartilage over time, causing it to thin out and reduce the cushioning effect within your joint. This is very common in joints such as
the knees and hips. It typically develops as we get older and tends to create stiffness and pain, particularly with weight bearing. Other types of arthritis involve an inflammatory component where the process is driven by chemical changes in the body, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
What can I do about it?
This is where people often tend to think about joint replacement surgery. However, this is a very invasive surgery with a long recovery time and surgeons usually suggest that conservative (non-surgical) management should be trialed first. This is where exercise comes in. Exercise, in particular strength training, is shown to have a big positive impact on arthritic pain. Reducing body weight is also helpful. As little as 10% weight loss has been shown to have a significant effect on pain. Often arthritis gets us stuck in a pattern of declining activity, where we begin to get less mobile This causes gradual loss of strength and often results in us gaining weight, which both promote worsening of symptoms. Reversing this process through the correct exercise plan is a huge part of recovery. It is also well evidenced that improving muscle strength prior to surgery will improve our outcome if we ever decide to take that route. If pain is a big issue, getting started can be quite challenging. Beginning with short sessions is a good idea, as is choosing exercise involving less weight-bearing such as cycling, water-based exercises or those done lying down.
If you are unsure of where to begin or have any questions, feel free to book online with one of our exercise physiologits or give us a call and we can help you get started!
Gwen EstigoyExercise Physiologist
Alex BateExercise Physiologist
Deb EvenissExercise Physiologist
Gwen has a background working with adults and children with Arthritis and has extensive training with treating and managing various chronic pain conditions. With her extensive knowledge and hands-on experience, Gwen is a compassionate and skilled professional who seeks to make a lasting impact on the lives of those she works with. Gwen is dedicated to empowering individuals through exercise to improve their overall health and well-being. Adopting a bio-psychosocial approach, Gwen is committed to providing exercise interventions that are evidence based to achieve the best possible health outcomes.
One of Gwen’s particular areas of interest is creating inclusive and safe exercise spaces where everyone can access the benefits of exercise and movement. Gwen has experience working with vulnerable groups and individuals, including the LGBTQIA+ community and people from different cultural/religious backgrounds.
Outside the clinic, Gwen enjoys playing futsal, planning the next cook on the smoker/bbq, and exploring scenic routes on her motorbike.
Alex has worked as an exercise physiologist for nearly a decade in a number of private practices, seeing patients across a wide spectrum of physical abilities and exercise needs.After moving to Dynamic Motion, Alex spent time developing our exercise physiology services and building our seniors exercise class program.
He has previously been involved in a research team at University of Sydney which specialised in high-intensity exercise in older populations and people with chronic disease, where he ran a clinical trial examining resistance exercise in pre-diabetes and depression. His clinical background largely covers athletic strength and conditioning, particularly weight training; exercise in older individuals; and exercise for chronic conditions, particularly cardiometabolic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
He believes you’re never too old to exercise, and that keeping a habit of strength training is crucial for healthy ageing and adding life to years, as well as years to life. He is passionate about teaching people to do this safely, in a way that suits their circumstances and preferences, while addressing any specific health issues they may have.
For recreation Alex enjoys staying active by training for powerlifting, muay thai, recreational mountain biking, and exploring the Sydney outdoors with bushwalking and scuba diving.
Deb began her health and fitness career working as a personal trainer after obtaining her Certificate III and IV in Fitness. Here she developed a keen interest in healthy aging, falls prevention and cancer and exercise. Deb then decided to further her knowledge and experience by further study and becoming an exercise physiologist.
Deb has a keen interest in helping those with cancer, neurological conditions such as MS, HD, PD and stroke and brain injury survivors. More recently she has been researching and treating fatigue conditions including Long Covid, ME/CFS, POTS and EDS. Deb strongly believes that “movement is medicine” and wants to help people enjoy all that safe and healthy movement can bring.
In her spare time Deb is heavily involved in parkrun, soccer, trail running, hiking, kayaking and raising two very busy teenagers.