Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful and unpredictable disease that affects 1 in 6 New Zealanders. It can affect anyone at any stage of life from infant to elderly. Arthritis is the single biggest cause of disability in New Zealand

Research has shown that every person over the age of 65 has at least one arthritic joint. The differences between Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis are listed below. There are many different types of arthritis categories and it is important to diagnose the right type to get the best treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis cause

  • Symmetrical autoimmune inflammatory disease (the body in a way attacks its own joints)
  • Age affected:25 to 50 years old and affects women more than men
  • It affects 1-2% of the population


  • Joint swelling
  • Tired after little amounts of exercise with a loss of strength
  • Nodules grow in up to 50% of patients
  • Pain and joint deformities

Osteoarthritis cause

  • Degenerative joint disease which occurs after years of use when the cartilage and shock efficiency of the joint wears out.
  • Age affected: from 30 upwards
  • It affects 7% of the population and costs New Zealand 2.6 billion dollars to treat every year.


  • Knee pain with the joint crackling with movement
  • Pain and stiffness for 30 minutes or more in the mornings
  • Loss of strength

Problems that occur with arthritis: The main problem that occurs is a loss of normal joint function which results in a reduced ability to exercise and perform daily activities. Pain develops which causes a decrease in strength and the will to be active. Lack of physical activity can lead to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

How can The Podiatrist help you?

  • We can help diagnose arthritis with the help of other practitioners
  • Exercise and staying active is important and we can help you by selecting orthotics and assessing your footwear so you are as comfortable as possible
  • We can help you maintain your feet so that they stay in good shape by cutting your nails and removing hard skin
  • It is important to get treatment early to help slow the progession and possibly avoid ankle, hip or knee replacement surgery. We can also assist you to feel more comfortable and reduce possible pain

Who do we work with?

  • Physiotherapists
  • Doctors
  • Personal trainers
  • Surgeons
  • Med labs

Arthritis New Zealand is one of New Zealand’s leading charities helping people living with this painful and debilitating disease. Their aim is to enable a better quality of life for those people who have arthritis. If you would like to contact them for support or more information they can be contacted on

0900 33320 or www.arthritis.org.nz