A NEW exercise program for people with arthritis has kicked off in Queensland to help people with the painful condition manage their symptoms.
The 12-week Joint Movement group exercise program, developed by Arthritis Australia, has been launched in Brisbane for people 65 and over with arthritis-related symptoms.
The national evidence-based program has been specifically developed for people with stable and managed arthritis and other chronic musculoskeletal conditions in a bid to clear up the confusion around arthritis and exercise.
"More than 4 million Australians with arthritis endure ongoing, debilitating pain which impacts their ability to work, socialise and carry out their daily tasks, often leading to reduced wellbeing and an overreliance on medication," said Arthritis Australia chief executive Andrew Mills.
He said while research has shown established exercise is a safe and recommended treatment for arthritis, there is still a lot of misunderstanding about the benefit and safety of exercise for people with the condition in the community.
"This is reflected in the large number of exercise-related calls to our national Arthritis Helpline. People with arthritis frequently report that they are worried about making their symptoms worse, and that they don't know what exercise to do and how to get started," said Mr Mills.
He added that may GPs have also reported that they lack confidence in prescribing the most appropriate exercise for their patients who have arthritis.
The Joint Movement group exercise program was launched in Brisbane by Arthritis Queensland. This is the first time the program has been run in Queensland.
Arthritis Queensland chief executive Emma Thompson said the classes will be delivered by specially-trained exercise professionals to help participants manage pain, inflammation and stiffness and GPs will also be able to refer patients with arthritis to the program.
"The good news is that simple and regular exercise has consistently been shown to relieve and prevent arthritis pain - as well as improving your overall health," said Ms Thompson.
Currently, The Joint Movement incorporates two group exercise class options; warm water exercise or land-based strength exercise.
"The first location is South Brisbane (West End), however over the next year we aim to make the program available at a number of locations across Brisbane and in regional Queensland and we are currently in the process of organising where these locations will be," added Ms Thompson.
The Joint Movement Program is also run in other states and territories by affiliate organisations, including: Arthritis Australian Capital Territory, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Western Australia, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Tasmania and Arthritis and Osteoporosis Northern Territory.
For more details phone the Arthritis Helpline on 1800 011 041 or click HERE
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