Arthritis, and how Stretch Therapy could help


Arthritis is inflammation in one or more joints, causing swelling, pain, and stiffness. Unfortunately, Arthritis worsens with age and occurs in the hands, neck, lower back, knees, or hips.

There are several types of Arthritis with different causes. The two most common Arthritides are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.


This type of Arthritis occurs when the cartilage, the protective tissue at the ends of the bones, starts wearing down gradually and worsens over time.

Osteoarthritis happens in any joint and is more common in older people, but it can start in the initial stages in your late 40s.

What are the signs, and how do I diagnose osteoarthritis?

The affected joint will have pain during or after a movement and will be stiff whether you are active. The joint will be tender; it will not be flexible and swollen.

You can get a diagnosis for osteoarthritis with an X-ray scan; although cartilage does not show on an X-ray, cartilage is shown by the narrowing of the space between the bones in the joint.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the body’s tissue. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting the joints.

This type of Arthritis occurs when the joint linings are inflamed, and the inflammation can cause joint irregularity and bone destruction over a period.

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the initial stages, usual ages between 30 and 50 years, starts with attacking the smaller joints first, like your fingers or toes.

What are the signs, and how do I diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Before you start to experience any of the symptoms, you will first start to feel fatigued and have a lack of energy. The joint will start to feel tender, and you will experience stiffness, pain and swelling. You can also experience a slight fever because of the inflammation that Rheumatoid arthritis cause.

You can diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis through blood tests. These tests look for elevated levels of inflammation. You can also diagnose it with ultrasound or X-rays.

How does Stretch Therapy help with Arthritis?

Active Isolated Stretching or Stretch Therapy is an essential part of rehabilitation. The process begins with the identification of the affected joints, muscles and areas of tissues to be stretched and treated. Specificity in stretching is vital to achieving circulation, oxygenation, tissue extension and activation.

By isolating the affected Arthritic joint and only holding the stretches for 1.5 – 2 seconds, the inflammation within the affected joint drains, blood flow increases, and the joints start to get more pain-free, functional and flexible; regaining more range of motion which leads to quality of life.

Benefits of AIS (Stretch Therapy):

  • Active Isolated stretching improves oxygenation and nutrition of myofascial structures, promoting growth and repair.
  • Active Isolated stretching stimulates the circulation and drainage of the lymph, which helps eliminate metabolic wastes.
  • Active Isolated stretching improves flexibility and health of muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Active Isolated stretching realigns collagen fibres.
  • Active isolated stretching reduces muscle spasms and the risk of muscle strain and tear.


By Carla Swart / September 13, 2022